A Weekend of Paddling and Patriotism: MEC Paddlefest in Victoria and Canada Day, Nanaimo style

Isabelle and I spent Saturday manning the GSA Booth at MEC’s Paddlefest Celebration at Willow’s Beach in Victoria. Although the clouds looked ominous and threatening all day, the paddling conditions were perfect as the water was as smooth as glass. The event featured many interesting paddling demonstrations and clinics, including a fascinating presentation on gourmet camp cooking. We had fun watching everyone out on the water, and enjoyed interesting conversations with some very passionate people.
Nanaimo’s local kids help us save B.C.’s wild salmon runs
one masterpiece at a time!
Canada Day at Maffeo-Sutton Park in Nanaimo was a resounding success! Not to brag, but Nanaimoites know how to throw a party! There was great music (Kumbana Marimba was awesome!), a HUGE and delicious Canada birthday cake, and lots of family friendly activities. The crowd at the park was a sea of patriotic red, and  eco-conscious green. Isabelle and I debuted the newly created “Navigate the Strait” Game, and really enjoyed interacting with all the kids and teaching them about ocean conservation. They gave us some valuable insight about how to improve the activities, and one lucky participant even won a GSA t-shirt! In addition, it was heartening to find that so many people are concerned about the wellbeing of the Strait’s charismatic critters, the further development of the harmful salmon aquaculture industry and the threats an oil tanker increase poses to our beautiful coast. The Toxic Smart brochures proved to be particularly popular with attendees as well. Despite the absence of a prolonged appearance by the elusive Mr. Sun, it was an incredibly enjoyable and satisfying day!
We hope to see you at the Bowen Farmer’s Market in Nanaimo, on Wednesday July 4th, Paddlefest Vancouver at Jericho Sailing Centre on Saturday, July 7th, and the grand opening of the South Cowichan Farmer’s Market on Sunday, July 8th.

Cheerio until next time!

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