Participants in last year’s PaddleFest at Departure Bay beach. This year

Paddlers gather for annual event

NANAIMO – Departure Bay beach hosts all types of flotilla for people participate or learn more.

The second annual Nanaimo PaddleFest 2016 will take place on May 28-29 on the beach in Departure Bay.

Hosted by Nanaimo Boathouse Society, this family-friendly weekend will once again feature various fun paddling activities and races.

“Last year’s event attracted several hundred paddlers from Nanaimo and the Pacific Northwest, and we expect an even bigger turnout this year,” says Camela Tang, president of Nanaimo Boathouse Society.

The Nanaimo PaddleFest 2016 will include a number of short races for paddlers of all abilities and for several types of boats as well as the longer Nanaimo Shack Attack race for more experienced paddlers. There will be displays, presentations by professionals, demonstrations and instruction for all skill levels in canoes, kayaks, dragon boats, outrigger canoes, stand-up paddle boards and water sports. Instruction clinics and races are offered at a small fee, while most other activities are free.

Participants will have an opportunity to paddle in the flotilla with Bob Purdy, founder of Paddle for the Planet. Participants also have the opportunity to talk to Purdy and hear of his travels and environmental passions.

“Join the fun, enjoy a bite to eat, listen to free music, introduce your children to paddling, try a new sport, meet other water lovers, learn about the Nanaimo Boathouse and Paddling Centre initiative, or just watch all the wet fun by the bay,” said Tang.

To learn more or to register, please visit

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