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This year's kayak challenge promises to be greater than ever

The 11th annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge has paddling activities, of course, but this year Timmins is putting on an event that spans way past the water!

The countdown is on for one of our favourite events that really captures what makes Northeastern Ontario so great. The 11th annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival, happening August 23-25 in Timmins, has consistently drawn huge crowds from all across the country, and even brings people up from the Northern States.

Challenge yourself against other avid paddlers to see who will claim the bragging rights as the best paddler in the region.  There are generous cash prizes for first to fifth placed male and female competitors in all categories.


Photo provided by The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival.

The kayak challenge has lots of races, so there is something for everyone regardless of age or experience level.  Here is a list of the main races; follow this link to find more information about the races and categories.

  • The Marcel Pelchat OPG Elite Challenge: 32 km 
  • The Elite Recreation Challenge: 16 km
  • The Recreational Challenge: 16 km
  • The Plastic Kayak Challenge: 10 km
  • The Paddling Magazine Canoe Challenge: 10 km
  • The Open Long Boat Challenge: 6.5 km
  • The Open Little Boat Challenge: 6.5 km
  • The Novice Challenge: 5 km
  • The Dr. John Shaw Seniors (Masters) Recreational Challenge: 6.5 km
  • The Masters Elite Challenge: 6.5 km
  • The D&L Home and Cottage Youth Challenge: 3 km
  • The Celebrity Challenge: 3 km

Registration information for the races can be found here.

To get this great weekend off to an awesome start, Moose FM is putting on their “No Kayak” Grand Prix Friday evening. The rules are simple: build a vessel that must hold three people and is able to float… once that is complete, the race is on! There will be prizes given out to the team with the fastest time as well as the “best dressed” team. Registration for this event is free!


Photo provided by The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival.

The obvious focus of this festival is on kayaking and paddling, but as the fest has grown year over year, it has expanded to include much more than just water sports. This year, the event will feature more things to do than ever, including free activities for kids, a fishing pavilion, a classic car show, sunset yoga, a strong man competition, live action watersports, The Rock Harley Davidson exhibit, and two nights of free concerts. Depending on the fire zone restrictions, a fireworks show is planned for Saturday night starting at 9:30.

Photo provided by The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival.

New this year the festival is launching a fishing pavilion in partnership with many different groups and companies. Throughout the weekend the fishing pavilion will be featuring some fantastic and very informative exhibits that everyone will love. It doesn't matter if you are a seasoned avid or curious young kid interested in fishing this weekend will provide you with lots of fantastic information to take your fishing game to the next level! To see everything that will be going on with the fishing pavilion this weekend check out this link.

Photo provided by The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival.

Another non-paddling event this weekend is the very popular marketplace. This market features many food and drink vendors promoting locally sourced products. It will also feature an Aboriginal Village highlighting some of the traditions and rich cultural history of this area.

Another new feature at the 11th annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival is The Rock Harley Davidson exhibit. The Rock will be showing off some of their great products and bikes for people to check out and even take for demo rides if they are licensed. 

This promises to be a great event obviously highlighted by the kayaking challenge but also capped off with all of the other fantastic activities such as the fishing pavilion and Harley Davidson.

About Jay Lemon

Jay is a digital marketer, content creator and proud Sudburian. He loves everything that Northeastern Ontario has to offer and tries to spend as much time as possible outside. Hunting, fishing, mountain biking, golfing, and trying new restaurants are some of his favourite things to do.

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