Watch locals carve race canoes to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday

May 19 2017, 11:25 pm

Vancouverites are busy building three C15 race canoes to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

The community boat-building is a Dragon Zone project aimed at developing and inspiring our connections as Canadians, to produce a long-lasting spirit after the milestone year is over. And you’ll be able to check out the finished war canoes at this year’s Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival from June 23 to 25.

These canoes are being built entirely from the ground up here in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond. And what makes it even better is that the project will directly benefit the local communities taking part in the design, building, and use of the three canoes.

Participants are gaining valuable work experience in the process such as restoration, woodworking, painting, varnishing, using power tools, and of course, teamwork skills.

“Not only does building a traditional war canoe teach skills that participants can add to their resumes, but it also creates cultural connections between mentors, participants, and observers who can watch the progress in person and online,” says Ann Phelps, General Manager of Dragon Boat BC.

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“Through this project, I’ve been given outstanding instruction and mentorship in wooden boat construction. As a former worker in the tech sector with a visual impairment, I’ve now gained skills, knowledge and confidence to explore new opportunities,” says David Neufeld, C15 canoe project boat builder.

The war canoe project goals: 

  • Develop a community-based boatbuilding and work experience program that combine traditional boat design with skill development.
  • Create cultural connections between participants and observers.
  • Provide meaningful life skills and valuable work experience to participants through mentorship, while offering social experiences to all involved.
  • Teach skills that participants can add to their resumes, strengthening their opportunities for employment.
  • Develop an online training program that will benefit individuals, non-profit organizations and communities throughout the world.
  • Create a lasting legacy for the paddling community, supplying high quality boats to be used for years to come.

“Building the C-15 Canoe in a public space, in the heart of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, has allowed us to share this experience with the individuals and businesses in the neighbourhood. This strong, positive community engagement has been amazing and I look forward to seeing the canoe on the water once the build is complete,” says Neufeld.

You can go see the canoe-making magic for yourself by visiting the Woodward’s Atrium at 333 Abbott Street in Vancouver. Or, if you’d prefer to wait until next month’s festival you can do that instead.

Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival 2017

When: June 23 to 25
Where: Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and the waters of False Creek
Tickets: Not required – free event

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Daily Hive is a proud media sponsor of Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival

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