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Kayak Festival chairman Guy Lamarche wraps up the 2019 event with acknowledgments and thanks

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The 11th Annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival is now behind us and by all accounts, it was the biggest and best so far.  The weather co-operated and the 3 day festival was hugely successful for everyone involved. A record number of people came out to enjoy a fun filled weekend of water based competitions, art, culture, children activities, performing arts and live entertainment.  The spectacular evening concerts, the Saturday classic car show and fireworks extravaganza and Sunday’s water ski / fly-board stunt show drew record crowds. A special thank you to Eastlink for sponsoring the main stage, Paul Woodward for leading the task of raising funds for the fireworks show  and to Newmont Goldcorp for sponsoring the Summer Water Sports stunt show.

On behalf of the Steering Committee, we want to extend a heartfelt thanks to our 130+ generous event sponsors , Indigenous partners, Rebel Soul Tribe Stand Up Paddle Board Challenge, Moose FM for leading the No Kayak Grand Prix , Wild Exodus for providing Pontoon Cruises, Kiwanis Club for sponsoring the Children Village and providing complimentary cotton candy, Tim Hortons for the complimentary coffee, Paul Wing (Winger) for leading the Car Show initiative, the Alzheimer Society for leading the Rubber Duck Race, the HGS team overseeing the 3 person fun sprint, the team leading the Canadian Tire 5 km Guided Family Leisure Paddle  & Shore Lunch, our many exhibitors, and food & beverage service providers.  Without your participation there is no festival, let alone one that is recognized as being a Top 100 in the province.

To the DEDICATED ARMY OF VOLUNTEERS we say THANK YOU!  You are the “unsung heroes” of the festival. Working in the trenches is not always glamorous but the tasks of parking control, waste removal, volunteer hydration, race judges, registrations and the hundreds of other small, but important jobs, must be done. The parking was under control, and the park was immaculate throughout the 3 days.  Your unselfish contribution was duly noted by the thousands who attended the festival.

We also want to thank the participants both on and off the water for your support. To the residents, and the thousands of tourists attending this festival, thank you for coming out and encouraging the paddlers, the vendors and the many artists. We hope to see you again next year!

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A special thank you goes out to the City’s Maintenance Group and Supervisor Gerry Paquette. Your attention to detail was appreciated. The set-up and tear down was seamless.

Guy Lamarche, Timmins Tourism manager.
(Bob McIntyre, staff)

To Roztek Environmental, thank you for the unbelievable service. Despite the crowds, you got her done! It was appreciated by everyone.

We also extend a “special “ thank you to the media: print, radio, broadcast and online for assisting us with the task of building our Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival  brand and helping us create “top of mind” awareness of this end of summer festival. Your support has gone a long way at ensuring the event’s success and we truly appreciate it. A special thanks to 92.1 Rock, KISS FM, and Moose FM for being the dedicated partners that you are. The live remotes and MC duties are truly appreciated. And to Eastlink, thank you for providing extended coverage of the festival throughout the weekend.  Your live to air broadcasts went a long way and reinforced the fact that ours is one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festival. As always, you went over and above and for that we say thank you!

To First Student Canada, Timmins Police, OPP, Timmins Fire & Mountjoy Fire, Timmins EMS, thanks for keeping our public safe.

To JPL Group (JP Legault), D Movers Construction & Trucking (Dave Pilon), and The Brick (Brian Vacchino), thanks for providing the artists with comfortable backstage dressing rooms and providing the Festival Organization with a comfortable office trailer. To Full Beard Brewing and Labatts, thanks for keeping the artists hydrated.

To J & B Cycle & Marine, thanks for supplying  a boat & motor. To Mikeys, thanks for the Media Pontoon boat service and the side x side. To Guiho Saw Sales & Marine, thanks for the loan of a side x side.  To Equipment North (Gates Caron), thanks for supplying caution highway signs, diesel lights, zoom boom and fencing. To Go Mini (Ron Bruneau) thanks for supplying the secure storage trailer.

To all of the partners who made the Fishing Pavilion an interesting add on to an already jam packed festival, thank you. To The Rock Harley Davidson, thanks for believing.

To Pick of the Crop  thanks for keeping the participants energized. To Dr Michael Columbus, thanks for keeping our participants pain free.  To DJ Taz ( Peter Lawryniw) thanks for providing  sound at  judges deck.

To the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority, thanks for allowing us to use the park.

Finally to the members of the festival Steering Committee, the Tourism Timmins staff  Marnie Lapierre and Lacey Rigg, and to Jennifer McGee & Emilie Gauthier, are valued summer students, thank you, so much for your immense contribution. You are valued members of the Tourism Timmins Team and you always rise to the occasion!

The Steering Committee will be meeting soon to de-brief this year’s festival and to start planning the 12th Annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival.  It is our hope that we can continue enhancing the festival by incorporating new and exciting activities while maintaining our unofficial reputation of being North America’s    ” best in class” paddling festival.  We hope that all of our sponsors will return and that many other corporate entities will get on board with financial support allowing us the luxury of staging a bigger and better event in 2020.

Stay tuned for more, and once again, thanks you Timmins!


Guy Lamarche

Festival Chair

On behalf of the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival Steering Committee

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