Paddling film fest back for another go

Next weekend it will be possible to enjoy paddling sports without the risk of hyperthermia.

Next weekend it will be possible to enjoy paddling sports without the risk of hyperthermia.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival, produced by Canadian film company Rapid Media and hosted by the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club, will be taking place October 15 and 16 at Alpine Bakery beginning at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

Although the festival will not focus any local entries this year, viewers will be treated with films from throughout the world, submitted by both amateur and professional filmmakers.

“Generally they’re all paddling enthusiasts and film producers,” said club president John Quinsey. “So they submit each year to Rapid Media and they jury the films, split them into categories, (which) are packaged together, and then they go all over the world.

“The quality of films has really increased the last couple of years,” he added. “It’s a combination of high definition cameras as well as people just getting better at making films. The editing process is a lot more accessible to people and we’ve noticed the quality has gone way up.”

Entry for adults is $12 per night or $20 for both, and for kids 16-and-under it’s $8 per night and $15 for both. Tickets are available at Alpine Bakery and, “It does tend to sell out,” said Quinsey.

Because of the small venue, compared to the Yukon Arts Centre, which hosted the last couple festivals, organizers decided to split the event over two nights, which also allowed them to give some uniformity to each evening.

“That also gave us the advantage to split the genre of films,” said Quinsey. “So we have the more whitewater, adrenaline stuff on the Friday night, and Saturday night is more the canoeing – the tripping – sort of the softer side of paddling. People have the option to go both nights or to one or the other.”

More information can be found at or by e-mailing Mary-Jane Oliver at

The Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club, which is holding it’s AGM October 25 at 7 p.m. in the Sport Yukon building, has a couple of long-term initiatives in the planning.

In May, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) announced it has allocated $15,000 to the “preplanning” stage of developing a whitewater park, dubbed “Rock the River,” for the club.

The proposed location, between Yukon Energy’s dam and the salmon-spawning channels on the Yukon River, is already a hotspot for paddlers and is the location for the club’s annual Whitewater Rodeo.

Features proposed for the park include a slalom course, more eddies along the banks and manmade waves, which kayakers can surf and perform tricks on.

The other goal is the construction of a clubhouse that can be used to store boats and other paddling equipment.

“The clubhouse idea has been kicked around for years,” said Quinsey. “It’s something we’ve discussed with the city of Whitehorse over the years.

“We would love to have a clubhouse. It would expand what we are able to inventory. We’d like to buy some flat-water boats for racing, both kayaks and canoes.”

Contact Tom Patrick at