The year was 1975. While a lot of paddling had been done prior to that date, the year was
significant in that canoeing organizations were beginning to form in Ontario. It was felt that if
the recreational paddlers did not unite, then the other newly formed Canoe Ontario Affiliates may
well claim recreational paddling for themselves. A small group of paddlers felt it important to
meet to discuss their place in the developing environment, and organized a meeting to determine
That first meeting decided that a recreational canoeing organization was indeed required, and
formed a committee to put into place the organization which we to-day recognize as ORCA. The
original committee was comprised of: Bill Simmons, King Baker, Jim Gear, Jim Wood , John
Strickland (of Gore Bay), and Karl Hartwick. Jim Wood was nominated as Chairman (since he
was the most vocal), and subsequently drafted up the original ORCA constitution. The other
committee members looked after safety, liaison, promotion, and administration.
The Canoe Ontario Annual General Meeting in 1976 was held at Camp Kandalore. At the
meeting ORCA proudly advised the other affiliates that the recreational paddlers of Ontario
would be represented by the Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association, and that ORCA wished
to be an affiliate of Canoe Ontario with equal rights to the other affiliates. There was
considerable debate about how many votes ORCA should have. Flatwater voted by clubs, and
the clubs were members. ORCA suggested that schools could be ORCA members, and each
have a vote with Canoe Ontario. This would have given ORCA a large advantage over the
Flatwater Affiliate. Recognizing the perils of forcing the issue, Flatwater and White Water
agreed to recognize ORCA as an equal, each with two votes on the Canoe Ontario Board of
Directors. Bill Simmons and Jim Gear were ORCA's first representatives on the Canoe Ontario
Board of Directors.
A similar occurrence was experienced with the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association
(CRCA) at the first meeting that ORCA attended as an organization. Prior to the Squamish
(Vancouver) meeting everyone in attendance at the CRCA Annual General Meeting had a vote.
Obviously the CRCA AGM Host province had an advantage up to that point. At that meeting it
was suggested that each Province/Territory should have a vote. This was enacted at the
CRCA's next AGM, and is still the current-day arrangement.
The Lake Tamiskaming Disaster - A Turning Point In ORCA's History
Regrettable and tragic as it was, the Lake Tamiskaming Accident (Sunday June 11th, 1978)
provided the inescapable reason for ORCA's continuing existence. Jim Wood, ORCA President (and who
represented Ontario and Quebec paddlers' interest at the inquest), was faced with the challenge
that either ORCA create a high quality recreational canoeing program to reduce the probability of
a Lake Tamiskaming Disaster repeat, or the government would step it to regulate the sport.
In the days immediately following the disaster many fine canoeing programs, such as the School
Board with whom Omar Stringer was associated, met their demise as organizations over-reacted
to the accident. Many questioned whether canoeing and canoe tripping could be safely managed.
While no fault was attributed to the Tamiskaming Disaster organizers and leaders, the affect on
school programs and youth group activities (Scouting) was dramatic. Most curtailed their
programs until such time as they could satisfy themselves that reassuring risk management
programs were indeed possible, and that their staff had received adequate training to safely
conduct such activities.
The 'Boine River Meeting' was arranged to formulate a 'Safe Canoeing Program' to satisfy the
government's and insurance companies' concerns. Many diverse factions attended, each
determined to have the resulting program reflect their organization’s ideas as to what the
program should include. Disagreement prevailed until the meeting mutually agreed that they had
no choice but to arrive at a unified program to offer to the public. To fail was to turn it back to
the government for resolution. The organization had to be seen to be preparing, offering, and
supporting a high quality program which would allow the public to participate in canoeing in a
safe and competent manner.
At the time the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association (CRCA) was offering a recognized
canoeing program to camps. Canoe trip leader's certification was being offered, for the most
part, by Bill Simmons, University of Toronto at South River; and there was a whole host of
others offering variations on canoeing education who could not agree on the formation of
The first ORCA canoeing program resulted by incorporating the best common elements of the
above-noted programs. It has been modified and improved several times since then, including
the most recent 1996 revision (and others subsequently), but essentially the basics and spirit of
that original program continue to serve the canoeing public to this date. In order to consolidate
all programs, Jim Wood assisted as Instructor on the CRCA/ORCA joint Level III Lake Water
Course, the Canoe Tripping Course at South River, and the first ORCA Moving Water Level III
at Palmer Rapids. His efforts that year helped establish the original Instructor Level Standards,
and the basis for the Grandfathering process. By doing so, Jim became the first person to
Instruct on all three Level III Instructor courses. But his efforts came at a price. Due to the
tensions that resulted from trying to unite the diverse canoeing community, and not wishing to
alienate further opponents of the new program, Jim Wood voluntarily departed the Ontario
canoeing scene for several years. Don Downing was successful in persuading Jim to rejoin
ORCA at the Seneca College course in 1985.
For the next few years the new ORCA program was offered to the paddling public. In 1980
Instructor courses were offered in all four disciplines, including four Canoe Tripping Instructor
Courses (Directed by Bruce Hodgins, Bill Simmons, Bruce Hyer and Dave Palmateer).
Responding to Scouting's response to the Lake Tamiskaming Accident, a fellow named Eric
Williams was a candidate on the Bruce Hyer course at Shawanabis Lake (near Armstrong).
While trying to promote the ORCA Program around Ontario (the early thoughts of Regional
Representation) the ORCA Board came to the astounding conclusion that ''we had a huge
A sincere effort was made to bring representatives from around the Province to ORCA Meetings
to hear their views and solicit their participation. Ontario Government funding allowed this to
become a reality.
ORCA was now four years old. The Lake Tamiskaming Disaster had consolidated ORCA's
reason for being, and brought a diverse group of canoeing enthusiasts to a common
understanding of what a program should be.
The 1st issue of CANEWS bore no title, contained a recipe for tourtiere, and an article entitled ''I'd
like to go canoeing with you, but my canoe broke in half'' (elaborating on the need for additional
flotation for Royalex canoes in moving water situations). The ORCA Program, the equipment and
the paddlers have all developed considerably since then.
In 1980 ORCA decided to promote its product, and ORCA was represented at the Sportsman Show
for the first time. Jane Archell headed up the 'Paddlecade' program, the fore-runner of ORCA's
current very successful 'Safe Canoeing Program'.
ORCA was still struggling with the basics. What do we call these strokes? What should the end
result be? How do we test it? Is it the movement of the paddle or the resultant movement of the
canoe that is important? Of course the early courses were planned well ahead of time and in great
detail. A moving water course, for example, was planned within 24 hours of the course start time in
the furnace room of one of the instructors. When the beer ran out, well that was the end of the
planning for that moving water course.
George Drought recalls the first Level III Moving Water Instructors' course at Palmer Rapids.
Twenty candidates. How to decide who passes? Impasse. Jim Wood finally suggested that anyone
who could navigate Palmer Rapids while standing on the gunwales of the canoe should get the
Level III. All agreed! That was it. So all participants did it! (And we thought the mid 1990's
Moving Water evaluations were controversial).
Program development was the main focus of the early ORCA Board of Directors. The schools
needed the program, so that was where the emphasis went. The schools needed to demonstrate that
they had a viable program in order to get their canoeing programs back on line following the Lake
Tamiskiming accident. And they were eager to get going again. The first of many program reviews
The Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association (CRCA) had developed a program which utilized
a lot of good material and ideas from across this great land of ours. ORCA did not agree with
everything, but understanding the differences between the various programs helped make ORCA's
program better. The understanding of others’ viewpoints gave ORCA a better perspective from
which to judge its own program. Where the CRCA program was better than ORCA's, ORCA
revised its program accordingly. Hence we had the best of all input, not only from across Ontario,
but from across Canada.
But there were still problems: not all Ontario organizations approved the ORCA program. But at
least we were trying. ORCA's program continued to improve. The relationship with the CRCA was
difficult, with some viewing the CRCA as a closed shop, an old boys club. ORCA worked to
improve its relationship with the CRCA.
Quotes from Trinela Cane - ''the more things change, the more they remain the same''; ''ORCA is
one of those organizations that gets under your skin!''; ''My ORCA years seem seamless''; ''The
same old issues seem to come around again and again and again''. During the mid 1980s Program
crystallization was a major thrust, as was improving the relationship with the CRCA. Nationally the
CRCA was trying to sort out what the Provincial organizations should be doing, and what the
CRCA should be doing. Across Canada relay - ''paddling a bottle of water across Canada by canoe''
helped to unite the Provincial Associations, and to develop support for the respective Provincial
programs. It was felt the CRCA should deal with National issues, and let the Provinces deal with
the 'Program' and program dissemination. Trinela Cane recalls 'endless noon hour meetings' with
Betty Donaldson and Kirk Wipper to try to sort out the various roles.
At that time ORCA was operating like a Toronto based canoeing club. The only exception was a
paddler named Don Downing, Treasurer for many years, who drove in from ''God knows where''.
Meetings were held all over the place, the meetings were long and usually resulted in middle of the
night drives home.
ORCA needed members. How to draw in club and regional memberships? Glen Bennett in
Windsor was advocating that ORCA diversify and develop more of a regional approach. Marc Cote
and Trinela Cane responded to the challenge, and tried to establish the first ORCA Regional
Representatives program. What they really wanted was people who were doing 'real canoeing, not
Board Room canoeing' from across the Province. These paddlers were needed to provide real input
to the ORCA Board, and to be ambassadors for ORCA to the Ontario paddling community.
Funding was received, and ORCA was in the Regional Representative business.
The Junior Instructor (then Flat Water Instructor, now Basic Instructor) and River Rescue Programs
were developed during this period to meet the needs of the paddling community. The Junior
Instructor program helped deliver ORCA Basic Program to the camps and schools who did not
require program beyond the Basic Level. This greatly enhanced ORCA's profile, and widened its
Emphasis was also put into improving ORCA's relationship with the Canoe Ontario Office, and in
determining just how much service each Canoe Ontario Affiliate should receive from the office.
ORCA strived for a stronger role in this alliance; spearheading the environmental responses for the
other affiliates helped in this regard. The year was 1986.
Program development, Junior Instructors, Regional Representatives, and Personalities; 1987 - 1992
Background: At the ORCA Annual General Meeting in September of 1995 many of ORCA's
previous Presidents gathered to share their views and recollections on our short but illustrious
past, and offer some advice for the future. The attached summary, has attempted to capture as
accurately as possible their thoughts and recollections. Minutes of Meeting and CANEWS
articles of the era were also used for information.
My thanks to all who participated.
October 85 - Decision NOT to divert the Missinaibi River; instead, Heritage River and Provincial
Park designations. Hap Wilson expresses concern about the Red Squirrel Road extension into
the Pine Torch / Florence Lake area.
Summer 86 - Save the Credit Campaign - ORCA and Canoe Ontario participate in a long and
painful ordeal to maintain the Credit River as a navigable waterway. Both sides in the legal
battle claimed victory, sort of.
THE WAY YOU HOLD YOUR PADDLE? OR WHAT THE CANOE DOES?
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT?
In 1987 the ORCA Board of Directors struggled with topics such as appropriate names for the
various levels of the Youth Canoeing Program [Basic A: Cartier, Basic B: Champlain, Basic C: -
De La Salle, Basic D: Radisson]. Should they be named after Canada’s explorers? Were these
gentlemen better paddlers than Chaplain? Or should the levels be named after the Native
Peoples, with the same questions. The ORCA Board also struggled with the ultimate canoeist
question: is it what I do with the paddle or what the canoe does that really counts? The
performance of the canoe prevailed in Ontario, while the national organization tried to paddle the
centre channel through the controversy.
ORCA offered its first River Rescue Clinic that year. The candidates were judged to be ''so
damned good that they don't need the course anymore''.
The introduction of ORCA's Junior Instructor Program was perceived by some to be
undermining the entire Lake Water Program. The ORCA Board was very divided on this topic.
In the end the will of the then President, Trinela Cane won out; and the ORCA Junior Instructor
Program was born.
While some did not like it at the time, it is now recognized as one of the most pivotal decisions
ever made in ORCA's brief history. The introduction of the Junior Instructor program, renamed
Basic Instructor Program a few years ago to reflect the nature of the program they taught, filled
the need of camps and schools who required Instructors to teach basic program, but did not need
the qualifications of a Level III Instructor. By filling this need, ORCA's image was greatly
Spring 1988 - Omer Stringer - Lake Water Paddling Legend - passes away. Omer was a frequent
guest at ORCA's clinics of that era.
John Rudolph was President from 1987 through 1989. He was the first ORCA Instructor to
receive all three Level IIIs. George Drought was the course Director for a Level III Tripping
Course during Norm Frost's presidency. He was looking for other instructors to assist with the
course and John Rudolph was an unknown at that time. The first day of the course ''this hairy
monster arrives, hair down to his shoulders, no, hair down to his waist''. George decides John
''just won’t do''.
John Rudolph recalls that Board meetings of this period were preceded by dinner at the Sunshine
Restaurant (the best part of the evening), a Board of Directors with a mind of its own (managing
a meeting was like trying to herd cats), and arriving home at some horrible hour in the middle of
the night and subsequently keeping his wife Sharon awake all night while he unwound from the
ORCA recognized the need to be a non-profit organization and did every thing possible at every
meeting to accomplish this. ''Here is your travel money, but don’t cash it'' (the Treasurer). Great
emphasis was put on minimizing Level III course costs in order to increase attendance on the
The Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association (CRCA) equivalency chart was developed.
''I'm sure there was lots of exciting history in our organization during this period, but none is
recorded in the minutes.'' - John Rudolph - President 1987 - 89.
Trinela Cane and Meg Stanley teamed up to convince Marc Cote that he should be ORCA
President following John Rudolph in 1989. Marc guided the organization well for two years,
maintaining the initiatives previously started. Strategic planning sessions were held, and
improvement initiatives undertaken.
At the end of his Presidency he turned the reins over to Jim Wood. Jim reappeared for a third
time in ORCA's history [ founding Committee 1975, President 78-79, Board Member from
1988, President 91-92]. The need to re-certify and Don Downing were instrumental in getting
Jim back on the Board. However at the time of the May 88 Instructors' Clinic he had been out of
the 'limelight' for so long that many of the new Board did not know him.
Jim prepared ORCA's Environmental Position Paper during Marc Cote's Presidency, and it is
still in use. Priorities during Jim Wood's leadership were getting the Regional Development
initiative going, returning ORCA to financial stability (financially we were down to nothing -
people had to start paying their own way), and finding a replacement for himself as President.
Jim, who has always fancied himself as a good arm twister, looked for a really organized person
to guide ORCA through the next era; it was Eric Williams.
Canoeing Programs were Evolving in the 1990s
The ORCA Program Manual had a complete review and was adopted in 1997. ORCA asked other CRCA
provincial affiliates to adopt it with some success. However in January 1999 ORCA would adopt the
CRCA Program with some exceptions and reservations. The purpose was to come up with a National
Program that could be used by all affiliates.
A Memorandum of Understanding between ORCA and CRCA was signed concerning the use of the
ORCA Program, prohibiting CRCA from entering the Ontario market.
ORCA Separates from Canoe Ontario
From ORCA's beginning in 1976, it had been a member of Canoe Ontario as the fourth affiliate with
Ontario Sprint Racing Affiliation, Ontario Marathon Canoe Racing Association and Ontario Wild Water
Affiliation. ORCA was the only recreational member. The office was at 220 Sheppard Ave, Toronto
In June 2000 ORCA formally announced that it would separate from Canoe Ontario at a
Canoe Ontario meeting in Toronto led by ORCA President, Dave Goldman. There were many
organizational and financial reasons for the change, outlined by the ORCA President in Canews,
November 2000 and March 2001. For 25 years ORCA shared office space with Canoe Ontario that had
been receiving government subsidies and the accounts and insurance had been handled by CO.
When ORCA formally withdrew on March 24, 2001, it now needed its own office, furniture, computer
system and administration and found it in the same building as Canoe Ontario - the Sports Alliance
Ontario Building, 1185 Eglinton Ave. E, suite 303A. Originally ORCA shared the new office with
OWWA. ORCA hired Dawn MacDonald of MacDonald Marketing and Communications as a consultant
to help set up our organization and office. A final contract was negotiated by President Dave Goldman for
Administrative Services at 24 hours per wk and Management Services at 3 hours per wk. MacDonald
Marketing hired Bonnie Fisher, mid 2001, to do the office work. Dave Goldman and John Rudolph
volunteered much time to assist Bonnie to know ORCKA and assist in her new duties.
In March 2002 ORCA released MacDonald Marketing and became an employer for the first time, hiring
Bonnie Fisher directly as Office Administrator and, using a Provincial Employment Grant, hired student
help for 4 months.
2001/2002 Years of Consolidation
The Annual General Meetings continued to happen at Kinark Outdoor Centre
with over 20 members attending each year and many participating in the Annual Regatta. After separation
from Canoe Ontario the financial situation improved considerably with a surplus of $29,000 in 2002.
There was now a more comprehensive accounting system and record keeping, a new website was
introduced with over 20,000 names in the data base, entered by Lynda Williams over a long period.
A Strategic Planning Session at Camp Tawingo for 16 Board members, some Regional Reps and others
looked at the past, present and possibilities for the future; the results were codified with time lines to
December, 2004. The Plan was to promote: Paddling Programs, Accessibility to paddling, Passion for
paddling and Preservation of the environment.
Canews had been published since 1982 for the membership and a CanewsLetter since 1999, both printed
and mailed, but it was decided at the Planning Session (2002) to send a CanewsLetter electronically four
times a year and a printed Canews Magazine: the Year in Review once a year.
The Risk Management and Safety Manual, edited by Tom Brown, was published for Members and for
sale to the public. ORCA organized an Insurance workshop for Organizational Members and a Risk
Management workshop for all Members,
The Annual Safe Canoeing Program in Provincial Parks continued and there were 8 Instructor
Recertification Clinics in 2001 – 2002. Distance Instructor Clinics were developed by Dave Goldman to
accommodate Instructors too far away to attend organized clinics; they are used today for some
In 2002 the CRCA Kayaking Program began to be administered by ORCA under the direction of Glen
Pugh and Bruce Hawkins and a committee was established to ''promote and develop the ORCKA Sea
Kayaking Program in Ontario''. By 2006 ORCA and CRCA (now Paddle Canada) concluded a Local
Administration Agreement that ORCA would administer the PC Kayak Program in Ontario and remit
some registration funds to PC.
Many documents now being used in Instructor Program Handbooks were created in these consolidation
Organizational Members were now required (2002) to have an acceptable (to ORCKA) Risk
Management Plan (RMP) to stress risk management for any water or course activity. This was a major
departure from the CRCA that did not have Organizational Members or require a RMP from its members.
ORCKA and Paddle Canada
The Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association (now Paddle Canada) was founded in 1971 with
provincial and territorial affiliates joining at various times depending on their organization; ORCA was
one of them. In 2006, CRCA changed its name to Paddle Canada and ORCKA would have two members
to represent paddling in Ontario.
However, at the October 2007 AGM of Paddle Canada in Winnipeg, the meeting changed the makeup of
Paddle Canada that disenfranchised the Provincial/Territorial Associations, including ORCKA. Pat
Hawkins, John Rudolph and Gordon Haggert represented ORCKA and argued to maintain the traditional
association of provincial/territorial associations but were unsuccessful.
Since the PC Kayaking Program would be removed from ORCKA after several successful years, the
ORCKA Kayaking committee was tasked to create an ORCKA Kayaking Program that would be suitable
for Ontario paddlers. This was done in record time and ready for testing in the 2008 season and became
official in 2009. Many Instructor courses were planned for 2010.
Legal issues were settled with Paddle Canada with a monetary settlement from Paddle Canada relating to
its use of ORCKA Program in the past. Bruce Hawkins and Gordon Haggert met in Ottawa with
representatives of Paddle Canada to look to the future of both organizations
Also, as a result, ORCKA registered the 'Recreational Paddling Association Canada' (RPAC) to invite
other provincial association to meet to carry on discussions relating to matters of interest to the Canadian
paddling community like environmental stewardship, legal, cultural, historical, Instructor certificate
mobility and skills equivalency. An RPAC committee of ORCKA members was named to carry on.
However the RPAC did not continue, although it is 'still on the books'.
In 2008 the ORCKA office moved to the Sport Alliance Ontario (SAO) building, 3 Concorde Gate, (near
Don Valley Parkway) Toronto, along with all the other sports organizations. This was a subsidized
location for many sport and recreational organizations with excellent printing and mailing resources.
An Ontario Trillium Grant for $93,000 was granted over a two year term, arranged by David Goldman, to
be spent as follows:
$13,000 on ORCKA's Kayaking Program;
$25,000 on research and planning for ORCKA's future;
$55,000 on improved communications and management.
The new ORCKA Kayaking Program was introduced and a grandfathering system was put in place to
accommodate other Instructors. The Ontario Trillium Foundation grant was used to promote kayaking in
Ontario from 2008 to 2010 with good results: 39 persons attended clinics, 15 Kayaking Instructors
certified and 14 Trip Leaders were awarded.
2009: A New Name and New Programs
The new name the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association required all the documents
to be revised and Bonnie and Pat Hawkins were kept busy for some time. The corporate seal of ORCKA
was revised in 2008 to add a horizontal two-blade paddle.
Under the leadership of Rick Reid and Barry Irish, and after many revisions, the new ORCKA Canoe Tripping Program was introduced
in 2009. Included was the first River Running Instructor 2 course
which took place at Palmer Rapids.
The insurance was revised to allow ORCKA Program in all of Canada. In 2012 Trip
Leader Liability Insurance was added to ORCKA's insurance plan.
For several years ORCKA presented Seminars:
Seminar 2001 for the Outdoor Industry at the Sports Alliance Building;
Seminar 2004 at Seneca College was organized by Joe Bourgeois with the theme of Search and Rescue;
Seminar 2008 at Seneca on 'Environmental issues and practices for the paddling community';
Seminar 2010 at Seneca College had the theme 'Ontario Canoeing and Kayaking
Routes ... and Beyond';
Seminar 2011 at Seneca College had the theme of ''Canoe Tripping'';
Seminar 2012 at Mono Cliffs Outdoor Centre had a Tripping theme;
Seminar 2013 'The Joy of Paddling' at the Mono Community Centre.
ORCKA at the Shows
ORCKA has been present a number of shows over the years:
1980, Toronto Sportsman's Show;
1990 - 1999 Canoe Expo [organized by Canoe Ontario, at the Etobicoke Olympium];
Toronto Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show;
Blue Bridge Festival, Unionville;
2011 National Canoe Day event in Peterborough;
MEC Barrie Paddlefest;
Canadian Canoe Museum Small Craft Rendezvous;
Palmer River Fest. ORCKA's booth at the shows has been artfully maintained by
Andy Owens, Steve Diss, Mike McMahon, and many other volunteers.
Bruce Hawkins liaised with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Ontario Parks to
put in place ORCKA Basic Canoeing Level 2 as the standard requirement for staff working in canoes, and
CT Level 3 for any multi-day wilderness scenarios.
ORCKA's Canoeing and Kayaking Programs were in formation and review for several years. They
Camp Canoeing Instructor to Basic Canoeing Instructor Bridge course;
Revised River Running Program;
Camp Canoe Tripping Instructor and Manual;
Camp Kayaking Instructor and Manual;
Kayak Instructor courses;
Canoe Tripping Level 3 (Trip Leader) for MNR employees;
Canoeing Program refinements continued;
CT Instructor 2 Challenge;
Initial stages of a Voyageur Canoe Program;
Kayak Instructor Challenge.
The Voyageur Canoe Program Manual was accepted as an additional paddling discipline on January 26,
2013, with a call for applicants for Instructor 1 and 2.
Pilot Programs were organized for the new CT Instructor 1 and Canadian Style Paddling Instructor 1.
They were available for use by Organizational Members in 2013.
Flatwater Kayaking, Coastal Kayaking, Moving Water and Kayak Tripping disciplines were revised. The
'Kayak Trip Leader Standards' were created under the leadership of Paul McCormick.
In 2015 two new programs were introduced: Introduction to Stand Up Paddling and Introduction to
Canoe Tripping. The first ORCKA Stand Up Paddling course took place in the spring of 2017 along with
a clinic to transfer any ORCKA Instructor or other certificate holder to earn the ORCKA SUP
In 2011 the ORCKA website now allowed members to pay all registrations on line. Courses and student
information could be entered by Organizational Members and badges and cards obtained only if they had
been previously purchased. Program Statistics for
2011 showed 220 new Instructors and 6690 skills certificates were issued.
Instructor Bridge Courses, Videos, and Get Kids Paddling
The first Canoe Tripping Level 3 Bridge course to Instructor 1 on April 12/13 at the Mono Community
Centre near Oakville attracted 48 participants, the largest course ORCKA had ever run! A second course
was run for candidates in the far north by Durham DSB and Keewatin-Patricia DSB. In 2015, a third
course was organized. In 2018, a fourth took place in Peel County and a fifth in 2018.
A Voyageur Canoe Instructor 2 Bridge Course for CT Instructors was in 2018.
The Ontario Regional Boating Advisory Committee representative of ORCKA was Bruce Hawkins for
several years, (Dale Radin in 2017) and ORCKA has worked with Transport Canada and other provincial
Transport Canada Safe Boating Grant (2014) was received to assist in the production of
two videos that were available when finished: Safe Canoeing (2015) and Safe Kayaking (2016). ORCKA
Instructors were the presenters and demonstrators: Dale Radin, Sandra Mayberry, Jodie Campbell and
Bob Aylesworth. The CDs were sent to camps, schools, dealers, manufacturers, and Provincial and
National Parks. Equipment was provided by Salus Marine and Swift Canoe and Kayak.
Get Kids Paddling (GKP)
An ad hoc
group of paddlers, initiated by Dave Goldman, received support and backing from ORCKA and Paddle
Canada as well as COEO, Troop, Girl Guides Canada and Scouts Canada. Several meeting were held with
attendees from school boards, canoe clubs, conservation authorities and Ontario Camps Association.
GKP gave a presentation to COEO with suggestions for their Safety Guidelines, some of which were
implemented in 2015.
The Get Kids Paddling Rendezvous in October 2017 drew over 60 participants from different
backgrounds and experience to Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering.
Another Office Move, 2016
The ORCKA office moved to the Windfall Ecology Centre, 93A Industrial Parkway South, Aurora
Ontario. The move was necessary because Sport Alliance Ontario was vacating the building.
At the September AGM the ORCKA Constitution and By-laws were updated to
comply with the Ontario 'Not-for-Profit Corporations Act', 2010. The new form provides more
transparency for members and dictates the responsibilities of the Board of Directors. The previous update
was in 2008.
Starting in 2005 ORCKA members had the choice of receiving one of the magazines published
by Rapidmedia, as a membership benefit; in 2017 all of the Rapidmedia's magazines were combined into one publication --