Our Eleventh Annual Whitewater, held in June 2019, was a huge success.
Whitewater Festival 2020 is happening June 26 to 29!
Make sure you get your tickets in advance. We have a limited number and would enjoy having you here! Early bird tickets go on sale September 1, 2019; regular pricing is in effect starting June 1, 2020.Buy Tickets
The Whitewater Festival, hosted by Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, occurs the last weekend in June. The weekend is full of people running awesome waves and trying new things. Don't know if you have what it takes? Don't worry! There will be plenty of knowledgeable people willing to teach you how to get on that wave you have been eyeing up. Some may even take you with them! This event is fun for the entire family. The weekend also includes a supper Friday and Saturday nights and band on Barker Island after supper on Saturday.
Generally people paddle upstream, about 3 hours from the boat launch at Devil Lake, and camp close to the main base, Barker Island. We will have motorboat shuttles available for hire to bring people, playboats, and gear upstream. More information about this is posted in the "Prices" tab.
Friday, June 26:
This is the day most people arrive and head up river to find a place to camp for the night. Plan to roll in early in the afternoon so that you don't miss out on any of the action. This year we will start things with a simple casual meal to bring people together for an evening of socializing and catching up.
5:30 pm: Wieners and Beans and Marshmallow Roast. A simple dinner will be provided, Feel free to help yourself to our steamed wieners and buns or roast one on the fire if that's what you prefer. Feel free to bring your own food if a wiener roast isn't your speed. And please bring along an instrument to add to the festivities.
8:00 pm: We will discuss what the plan will be for Saturday. There will be sign up sheets for folks to indicate their interest in the clinics that will be offered. This year we'll offer an Intro/Beginner clinic, as well as Intermediate 1, 2 & 3 and Advanced clinics for those who want to push themselves into the harder rapids this weekend.
If you're not sure where you stand, here's a guide.
Beginner: This is your first time in a canoe.
Intro to Whitewater: You have lots of Flatwater Canoeing experience but have not taken a Paddle Canada Moving Water course before
Intermediate 1: If you have polished flatwater paddling strokes and can confidently and precisely position your boat in Class I moving water this is for you (if you don't know what this means, take the Intro course)
Intermediate 2: You have passed your Paddle Canada Moving Water Intro course (or equivalent)
Intermediate 3: You have passed your Paddle Canada Intermediate Moving Water course (or equuvalent) this is for you.
Advanced: If you can confidently and precisely position your boat in Class III moving water and have passed your Paddle Canada Intermediate Moving Water skills course (or equivalent)
11:00 pm: People usually begin to make their way back to their campsites at this time
Saturday, June 27:
Depending on water levels, we spend the day at several different sets of rapids. We run a number of short courses: ferries and eddies, surfing, rolling, jet ferries, etc.
9:30am: Rendezvous at Barker Island to set up paddling plans for the day. If you haven't signed up for a paddling clinic do it quick!
10:00 am: We'll divide into our respective groups: Intro, Beginner, Intermediate Levels 1, 2 and 3, and Advanced. These clinics will run until about 1:30 pm
1:30 pm: Converge on Surf City
6:30 pm: Supper. Our caterer will be serving an amazing supper on Barker island. Last year we fed over 100 people on the island. It's a great party!
7:30 pm: Our band (TBA) will be playing. You can check them out of Facebook and Spotify
8:30 pm: Prizes on Barker Island
Sunday, June 28:
This is a fun day of exploring the wider Barker Lake area. There are some excellent circuits for beginners, like the Three Sitsters/Mosquito portage and back. Intermediate 1 and 2 can test themselves on Murray Channel or the portage/attainment route past Surf City and down Coke Stop/Dieters/Ledge rapids. For the Intermediate 3 and Advanced paddlers forays up to Corner Rapid and beyond are possible.
9:30am: Rendezvouz at Barker Island
10am: Guided Paddling Excursions. There will be three options: Barker Circuit (Intermediate/Advanced: up to Donaldson Channel and back), Murray Channel Circuit (Intermediate), and Three Sisters Circuit (Intro).
Monday, June 29:
There will be folks wanting to stick around an extra day. That's great! There's no better place to hang out than Barker Lake. We will provide shuttle service on Monday morning for a fee (see "Prices" tab).
Make sure you like Churchill River Canoe Outfitters Facebook page for updates about the festival and an invite to the event with more details
Come prepared to get wet i.e. swimsuits, wetsuits, dry suits and warm clothes for in camp
If you know you are coming already and don't have a map of the area, buy one now! No matter how many we stock in advance we tend to sell most of them during the weekend. You can buy a Barker Lake map on our Canoe Maps Canada Website.
Early Bird Tickets until May 31: $77 + tax
Whitewater Festival 2020 Ticket: $82 + tax
Children 10 and under get in free but must register for a ticket with an adult (we need to know how many to feed!)
Includes: Festival Swag, Band Saturday night, supper Friday and Saturday night, Canoe Clinics offered over the weekend, and support (e.g. motor boat rescues and coaching) at Surf City on Saturday
Tickets must be purchased in advanced because there is a limited number available. You must also stop in at our office before heading upstream. You will also be asked to fill out a couple forms.
Does not include a motorboat shuttle upstream from Devil's Lake to Barker Island
Does not include equipment rental (e.g. canoes, camping gear, etc.)
Motorboat Shuttle from Devil's Lake to Barker Island: $40
Includes one boat load to Barker Island. This can be 3 people or 1 person and one boat or 2 people and a small kayak etc.
Shuttles are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Shuttles MUST be booked in advance with CRCO staff and will be available on a limited basis