Final Preparations Underway for International Canoe Competition on Lake Banook in N.S.

In a few weeks, hundreds of the most powerful paddlers in the world will come to battle it out on Lake Banook in Dartmouth, N.S., for Canoe ’22, which will last from Aug. 3 to Aug. 7. Over 1,000 elite athletes and coaches from more than 70 nations are expected to attend a five-day competition in men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and quad boat races.

Talking about the 2022 International Canoe Federation’s Canoe Spring and Paracanoe World Championships, Canoe ’22 Board Chair Jillian D’Alessio said, “We’re really, really excited. It’s such a big thing for Nova Scotia at this point to have an event like this. We just had our 50 days out on Monday, so everything is ramping up in excitement.”

The event organizers made the original bid to host the event back in 2018 and defeated bids from Russia and Romania. Nova Scotia has hosted the competition before in 1997 and 2009 as well. Sharing about them, D’Alessio said, “In ’97, I volunteered, and I was 12 years old…And then I raced in ’09 as part of Team Canada, so now to be chairing it kind of just shows the longevity of people in this community and how much we rally behind what it can do.”

Dartmouth’s Connor Fitzpatrick, who will be competing this year, described it as a “dream come true.” He said, “To know that I’m going to be able to race on my home water for the first time with a bunch of different countries and some of the best paddlers in the world, it’s going to be super cool, and I can’t wait.” The 23-year-old Olympian also added that he expects the competition to be very intense, with many close races.

He added, “If you want to see what the best paddlers in the world can do, that weekend from August 3-7 on Lake Banook is going to be the most hectic, close racing, best to watch paddling you’re going to be able to see.”

Many upgrades have been going on in the area to prepare for the competition. It includes the revamp of Silver’s Hill Park.

District 5councilor Sam Austin stated, “New viewing stands have gone in on the lower section, which were never there before, and the concrete bleachers up at the top were replaced.” He also mentioned the old bleachers were in “bad shape.”

He also stated, “We’ve also done some work over at Birch Cove to pave some paths and clear some of the ground to make some way for the athletes village.”

The province invested $10.1 million in sports and recreation organizations, and the funding included a $3-million investment in the Banook Canoe Club.

For the event, some special tickets will be available for sponsors, VIPs, and general spectators. However, thousands of people can watch the races free of charge. Also, Prince Albert Roadway will be closed. Pre-event programs, including Acclimatization Camps and two development programs, are also being planned. Read more about the event here.


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