The waters of Boulevard Lake have been calm for much too long!
It was the much needed repairs of the Boulevard Lake dam, plus the pandemic that sank the boat of a committed group of volunteers, trying to keep the Lakehead Canoe Club afloat. The most noteworthy casualty was the loss of our youth Paddlecamp program that provided watercraft instruction and leadership training, to a few generations of our children. The financial reality is that without public service programs, without dragon boat festivals, without public rentals, there is no incoming revenue.
The City of Thunder Bay is entitled to the property taxes that we owe, and the operating costs of maintaining abuilding also cannot be ignored. The club is in debt and is standing at the cross- roads. How do we re-open our paddling services to the community and region again?
We have not given up. We will need to fundraise to help pay down our debt from the past three years of non- operation. Decisions must be made to respond to the calls for another youth program this summer.
I am like many older paddlers that would like to have another opportunity to race the dragon boats. There is nothing more fun than splashing for 500 metres with 20 of your family and closest friends.
We need help. The club executive will be kick-starting a fundraising campaign and annual general meeting to save the paddles, on February 9th. We will also open the club to candidate Board members and worker-bees.Our community is full of passionate and organized individuals.
We will be asking the City of Thunder Bay administration to work with us on a realistic repayment plan. We will also appeal to local businesses for their support in the form of sponsorship. The club will once again be offering memberships, as well as appealing to volunteers to help us organize an event to raise the dragons from the bottom of Boulevard Lake. I can’t wait to hear the laughter of children, as they develop paddling skills, and spend time away from the virtual world. It is time to appreciate watersports and nature.
The Lakehead Canoe Club is appealing to the community for help. I will dig out my water wings and get ready for a great summer.
Lakehead Canoe Club
(807) 356-6440 mobile<