An­nual event cel­e­brates sixth year

South Shore Breaker - - FRONT PAGE - SUE DESCHENE sde­sch­ene@east­link.ca

Now in its sixth year, the Shel­burne Kayak Fes­ti­val has be­come a ma­jor des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple who love pad­dling.

The 2018 Shel­burne Kayak Fes­ti­val runs from Fri­day, Aug. 17 through Sun­day, Aug. 19 at The Is­lands Pro­vin­cial Park. This year’s fes­ti­val fol­lows the tem­plate set in previous years, but this time with new board of di­rec­tors.

In past years, the town of Shel­burne and the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the District of Shel­burne or­ga­nized the fes­ti­val. This year, a board was es­tab­lished to over­see the fes­ti­val, with the town and mu­nic­i­pal­ity pro­vid­ing ad­vi­sory roles.

“We have a com­pletely new set of vol­un­teers as board mem­bers who are of­fer­ing their time and as­sis­tance in or­der to make this an­other suc­cess­ful kayak­ing event,” says An­drew St­ef­fensen, who chairs the board of the newly formed Shel­burne Kayak Fes­ti­val So­ci­ety.

Af­ter An­drew and his wife Sheila moved to Shel­burne

County in 2016, they at­tended a be­gin­ner’s ses­sion at the fes­ti­val and fell in love with kayak­ing. For­mer fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Sheila Bird in­vited the St­ef­fensens and oth­ers to join the board, and they signed on.

The board mem­bers in­clude An­drew St­ef­fensen, chair; Gail Daniels, sec­re­tary; Gabriel Jones, vice chair; Anne Slater, trea­surer; Zea Jones, lo­gis­tics; Matt Delong, on­line regis­tra­tion plat­form, so­cial me­dia; Lisa Landry Locke, mu­nic­i­pal sup­port; Sheila St­ef­fensen, lo­gis­tics; Robin Walker, town sup­port; Heather Davis, web­site; Adam Zita, coaches, sched­ule, so­cial me­dia; and

Elaine Howatt, regis­tra­tion lo­gis­tics.

As with previous years, clin­ics and guided tours are part of the lineup. All in­struc­tors are cer­ti­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced in the skills they teach. First aid re­spon­ders will be on hand all three days.

Fri­day and Sun­day fea­ture a half-day of events, while Satur­day’s sched­ule runs all day long. Satur­day starts off with a manda­tory safety brief­ing in the morn­ing, fol­lowed by a guided pad­dle across the har­bour to the Shel­burne Farm­ers’ Mar­ket.

Clin­ics are avail­able all three days for adults, rang­ing from be­gin­ners to in­ter­me­di­ate pad­dlers with more kayak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and train­ing. Some ses­sions — like Satur­day’s full-day guided pad­dles to Cape Ne­gro Is­land and Mc­nutts Is­land and Sun­day’s in­tro­duc­tion to white­wa­ter kayak surf­ing at Lock­e­port Beach — are open to in­ter­me­di­ate pad­dlers only.

A free kayak ses­sion, for adults only, is once again be­ing hosted by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. That ses­sion will be open to the pub­lic on Satur­day, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Regis­tra­tion for the full fes­ti­val is not re­quired, but par­tic­i­pants need to re­serve a spot in ad­vance. Call the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s recre­ation depart­ment at 902-875-3544 ext. 230.

So­cial events in­clude a mee­tand-greet bar­be­cue Fri­day night, a Satur­day night so­cial and a yoga ses­sion, fol­lowed by a trea­sure hunt and poker rally Sun­day morn­ing.

Nat­u­rally, these out­door events are de­pen­dent on the weather, St­ef­fensen says. Last year sev­eral Satur­day events had to be can­celled due to bad weather. “Safety has to be our pri­or­ity. So if the in­struc­tors feel that, for what­ever rea­son, they can’t go out, then they’re not go­ing to go out. We leave that to their dis­cre­tion.”

The so­ci­ety’s can­cel­la­tion pol­icy is posted on its web­site.

This year’s spon­sors in­clude the Town of Shel­burne, East

Coast Out­fit­ters, Nova Sco­tia Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Ca­noe Kayak Nova Sco­tia, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the District of Shel­burne and Can­dle­box Kayak­ing.

Regis­tra­tion for the full fes­ti­val costs $155. Peo­ple can also reg­is­ter for in­di­vid­ual clin­ics. To earn Pad­dle Canada Sea Kayak Ba­sic Skills Train­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, par­tic­i­pants will take all four spec­i­fied clin­ics over the three­day fes­ti­val.

The regis­tra­tion dead­line is Aug. 3. For more in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter, visit the kayak fes­ti­val web­site at www.shel­burnekayak­fes­ti­val.ca.

Fes­ti­val news and up­dates can be found on the group’s Face­book page at www.face­book.com/ Shel­burnekayak­fes­ti­val.

Fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers have re­served a large group camp­ing area at The Is­lands Pro­vin­cial Park for any­one want­ing to camp as a group. Reser­va­tions for the group camp­site can be made on the fes­ti­val regis­tra­tion form.

Those who pre­fer to book their own sites can make their camp­ing reser­va­tions on­line at no­vas­co­tia.go­ing­to­camp.com/ Theis­land­sprovin­cial­park.

Carly Mackay

Kayak­ers from a previous Shel­burne Kayak Fes­ti­val take in the sights and sounds at The Is­lands Pro­vin­cial Park.

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