About Us


In 2013, Rideau Canoe Club opened Petrie Island’s first learn-to-kayak camps, directed by Sarah Kennedy, in partnership with Friends of Petrie Island. By 2015, the camps were full, and many children were growing out of the mini kayaks. Sarah Kennedy and Liz Orton decided to start a new canoe club, to serve Ottawa’s East End. Rideau got Petrie Island off to a great start, by gifting all of the original equipment. Petrie Island Canoe Club became a member club of Canoe Kayak Canada in 2016, offering three programs: Regatta-Ready (Two-Week Summer Camps), Youth Racing (Eight-Week Summer Camps), and Wednesday Open House Nights. Friends of Petrie Island continues to work closely with Petrie Island Canoe Club, to provide our campers with regular opportunities for ecological learning and stewardship.

Mission Statement
  • To offer a variety of paddling programs, providing paddling opportunities for all levels, ages, and abilities.
  • To support and promote the development of paddlers who can be proud of individual and team accomplishments on and off the water.
  • To foster a sense of community, providing a fun, family-oriented, and friendly environment, where individuals and families develop a sense of belonging.
  • To manage club assets responsibly, through effective short and long-term planning, strong management and fiscal control, continued growth and investment, and effective communication.
  • To be good stewards of the environment, through our youth educational programs promoting ecological awareness and volunteerism, and by protecting clean waterways and natural ecosystems on and around Petrie Island.
  • To promote gender equality and make paddling accessible to people with disabilities.
Canoe Club By-Laws

Article 1 Name and Identity

  • The name of the Association shall be the Petrie Island Canoe Club (Petrie Island Canoe Club), and the French name shall be le Club de Canoë-Kayak de l’Île Pétrie, hereinafter referred to as the Club.
  • The official colours of the Club are green with purple and white. The recreational Club emblem is a turtle holding a paddle, and the Club racing jersey shall be predominantly green in colour.

Article 2 Definitions

In these By-laws, the following definitions shall apply:

  • The “Fiscal Year” shall run from the 1st of October to the 30th of September.
  • The “Membership Year” shall run from the 1st of October to the 30th of September.
  • The “Executive” means the Executive Officers, and includes the Commodore, Vice-Commodore, Secretary, Treasurer, and Paddling Director.
  • The “Board” means the directors of the Club, including the Executive Officers and Past Commodore, as well as positions deemed appropriate by the Executive.
  • A “Registered Paddler” means someone who has registered for a paddling program with the club.
  • A “Member in good standing” means any member who has paid the required fees, and is not the subject of disciplinary action.
  • A “Special Resolution” means a resolution passed by not less than three fourths of such members entitled to vote as are present in person, at a meeting of which notice specifying the intention to propose the resolution as a special resolution has been duly given.

Article 3 Memberships

Membership shall be open to all residents of Orléans and surrounding areas. Each member eighteen years of age and over is entitled to one vote. For family members under the age of eighteen, the member’s parent or guardian is entitled to one vote per family.Candidates for membership must:

  1. Complete an application in a form approved from time to time by the Executive Committee.
  2. Pay a membership fee which has been proposed by the Executive Committee and ratified by the membership. This fee is due and payable at a time prescribed by the Executive Committee.
  3. Be approved by the Executive Committee. Such approval is not to be unreasonably withheld.
  4. Membership in the Club is forfeited by failure to pay the application fee by the time prescribed by the Executive Committee. Membership may also be forfeited by failure to abide by the rules and regulations of the Club as determined from time to time by the Executive Committee.

There shall be the following categories of membership:

  • Participating Members: Those members who have paid the required fee and who are actively participating in the Club Program. The requirements and age limits for the categories will be determined and established by the board with regard to the Canoe Kayak Canada regulations.
  • Family Member: A family member is a registered paddler, parent, legal guardian or sibling of the same family living in the same household. Each family may designate 2 adults (18 years of age or older as of January 1st of the current calendar year) as the Designated Guardians.
  • Associate Member: Those persons who have paid the required fee and demonstrate an interest in the affairs of the Club and are non-paddling participants in the Club.
  • Lifetime Member: From time to time, the Club may honour certain persons with a lifetime membership in the Club.
  • Honorary Member: The Board of Directors may from time to time, by unanimous vote, grant an Honorary Membership to an individual.

Article 4 Executive Officers

The Club Executive Officers shall be the Commodore, the Vice-Commodore, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Paddling Director.

Election Procedures:

  1. The registration/nominating committee shall select one candidate for each office and present each slate of nominees at the Annual General Meeting.
  2. At the Annual General Meeting, the Chair shall ask for nominations from the floor, and the names of any members so nominated shall be added to the list, provided they are present at the Annual General Meeting and have consented to the nomination. Nominations from the floor must receive a seconder.
  3. Officers shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting by majority vote of the voting members present, providing there is a quorum present. A quorum is defined as 15% of the registered membership and voting as stated in Article 3, paragraph 2. In the event that no candidate receives a majority vote on the first ballot, all but the two highest shall be eliminated and the balloting continued. If the vote remains a tie after the second ballot, the election shall be decided by lot. In the event that there is but one candidate for each office, the ballot may be dispensed with and the nominees elected by acclamation.
  4. The office of Commodore is a two year term. The incumbent Commodore may be re-elected to consecutive two year terms subject to the requirements stated in this Article.
  5. All other offices are to be held for a single term. The incumbent may run for consecutive terms subject to any of the requirements in this Article.
  6. The mode of elections for Club Officers is the secret ballot.


  • A vacancy occurring in the office of Commodore shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Vice-Commodore.
  • A vacancy occurring in the office of Vice-Commodore shall be filled for the unexpired term by special election at any meeting.
  • A vacancy occurring in any of the remaining offices shall be filled for the unexpired term by majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Duties of the Officers:

  • The Commodore shall:
    • Be subject to the majority approval of the officers, appoint the chairperson of all committees.
    • Not be a member of the nominating committee.
    • Endeavor to serve the Club in a strictly impartial manner.
    • Endeavor to publicize and promote the sport in general and the Club in particular.
    • Endeavor to keep the Club on the best representative level in the Eastern Ontario Division of Canoe Kayak Canada and OCSRA.
    • Keep the membership of the Club fully informed of all matters concerning the Club at all times.
    • Counter sign all cheques drawn on Club funds.
    • Be permitted to commit to expend up to 10% of any one category of the approved annual budget in any one calendar month.
  • The Vice-Commodore shall:
    • Perform the duties of the Commodore in the absence of the Commodore, and shall perform such duties as are delegated by the Executive Committee.
    • Assist the Executive Committee in all ways.
    • Assume the powers of the Commodore in the absence of the Commodore.
    • Succeed to the office of Commodore in the event of a vacancy in the office of Commodore.
    • Countersign cheques in the absence of the Commodore.
  • The Secretary shall:
    • Keep an accurate record of all special, general and annual meetings of the Club.
    • Countersign cheques in the absence of the Vice-Commodore.
    • Endeavor to notify all members and parents and guardians of annual, general and special meetings.
    • Keep a record of all correspondence.
    • Have at all special, general, and annual meetings, a copy of the Club’s by-laws and a current copy of Robert’s Rules of Order.
    • Have custody of the Club seal.
  • The Treasurer shall:
    • Have custody of all Club funds and make disbursements only as authorized by the Executive Committee.
    • Be responsible to develop and present to the Executive for approval, a yearly budget, and present printed monthly income and expenditure statements by category, as presented in the approved budget.
    • Be bonded in the amount prescribed by the Executive Committee, the premium being paid from the Club funds.
    • Prepare a written report of the financial position of the Club. The report shall contain a balance sheet and operating account for the fiscal year. This report shall be submitted to the Executive Committee no later than fifteen days after the current fiscal year end for audit.
    • Be the primary signatory on all cheques.
  • The Paddling Director shall:
    • Assure there is Club representation at Ontario Canoe Sprint Racing Affiliation and Eastern Ontario Division of Canoe Kayak Canada meetings called by their Chairpersons.
    • Liaise with the Head Coach to ensure there is a comprehensive written paddling plan for the Club.
    • Keep abreast of safety issues and make recommendations to the Executive Committee.
    • Keep an up to date written equipment inventory and the status of repair of the equipment.
  • The Fundraising Member shall:
    • Initiate major fundraising events to meet the objectives set by the Executive.
    • Ensure ongoing fundraising opportunities such as regatta and Club canteens are operated and staffed.
  • The Community Liaison shall:
    • Endeavor to hold a minimum of 4 special events per year for the membership outside of paddling.
    • Be responsible for the promotion of the Club and its events within the community and surrounding areas with the aim of expanding the membership.
    • Develop and maintain ties to other groups within the community of Orléans to enhance Club programs and capabilities.
  • Retiring Officers:
    • The retiring officers of the Club shall meet with the incoming officers within thirty days of the annual meeting, at which meeting all incoming officers shall receive all files, records, and pertinent information whether written or oral, pertinent to the operation of the Club.
  • Removal of Officers:
    • An Officer failing to fulfill the obligations of their office to the Club may be replaced by a two thirds majority vote of the Officers. The request for resignation shall be sent to the Officer by registered mail or in person. The officer will then have fourteen (14) days to reply to the Executive Committee. Failure to reply shall cause the position to be declared vacant. Irrespective of the reply received, the decision of the Officers may still stand.

Article 5 The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall:

  • Be composed of the Executive Officers of the Club who shall have voting power, and the Head Coach, who shall have voting power, except on issues which concern his/her employment contract, employment conditions or matters where he/she directly receives financial or in kind benefits.
  • Supervise the affairs of the Club and shall be authorized to transact and carry out any business which must be completed before the next annual, general or, special meeting.
  • Have the authority to enter into any contracts, agreements and transactions on behalf of the Club within the approved budget.
  • Have a minimum of eight executive meetings a year.

A quorum for an Executive Committee shall be three voting members of that committee.

A vote of the majority of those present, a quorum being present, shall constitute effective

Article 6 Committees

Each committee, both standing and special, shall have an Officer as a sitting member, who may be the chairperson only if requested by the committee members.

The standing committees are:

  • Buildings and Grounds with the Vice-Commodore as a member.
  • Paddling with the Paddling Director as a member.
  • Fundraising with the Fundraising Member as a member.
  • Promotion/Publicity with the Community Liaison as a member.
  • Nominating/Registration Committee with the Registrar as a member
  • Communications with the Secretary as a member.

Special committees may be appointed when deemed necessary by the Executive Committee. The duties and powers of the standing and ad hoc committees are to be determined by the Executive Committee. The procedure followed by the various committees shall be determined by the individual committee, unless directed otherwise by the Executive Committee. Minutes of all committee meetings shall be kept for a minimum of five years. Committees shall report back to the Executive Committee unless otherwise directed by the Executive Committee. Committees shall submit written reports detailing operations 5 days prior to any general or special meeting of the membership, or 10 days prior to the Annual General Meeting.

Article 7 Meetings

There shall be at least two meetings in the fiscal year; one Annual General Meeting to be held in October, and one Semi-Annual Meeting to be held in May. A quorum shall consist of 15% of the registered voting members of the Club, at any annual, semi-annual or special meeting of the Club.

Annual General Meeting:

  • The Annual General Meeting shall be held in October.
  • Every reasonable effort shall be made by the Officers to notify all voting members at least ten days prior to the meeting. Notice shall be given by email to the most recent address provided by the member to the Registrar.
  • The election of Officers shall occur at the Annual General Meeting.

Special Meetings:

  • Special meetings may be called by the Commodore or by the majority of the Executive Committee, or by one third of the voting membership. All reasonable efforts are to be made to give notice of the principal business of the special meeting to the voting membership and parents or guardians. Notice shall be given by email to the most recent address provided by the member to the Registrar.
  • Notice of the special meeting shall state the purpose for which it is called and no other business shall be transacted.

Article 8 Audit

An audit shall be made of the Club’s financial records by a qualified person or persons, independent of the Club, appointed by the Executive Committee. Such audit shall be a written report to the members, upon balance sheet and operating account, properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of the Club’s affairs. Such audit shall be read at the Annual General Meeting, signed by two officers, and filed with the Business Development Center of Ontario in accordance with filing guidelines. A list of present officers shall be included with each audit.

Article 9 Indemnities to Directors, Officers and Others

Every director or officer of the Club or any other person who has undertaken or is about to undertake any liability on behalf of the Club and his or her heirs, executors and administrators, and estate and effects, respectively, shall from time to time and at all times, be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the Club, from and against the following:

  • All costs, charges and expenses whatsoever which such directors, officers or other person sustains or incurs in or about any action, suit or proceeding that is brought, commenced or prosecuted against him or her, for on in respect of any act, deed, mater or thing whatsoever made, done or permitted by him or her, in or about the execution of the duties of his or her office; and
  • All other costs, charges and expenses that he or she sustains or incurs in or about or in relation to the affairs thereof, except such costs, charges or expenses as are occasioned by his or her own willful neglect or default.

Article 10 For the Protection of Directors and Officers

Limit of Director’s Liability. No director or officer for the time being of the Club shall be liable for the acts, receipts, neglects or defaults of any other director or officer or employee or for any loss, damage or expense happening to the Club through the insufficiency or deficiency of title to any property acquired by order of the Board or for or on behalf of the Club or for the insufficiency of deficiency of any security in or upon which any of the moneys of or belonging to the Club shall be placed out or invested or for any loss or damage arising from the bankruptcy, insolvency or tortious act of any person, firm or company with whom or which any moneys, securities or effects shall be lodged or deposited or for any other loss, damage or misfortune whatever which may happen in the execution of the duties of such director’s or officer’s respective office or trust or in relation thereto unless the same shall happen by or through the director’s or officer’s own wrongful and willful act or through his or her own wrongful and willful neglect or default.

Article 11 Borrowing

The Executive Committee, upon a motion passed by not less than four fifths of the Executive Committee, shall be empowered to take out a mortgage, and borrow up to 20% of the Club’s operating revenue up to a maximum of $15,000.00 in any one fiscal year, provided that five (5) days’ notice of such motion has been given to the Executive Committee. Monies are to be appropriated only for purposes consistent with the objects and goals of the Club.

Article 12 Inspections of Books

Upon notice in writing, a member of the Club may inspect the books and records of the Club at a time mutually convenient to the member and the member of the Executive Committee who has custody of the record books. The time between the notice being given in writing by the member, and the time for the inspection of the books and records is not to be unreasonable under the circumstances.

Article 13 Complaints

Any complaint concerning the management of the affairs of the Club or its employees, or relating to the conduct of a member, shall be made in writing to the Secretary or to the Commodore. At the next meeting of the Board of Directors the Board will be made aware of the complaint and will determine the appropriate course of action to ensure that the complaint is addressed in accord with the rules, regulations and policies of the Club.

Article l4 Seal

The Secretary of the Club shall be charged with the custody of the Seal of the Club and the seal shall be fixed to all contracts, deeds and other instruments or documents on behalf of the Club by the Secretary.

Article 15 Parliamentary Authority

The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the deliberations of the Club.

Article 16 Amendments

  • The by-laws may be amended or rescinded by a majority vote at the Annual General Meeting.
  • Amendments shall become effective on November 2nd of the same year.
  • An approved amendment shall not be acted upon or enforced until appropriate approvals have been
Fair Play Code

For Athletes

  1. I will participate because I want to, not just because my parents or coaches want me to.
  2. I will play by the rules and in the spirit of the game.
  3. I will control my temper – fighting and “mouthing off”, can spoil the activity for everybody.
  4. I will respect my opponents.
  5. I will do my best to be a true team player.
  6. I will remember that winning isn’t everything; having fun, improving skills, making friends, and doing my best are more important.
  7. I will acknowledge all good performances – those of my team and of my opponents.
  8. I will remember that coaches and officials are there to help me. I will accept their decisions and show them respect.

For Coaches

  1. I will be reasonable when scheduling activities, remembering that young athletes have other interests and obligations.
  2. I will teach my athletes to play fairly and to respect the rules, officials, and opponents.
  3. I will ensure that all athletes get equal instruction, support, and time.
  4. I will not ridicule or yell at my athletes for making mistakes or for performing poorly. I will remember that children play to have fun and must be encouraged to have confidence in themselves.
  5. I will make sure that equipment and facilities are safe and match the training to athletes’ ages and abilities.
  6. I will remember that children need a coach they can respect. I will be generous with praise and set a good example.
  7. I will obtain proper training and continue to upgrade my coaching skills.

For Officials

  1. I will make sure that every athlete has a reasonable opportunity to perform to the best of his or her ability, within the limits of the rules.
  2. I will avoid or put an end to any situation that threatens the safety of the athletes.
  3. I will maintain a healthy atmosphere and environment for competition.
  4. I will not permit the intimidation of any athlete either by word or by action. I will not tolerate unacceptable conduct toward myself, other officials, athletes or spectators.
  5. I will be consistent and objective in calling all infractions, regardless of my personal feelings toward a team or individual athlete.
  6. I will handle all conflicts firmly but with dignity.
  7. I accept my role as a teacher and role model for fair play, especially with young participants.
  8. I will be open to discussion and contact with the athletes before and after the session.
  9. I will remain open to constructive criticism and show respect and consideration for different points of view.
  10. I will obtain proper training and continue to upgrade my officiating skills.

For Parents

  1. I will not force my child to participate in sports.
  2. I will remember that my child engages in sports for his or her enjoyment, not for mine.
  3. I will encourage my child to follow the rules and resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
  4. I will teach my child that doing one’s best is winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome.
  5. I will make my child feel like a winner every time by offering praise for competing fairly and trying hard.
  6. I will never ridicule or yell at my child for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  7. I will remember that children learn best by example. I will applaud good plays/performances by both my child’s team and their opponents.
  8. I will never question the officials’ judgment or honesty in public.
  9. I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children’s sporting activities.
  10. I will show respect and appreciation for the coaches, officials, and volunteers who give their time to provide sports activities for my child.

For Spectators

  1. I will remember that children play sports for their enjoyment. They are not playing to entertain me
  2. I will not have unrealistic expectations. I will remember that child athletes are not miniature professionals and cannot be judged by professional standards.
  3. I will respect the officials’ decision and I will encourage participants to do the same.
  4. I will never ridicule an athlete for making a mistake during a competition. I will give positive comments that motivate and encourage continued effort.
  5. I will condemn the use of violence in any form and will express my disapproval in an appropriate manner to coaches and officials.
  6. I will show respect for my team’s opponents, because without them there would be no event.
  7. I will not use bad language, nor will I harass athletes, coaches, officials or other spectators.
Club Staff & Board of Directors


Sarah Kennedy, Club Head Coach / Commodore Sarah volunteers as Club Head Coach. Sarah “used to be fast”, and thoroughly enjoys coaching developing athletes. She loves kids and nature, and firmly believes that she has the best job in the world. To read more about Sarah’s journey to “Commodore-ship” please visit Sarah (Mullen) Kennedy

2024 Board of Directors

  • Sarah Kennedy (Commodore)
  • Cristina Savulescu (Vice Commodore)
  • Wendy McCallum (Secretary)
  • Pat Giolti (Treasurer)
  • Liz Hill (Paddling Director)
  • Amita Reyal (Member-at-large)
  • Sonia Lecordier (Member-at-Large)
  • Alex Devlin (Member-at-Large)
  • Hicham Kalouche (Member-at-Large)
  • Holly Longhurst (Member-at-Large)
  • Craig Clark (Member-at-Large)
  • VACANT (Indigenous Liaison)
Petrie Island Canoe Club, Sport For Life Canada and Canoe-Kayak Canada

Stages of LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) for Canoe-Kayak

 Download the Long Term Athlete Development Plan for Canoe-Kayak Athletes (PDF, 8.62MB)

The LTAD framework outlined below describes the optimal development pathway for an athlete who starts paddling between 6 and 12 years of age and continues through to racing successfully at the elite level. The early stages of development will be the same for all paddlers. When the volume of training starts to increase during the Learning to Compete Stage, the pathway of those who choose to compete at a high level will diverge from those who choose to paddle and compete for enjoyment and fitness. Any training, racing, and recovery program should reflect the goals of the paddler for whom it is designed.

A Circular Flowchart depicting the 7 stages of LongTerm Athlete Development for Canoe-Kayak Athletes in Canada
Stages of Long-Term Athlete Development for Canoe/Kayak
  • Active Start OPEN
    • Objectives:
      • Learn fundamental movements and link them together into play.
    • Key Outcomes: Fun and Movement skills
      • Physical activity should be fun and a natural part of every child’s daily life. Active play is the way young people are physically active.
    FUNdamentals and Foundations OPEN
    • Objectives:
      • At the beginning of this stage the objectives are to learn overall sports skills, build water sense and safety awareness, learn the basic boat and paddle handling skills in age-appropriate sprint canoe and kayaks.
    • Key Outcomes:
      • Be physically literate (competent in fundamental movement skills)
      • Possess fundamental canoe-kayak skills
      • Use canoe-kayak basic boat steering skills, in demonstrating boat control
      • Paddle continuously in a single and team boat
      • Be comfortable and confident in boats and playing in, on, and around the water
      • Be able to pass the “Swim to Survive” Swim Test
    Training to Train OPEN
    • Objectives:
      • general endurance, proper technique, speed & strength, proficiency paddling single and team boats
    • Paddling Outcomes:
      • Develop specific canoe-kayak techniques
      • Improve self-discipline by preparing for and managing practices and races
      • Development of team mentality though crew boat practices
      • Improve distance per stroke
      • Choose challenging but achievable racing goals that align with the healthy long-term development of the athlete
    • Fitness Outcomes:
      • canoe-kayak-specific resistance training
      • heart rate and fatigue management
      • a solid aerobic base and core strength
      • improved flexibility and coordination
      • correct weight technique
      • power
      • focused and refined movements
    Learning to Compete OPEN
    • Objectives:
      • refine and consolidate paddling skills, learn to race, develop sport-specific endurance, strength, speed and skills needed for racing
    • Key Outcomes:
      • proficiency in singles, doubles, and fours under a variety of conditions
      • confidence in a variety of regatta and race situations (including seat racing and time controls)
      • good decision-making skills with regards to all aspects of training and boat-handling
      • appropriate and measurable improvements of sport-specific strength, endurance, and speed
    Training to Compete OPEN
    • Objectives:
      • further develop and refine sport-specific endurance, strength, speed, and skills for racing in Olympic distances, further develop and define racing skills, including mental preparation, race strategies, and an ability to handle a variety of conditions and situations.
    • Key Outcomes:
      • race well under a variety of conditions, maintaining good technique under pressure and fatigue
      • understand their own role in critical thinking and decision-making for their training, performance, equipment, schooling, and social life, under the guidance of their coach
      • manage their lifestyle to meet training commitments
Sarah Kennedy
Sarah Kennedy

“I feel incredibly blessed to be able to spend my summers on the water, coaching kids.”

I come from a large family, 9 siblings plus myself. As a result I learned a lot about teamwork from my family. We all did our share, and there were no exceptions. We all read, played piano and were involved in many sports and extracurriculars. In the early 1970s my family moved to Waverley, Nova Scotia. My first exposure to the world of Canoe-Kayak began at Cheema, the local canoe club, where my parents enrolled not just their kids, but themselves as well! My Dad volunteered as Paddling Director at Cheema the year I was born. That same year, with the help of my five oldest siblings, our club won their first National Championships. I started paddling when I was four years old, in the “Kiddie Canoe” program.

The following year, my brother-in-law and sister became Coaches at Orenda, a new canoe club twenty minutes away , so the whole family followed them. The main coaching staff at Orenda was comprised of three couples in their early twenties, all of whom had extensive paddling backgrounds. Orenda quickly developed a family-friendly atmosphere where everyone, from toddlers to grandparents, was part of the same amazing team. It was magical. We became a powerhouse, winning our first three national burgees (for highest overall points) in 1987, 1988, & 1989. I deeply admired the older club paddlers, especially my sister Mary, and decided that one day, I wanted to win the nationals in my singles event, just like her. I absolutely loved paddling at Orenda. Club kids spent countless hours on the water, learning new skills, testing our limits, and (equally important) developing relationships with our teammates. When we weren’t actually in boats, we were swimming, playing volleyball, catching frogs, eels, and leeches. Orenda was the perfect place to grow up. Over the years, Orenda has produced five Olympians, and become the cornerstone of their community. I have modeled Petrie after the Orenda I remember. Petrie aspires to the same greatness!

In 1992, my sister and brother-in-law moved on to other coaching jobs, so our family decided to move back to our local canoe club. My mom loved that Cheema was biking distance from our house, so we could get to & from the club by ourselves. Csom Latorovszki was Cheema’s Head Coach at the time. He had just arrived from Hungary, and I couldn’t understand a word he said, but I tried really hard! With Csom’s help, that first summer I dropped 30 seconds off my 1000m race time.

The following year, I was named to the Canadian Junior Espoir Team, a recognition of my athletic potential that came with much-needed financial support for training camps and race fees. It was a massive turning point for me. For the next two years, all I thought about was going to the Junior Worlds Championships. I became very focused and disciplined. I ate, slept, and dreamed paddling. I would rehearse races in my head before going to sleep every night. I took every practice seriously and I tracked everything in my training diary. Safe to say that during those two years, I became a real athlete, and it changed who I am forever.

Canadian Junior Wolds 1995
Canadian Roster and Results for the Junior Worlds Competition in 1995 including Sarah

At National Team Trials in May 1995, I was amazed when I finally made the team – I was blown away by the fact that I had made the top four in such a strong field of women, but I knew that I had earned it. That summer, racing at the Junior Worlds in Japan was an incredible experience on many levels, and we were very proud to make the finals in both of our team boat events. Later that summer, at the Canadian National Championships, I won gold and silver in my two singles events and Cheema won the overall burgee. It was beautiful!

I spent the next two years pursuing my dream of competing at the Senior World Championships until, in the spring of 1998, I sustained a career-ending shoulder injury.

Post-paddling: I completed my science degree, found a wonderful man, we had kids, and in the summer of 2011, we moved to Orléans. Our real estate agent kindly took the time to drive my husband and I down to Petrie Island. It was gorgeous- a little pocket of paradise! Soon I discovered that Petrie Island had no recreation programs- what a travesty! It was obvious that what the island desperately lacked was…you guessed it, a canoe club!

Two years later, with the help of Councillor Bob Monette, Friends of Petrie Island, and Rideau Canoe Club, I started a small learn-to-kayak program at Petrie Island. Basically, the kids and I went on adventures and played in our kayaks all day, which, to my mind, is the perfect formula to make young kids fall in love with paddling. By 2015, we had a waiting list and some of the older kids had grown out of our mini-kayaks. Rideau Canoe Club wasn’t interested in running a competitive program at Petrie Island, but it was clear to me that our program needed to grow with our kids. Anik Tremblay (assistant to then MPP Marie-France Lalonde) urged me to start my own club. Rideau generously gifted us the equipment we had been using, and Liz Orton agreed to be Vice-Commodore if I would take the helm as Commodore. Liz is a friend and former national team member, and like myself, she grew up at Orenda, so I knew she would share my vision of the perfect club: community-oriented, and family-friendly. We rounded up a board of directors, joined Canoe Kayak Canada, and incorporated as a not-for-profit in February 2016.

To date, Petrie Island Canoe Club has won several provincial titles and eight athletes from our club have competed at the Canadian National Championships, some of whom are currently training to make the 2024 Junior Worlds Team. In 2018, we celebrated two major milestones; we employed our first-ever home-grown coaches, and we installed a boat storage facility on the beach.

This year marks our tenth anniversary since beginning the first learn-to-paddle programs at Petrie Island, and amazingly, thanks to incredible support from our whole community, we are already poised to build our first permanent boathouse!!  Our fabulous coaching staff gets even better every year- stay tuned- coach profiles are going up soon!  Our U16 athletes have been training hard all year, with their sights set on the 2023 National Championships in Dartmouth. All that to say, Petrie Island has many achievements to celebrate going into year 10!

Have a great summer! Come Paddle With Us!
Sarah Kennedy, Commodore, Petrie Island Canoe Club

Safe Sport & Petrie Island Canoe Club

Petrie Island Canoe Club has adopted Canoe Kayak Canada’s Safe Sport Policy. We are committed to abiding by and implementing this policy package in order to promote a safe sport environment not only here, but throughout the entire sporting world in Canada.

Outlined in CKC‘s Safe Sport Policy Manual are a number of policies that were developed with the intention to provide a safe environment that is free of maltreatment, harassment and abuse across all levels of our sport. These policies also provide a transparent process through which formal complaints would be handled independently with an approach that is consistent throughout any and all incidents, as well as provide a process and procedure for appropriate and timely response.

The adoption of CKC‘s Safe Sport Policy is an important step toward creating a process for athletes, coaches, parents, and volunteers to be able to contribute to a positive and safe environment, but CKC‘s Safe Sport policy also provides tools and resources to help prevent potential issues and incidents from arising all together. Through communication of standards of expected behavior to all participants; including athletes, parents, coaches, and organization officials, etc., prevention of these incidents is the priority and we believe to be more than achievable.

Reporting a Complaint

Canoe Kayak Canada has provided a facility for any member of CKC to report or discuss an incident of any kind. Members are able to send their report to an independent third party at this link safesport_wwdrs@primus.ca.

These individuals are available to participants in both English and French, and there are both male and female individuals available to speak with participants based on preference.

Reports should be made within 14 days of the incident; however, all incidents that occur within the paddling community are of concern and should be brought to the independent third party for review.

When it comes to reporting incidents of abuse or harassment it is often a difficult process. Individuals who are reporting an incident can expect the following to occur when reporting a complaint to the independent third party:

  • reports are kept entirely confidential, this includes from CKC staff
  • complaints will be followed up on within a timely manner
  • all complaints will be taken seriously and thoroughly examined
  • complaints will be managed in your chosen language and by an individual of the gender identity of your choice

Safe Sport Hotline

Canoe Kayak Canada, with the support of Sport Canada and the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada have developed an independent helpline available to all sport participants.

Individuals that are not comfortable with contacting the independent third parties through the reporting a complaint service, should feel comfortable utilizing this free, confidential service

Phone and Texting Line Available @ 1-888-83-SPORT, which is monitored from 8am – 8pm

You may also find out more information about how to utilize their services at http://www.abuse-free-sport.ca


Petrie Island Canoe Club Terms and Conditions

Minimum Swimming Standards

Participants under 18 years of age must pass the “Swim to Survive” test.

The Lifesaving Society defines the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. These are expressed in a skill sequence in the Canadian “Swim to Survive” standard:

  • ROLL into deep water
  • TREAD water for one minute
  • SWIM 50 metres

That applies to every child in each of the following programs:

  • Sprint Racing
  • Regatta Ready
  • Canoe Kids

The canoe club will schedule afternoon/evening swim tests at Ray Friel pool during the 6 weeks leading up to the start of summer camps.

If you are concerned that your child may not be able to pass the Swim to Survive standard, please book their swim test early, so that they have more time to practice before their camp begins!

Kiddie Canoe-Kayak participants are not required to pass a swim test. Kiddie Canoe has a very low ratio of children to instructors, and they keep to calm, small water.

Adults in our programs have to sign a waiver that states that they are competent swimmers.

Program Fees

The Petrie Island Canoe Club(PICC) is an incorporated not-for-profit organization. We rely heavily on volunteerism, fundraising, and government grants to keep our programs running to their full potential. Our financial responsibility is to maintain an operating budget that will be self-sufficient without being dependent on fundraising and grants to offset day-to-day operations expenses. This philosophy is the basis upon which we calculate our membership and program fees. The table below shows a breakdown of our program fees and should help to provide a visual for comparison with other programs. While reviewing program fees, it is also important to review the resource and time requirements for programs that may be structured differently.

It is also important to note that for each competitive and full summer program registrant, the PICC is invoiced the following amounts from our various governing bodies:

  • Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC): $30 per paddler
  • Ontario Canoe Kayak Sprint Racing Affiliation (OCSRA): $25
  • Canoe Kayak Ontario (CKO): $10
  • Eastern Ontario Division (EOD): $35

Regatta-Ready Summer Camps – Introduction to Canoe-Kayak : $15 Insurance & Administration

Youth Racing Summer Camp – Junior Development: $100 CKC/OCSRA/CKO/EOD, $20 Regatta Fees

Youth Racing Summer Camp – High Performance: $100 CKC/OCSRA/CKO/EOD, $95 Regatta Fees

Payment Options

  • e-Transfer
  • Cheque
  • Cash
  • Credit Card – via PayPal

A 25% payment deposit is required to complete your registration

Youth Racing programs require a minimum volunteer commitment of 10 hours per child

If paying by cash, cheque, or e-Transfer, you are still required to complete online registration. Make cheque payable to: Petrie Island Canoe Club

Families With Multiple Children, please contact petriecanoe@gmail.com before registering for our 8-week programs to receive a 10% discount on registration for your second child, a 15% discount for your third child, and a 20% discount for your fourth child.

Final payment arrangements must be made 2 weeks prior to program start. Failure to meet commitments above may result in cancellation of your registration.

Cancellation / Refund Policy

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to petriecanoe@gmail.com and are subject to a $25 cancellation fee.

Full Summer Program Conditions
  • A $25 cancellation fee will be applied on cancellations received up to 2 weeks prior to the start of the program
  • A $50 cancellation fee will be applied on cancellations made between 2 weeks prior and the program beginning
  • A 25% cancellation fee will be applied on cancellations made up to 2 weeks after the program begins.
  • There will be no refund if injury or illness occurs after 2 weeks from program start.
  • There will be no refund for no-shows
  • There will be no refund for suspensions as a result of members violating safety policies and/or Code of Conduct.
Two and Four-week Program Conditions
  • A $50 cancellation fee will be applied on cancellations received up to 2 weeks prior to the start of the program
  • A 50% cancellation fee will be applied on cancellations received within 2 weeks of the camp beginning.
  • There will be no refund if injury or illness occurs after 2 weeks from program start.
  • There will be no refund for no-shows.
  • There will be no refund for suspensions as a result of members violating safety policies and/or Code of Conduct.
One Week Programs
  • Registrations are only considered final when full payment is made.
  • There will be no refund in the event of a failed swim assessment.
  • There will be no refund once the camp has already started.
  • There will be no refund if cancellation is done within the week before the camp.
  • There will be no refund if a participant has to leave a camp due to disciplinary issues.
  • If cancellation is done at least 4 weeks before the start of the camp, a refund will be issued less a $50 administration fee.
  • If cancellation is done at least 2 weeks before the start of the camp, a refund of 50% will be issued.
  • All cancellation/refund requests must be done in writing to petriecanoe@gmail.com. All refund requests will take up to 2 weeks to process.
Code of Conduct

Athlete’s Involvement/Responsibilities

All paddlers are expected to be dressed and ready to train at their scheduled times. Paddlers are expected to be on their best behavior and to conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. Each athlete and/or their parents will be held responsible for their conduct at Petrie Island Canoe Club and at any out-of-town regattas. Paddlers will clean up after themselves at home and away; they will aim to leave their area tidier than it was before they arrived. Athletes traveling with the club will be expected to remain with their teammates or designated chaperone at all times unless previously clearly defined arrangements have been made. All paddlers are expected to follow any guidelines set down by the coaches and chaperones.

Paddlers are responsible for the care of boats, etc. used during their training times. Paddlers will show respect for themselves and for others. Please note that Petrie Island Canoe Club does not assume responsibility for determining a paddler’s swimming competency. It is required that all paddlers have a swimming proficiency equivalent to the Red Cross Swim Kids Level 6.

Parent Involvement

The club depends on parent volunteers to do a great variety of work. Some tasks involve special expertise or require significant experience with Sprint Canoe-Kayak, but most do not. Some projects have to be done on the island, while others are done from home or elsewhere. Some are year-long commitments and others require short bursts of effort. In other words, no matter what limitations there may be, there is surely something you can do to help the club. Make your talents known, we need you! Petrie Island Canoe Club will need help organizing regattas, driving the boats, setting up our site, preparing snacks, driving safety boats, transportation and chaperones to out-of-town regattas, sewing paddling-related clothing, and equipment, painting signs, organizing team clothing sales, fundraisers, etc.

The sprint racing program is by far the most costly program run by the club. The fees are highly subsidized, however, the volunteer services provided by the parents of competitive athletes offsets this expense. Competition expenses such as travel, accommodations, and entry fees are the sole responsibility of each participating athlete and/or family. Petrie Island Canoe Club may offer assistance by way of van or bus rental providing seating for paddlers/parents.

In addition, it is asked that all competitive athletes/parents participate in our fundraising projects. These efforts are essential to ensure the financial stability of our club. Fundraising is common to virtually all non-profit competitive sports organizations. Maximum participation in this endeavor will result in less work for all.

Standard of Conduct Policy

Canoe Kayak Canada has a Standard of Conduct policy. All members of the CKC and all members, employees, and volunteers of the Petrie Island Canoe Club are expected to follow this Code of Conduct.

  1. Coaches, athletes, officials, volunteers, and administrators share responsibility for the orderly conduct of canoe and kayak competitions:
    • they shall at all times acknowledge the authority of appointed competition officials and treat their roles and decisions with respect
    • they shall at all times exercise self-control and show proper respect for peers, competitors, and spectators
    • they shall at all times demonstrate due regard for the overall integrity of the competition.
  2. Coaches, athletes, officials and administrators share responsibility for understanding and complying with the rules under which canoe and kayak competitions are conducted:
    • they shall at all times observe the relevant club, local, divisional, provincial, national and international rules and regulations governing the sport of canoe and kayak racing.
  3. Coaches, athletes, officials, administrators, and volunteers shall, when at and away from competition sites, conduct themselves, at all times, in a manner consistent with the ideals and values of CanoeKayak Canada:
    • their behaviour shall at all times be respectful, professional, responsible, and sportsmanlike;
    • they shall treat others with respect and shall not speak disparagingly of any other athlete, coach, official, administrator, volunteer, or program;
    • they shall not engage in conduct likely to bring the association, competition, or sport into disrepute.

Code of Conduct for Traveling Athletes

It is important to remember that as athletes, you have other responsibilities that travel with you to out-of-town regattas. Those responsibilities are outlined below and you are expected to abide by these guidelines. You must remember that not only are you representing yourselves, but also Petrie Island Canoe Club, Orléans, and the City of Ottawa. How you act and behave is a direct reflection upon your club, etc.

Please be reminded of the following that will be applied to all athletes regardless of age. We ask that athletes abide by these basic policies:

  1. Conduct at all times shall reflect honesty, good sportsmanship, courtesy, and respect toward others.
  2. All policies, procedures, rules and regulations of Canoe Kayak Canada must be followed at all times.
  3. Use of language that is abusive, foul or offensive to others is prohibited.
  4. Possession and/or consumption of any alcoholic beverage while traveling with the team or while attending sanctioned training sessions or regattas involving paddlers, is prohibited.
  5. Providing alcoholic beverages to anyone under the minimum age of 19 years or where prohibited by law is prohibited.
  6. Being impaired or intoxicated is prohibited.
  7. Possession or consumption of any illegal drugs is prohibited.
  8. Theft or possession of stolen property is prohibited.
  9. Willful acts of destruction to the property of others are prohibited. It is the responsibility of the individual perpetrating such acts to make restitution where required.
  10. Non-compliance, by any athlete, with any/all above policies will be subject to disciplinary action by the Petrie Island Canoe Club Board of Directors.