Summer students from the Petrie Island Canoe Club following Commodore Sarah Kennedy on the water on a cloudy afternoon.
Paddling on the Ottawa River near Petrie Island

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q. Is the water quality at Petrie Island good enough?

A. For the last two years, we have seen a marked improvement in water quality on Petrie island. In 2015, our East beach had only five no-swim advisories, over 58 days, which ranked East Petrie 2nd for water quality out of all five City beaches. Over the next few years, as the city of Ottawa implements the Ottawa River Action Plan, we can expect water quality at Petrie Island to become even better.

For more on water quality at City of Ottawa beaches, go to:

Q. Who will be giving the canoe and kayak lessons and what are their qualifications?

A. Petrie Island’s Canoe-Kayak coaches are Sarah Kennedy (Commodore) and Jackie Houston. Sarah and Jackie are ELCC certified, and have been paddling since they were little.  Jackie is currently attending university, and Sarah coaches throughout the winter.  Both are very excited to get back to Petrie Island this summer!

The Petrie Island Canoe Club is led by Commodore Sarah Kennedy. Sarah is a former national Canadian Champion in Jr. Women’s 500m kayak and holds many other Canadian titles. Sarah represented Canada at the 1995 Jr. World Championships in Japan and has coached for numerous canoe clubs, including the Rideau Canoe Club, Banook Canoe Club, Cheema Aquatic Club, and Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club. She is a member of Friends of Petrie Island, and she founded, directed and coached the Petrie Island’s Introductory Kayak Camps since 2013.

Petrie Island Canoe Club’s second-in-command is Vice-Commodore Elizabeth Orton, winner of many Canadian Championship titles. Elizabeth represented Canada at the Jr. World Championships in 1999, at two Senior World Cups, and at the Senior Marathon Championships in 2002. She was a member of the National Sprint Kayak Team (2000/2001), was the athlete representative to Canoe-Kayak Canada (1998-2002), co-ordinator for Atlantic Division Canoe-Kayak Association (2005-2006), and coached at the Rideau Canoe Club and the Ottawa River Canoe Club. Sarah and Liz are sure to be found helping out on the island this summer.

Q. Will PICC’s programming be available in both official languages?

A. Yes! Day camp coaches are bilingual, and instruction will be offered in both French and English.

Q. Can you provide more information on the programming?

A. Our full-day, two-week camp introduces you to the Olympic sport of Sprint Canoe-Kayak, with a uniquely ecological theme. Camp runs Monday through Friday, from 9am-4pm, with before and after care starting at 8am and ending at 5pm.

Summer-long memberships are available for children, with group pricing for multiple children. Participants who sign up for all 8 weeks of our children’s program can race for their club at nearby Eastern Ontario regattas!

75% of our day is spent on the water: canoeing, kayaking, and paddling war canoe while having fun in the sun! On land, we run, do circuits, and play team sports. Two hours every week are devoted to learning about our natural environment, and engaging in hands-on stewardship projects on the island.

We offer four introductory sessions for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 15:

  • Session 1: July 4 to July 14
  • Session 2: July 17 to 28
  • Session 3: July 31 to August 11
  • Session 4: August 14 to 25

Registration opens March 1, 2017.

Q. How many youth participated in the program in the past years?

A. Since 2013, there have been about thirty children in our introductory canoe-kayak camps each summer. We are significantly increasing our capacity for 2017, by acquiring additional equipment, and coaching staff. For the foreseeable future, we expect to increase summer camp capacity each year, while gradually adding a wide array of paddling programs.

Q. Will my child grow out of your program?

A. No. We will grow with your child, eventually offering programs for paddlers of every age and ability.

Q. Will there be other children my child’s age?

A. We expect about 100 children in our summer camps this year, between the ages of 9 & 15yrs.  For part of the day, children will be placed in groups according to ability, and part of the day will be spent as a group.  This means every child will meet people their age, and to make friends!

Q. What programs does Petrie Island offer for adults?

A. In 2017, we are offering dragon boat, for adults. For a fantastic mix of outdoor fitness and social event, dragon boat is the perfect team-building activity; corporate teams may book regular weekly sessions.

Contact Us for more information.

Q. What additional programs will Petrie Island offer in the future?

Petrie Island’s programs will grow in response to the needs of our community. In 2017, we will open PaddleAll, for children with developmental disabilities. Children with mild mental/physical disabilities may be able to participate in our regular summer camps; parents/guardians may Contact Us to arrange an interview.

Q. Will there be volunteer opportunities available?

A. Absolutely! Parents of our campers are strongly encouraged to participate by volunteering at regattas and special events. Please ask your child’s coach for details. We will also need high-school aged volunteers in 2017, to facilitate our PaddleAll program.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Our apologies, please feel free to Contact Us and we’ll get back to you in a timely manner.

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 PICC 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 previous 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 PICC 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! PICC will need help organizing regattas, driving the boats, setting up our site, preparing snacks, driving safety boats, transportation and chaperones to out of town regatta, 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. PICC 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 sport 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 Rideau 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 disparangingly 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 towards others.
  2. All policies, procedures, rules and regulations of CanoeKayak 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 property of others is 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 PICC Board of Directors.

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 sport for his or her enjoyment, not for mine.
  3. I will encourage my child to follow the rules and to 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 sport activities for my child.
For Spectators
  1. I will remember that children play sport 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, 9officials or other spectators.