CPAWS mobilizes a flotilla of canoes to celebrate 25 years of success in Manitoba


News Release: Sept. 1, 2016

To celebrate its 25th anniversary of wilderness conservation in the province, the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is hosting a paddling event on the Assiniboine River.

The free event will see participants gather with canoes and kayaks at Omand Park for an 11:00 am departure before paddling to The Forks; a duration of roughly 1 hour, for a short celebration of past achievements.

‘Our hope was to get 25 boats in the water, one for each year we have worked in this province. The event will be a lot of fun and a truly compelling sight’ says Executive Director Ron Thiessen. It will be a heartwarming example of the many Manitobans who are engaged in securing a healthy future for wilderness and wildlife.”

Paddlers of all skill levels will be participating including representatives from Know the North, a team of educators fresh off their 1,400 km canoe trip from northern Saskatchewan to Hudson Bay. An effort supported by a number of organizations, including CPAWS. 

‘’We are excited to celebrate CPAWS’ 25 years of important work to protect Canada's wilderness and we look forward to getting back into our canoes and sharing some time and stories with people who value the great outdoors as much as we do!’’ says Hadley Burns, Know The North paddler.

The flotilla will make a brief stop at the Legislative Building docks to pick up the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage (2nd Acting Minister for Sustainable Development) who will speak at the event.

CPAWS is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water, and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within them. In the past 50+ years, they have played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres. Their vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness and be supported by the environmental services it provides to people and wildlife.

Since the Manitoba Chapter was established in 1991, they have worked in partnership with Indigenous governments, the public at large, industry and the provincial government.  Their achievements have included;

  • The establishment of Little Limestone Lake and Fisher Bay provincial parks in partnership with Mosakahiken Cree Nation and Fisher River Cree Nation respectively.
  • Guiding an end to logging in provincial parks in Manitoba.
  • Successfully supporting First Nations on the east side of Lake Winnipeg in establishing vast protected areas.
  • Securing a provincial commitment to protect 17% of public lands and waters by 2020 as a step toward greater protection in Manitoba.
  • Shaping the provincial woodland caribou recovery strategy to ensure large scale conservation of intact woodland caribou habitat is the cornerstone of recovery plans.
  • Ensuring the Manitoba provincial parks strategy included “maintaining ecosystems” as its fundamental principle.

CPAWS Manitoba was awarded the 2016 Conservation Award from the Manitoba Chapter of The Wildlife Society.  Further accomplishments can be found at www.cpawsmb.org/about/our-successes.

Participants and organizers will be available for interviews at Omand Park between 10:30 and 11:00 and at The Forks after a brief presentation by CPAWS Manitoba Executive Director, Ron Thiessen and words from The Honourable Rochelle Squires at 12:30.

For more information contact: 

Ron Thiessen, Chapter Executive Director.  204.794.4971 or ron@cpawsmb.org.