By Liam Birch
For the past 15 years I have trawled through city archives, alumni scrapbooks, and digital files, spoken to countless athletes, officials, and commodores, and taken approximately ten thousand photographs. The result is the website “Canada’s Sprint Canoe Clubs – A Pictorial Guide” which you can find at http://cfly.ca/canoe .
Even after all these years, there is still so much more information and so many more images that are needed to make this guide the most definitive resource for everything sprint canoeing in Canada. There are some particular items that I am looking for and I’m hoping you can help…
The centrepiece of the guide is the artwork: I have painted each club’s racing singlet plus various older historical singlets. I am now over 300 singlet paintings but there are still many that I have not found. Perhaps you were at a particular club when one was used, or you have one sitting in a drawer somewhere? Perhaps a colour photograph in an album or scrapbook that shows what the singlet looked like?
I am tracking memorabilia to represent as many clubs and events as possible. Do you have a medal, ribbon or crest given out at a local regatta? Perhaps you raced for a national team and won a medal at the Pan American Canoe Championships, or the Lake Placid Invitational? Any piece of memorabilia, whether it seem insignificant or not, I am interested in.
I am compiling a comprehensive list of champions for the respective Divisions. Do you have a final points list or a list of burgee winners that could help fill in some of the gaps? Maybe some newspaper clippings detailing the final results of a divisional qualifying regatta?
There are several years of CanMas regattas for which I have found no data. Perhaps you were there? You may have that final list somewhere in an event program (a program whose front cover I may also be searching for).
This is only a small sample of the kind of information I seek. Many of you have enjoyed looking through Canada’a Sprint Canoe Clubs and have either contributed already to the resource or even used it to support your own initiatives. But I am always surprised by how many people I meet who have never seen it. It really is a wealth of information for our sport and a solid reminder of the history that has come before us…
Did you know that the first Canadian team sent to the Olympic Games in 1924 to demonstrate the sport of canoeing raced 800m distances and came away with 4 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze?
Did you know that the Parkdale-Swansea Canoe Club won the CCA Championship in 1939 and then folded out of existence just two years later?
Did you know that Rideau Canoe Club holds the current record for total points at a National Championships? (892 points in 2018)
This is just a fragment of what you can find at Canada’s Sprint Canoe Clubs. Please help me to expand and improve on it by sending anything that might be missing or make a suitable addition.
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#TrowbackThursday – For the past 15 years, Liam Birch trawled through city archives, alumni scrapbooks, and digital files, spoken to countless athletes, officials, and commodores, and taken approximately ten thousand photographs. – The result is the website “Canada’s Sprint Canoe Clubs – A Pictorial Guide” ➡️ If you never visited it, make sure you check it now at cfly.ca/canoe 🍁 // #JeudiMotivation – Au cours des 15 dernières années, Liam Birch a fouiné dans les archives de CKC, les scrapbooks et les photos, il a parlé à des centaines d'athlètes, d'officiels, d'entraîneurs partout à travers le pays! – C'est ce qui lui a permis de créer le « Guide en Image des Clubs de Canoë-Kayak » ➡️ Si vous n'avez jamais visitez ce site, allez y dès maintenant: cfly.ca/canoe 🍁 . . . #wepaddle #nouspagayons #canoesprint #canadian #canoeclub #sprintclubs #canada