Dragon Boat Festival coming to Heart Lake Conservation Area

Annual festival takes place on Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dragon boating has a 2,500 year history in Asia where dragons were venerated as rulers of rivers, lakes, seas, clouds, mists and rains. Introduced to Canada during the Vancouver Expo in 1986, the sport has grown to be a favourite for participants and spectators.

The crew for the contemporary dragon boat is typically 22. The 20 paddlers sit in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, one drummer or caller sits at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and one sweep (a steer-person) at the rear of the boat. While the race is short (250 metres), it is intense. The art of dragon boating is getting all the paddlers in synchronization and pulling deep, quick strokes. This is a team sport where the emphasis is on enjoying camaraderie, the beauty of the lake and a little healthy competition.

Dragon boating fosters team building as 21 people work together towards one common goal. Dragon boating promotes exercise and active living. The bonus is that all the participants will be able to take advantage of the final days of summer in the scenic Heart Lake Conservation Area.

The Heart Lake Dragon Boat Festival is a not-for-profit event. This is the fourth year for the event in celebration of the Etobicoke-Mimico Creeks watersheds. Funds raised from the Festival will go towards the naturalization and restoration work being done by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) within the two watersheds. Within the distinctive setting of Heart Lake Conservation Area, the Festival will deliver a day of fun that will be the highlight of the fall.

It is not too late to register a team or as a single paddler. For more information contact Joanna Parsons at jparsons@trca.on.ca or 416.661.6600 ext. 5575.