History of AWA and whitewater paddling in Alberta

 

Historical highlights

·      1970    The Canadian White Water Association (CWWA) sends an exploratory group to Alberta to develop the sport, find ww paddlers, teach new paddlers and explore Alberta’s rivers.

·      1972    Alberta Whitewater Association forms a non-profit association and is recognized as the Provincial Sport Governing Organization for closed deck whitewater canoeing and kayaking

·                              Alberta hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the upper Red Deer River near Sundre for the first time ever.

·                  The Olympics hosts the first Whitewater Slalom Canoe/Kayak event at Augsberg, Germany.

·      1973    Alberta sends its first athlete, Henri Bureaud to the International Canoe Federation (ICF) World Championships in Muota, Switzerland.

o   An Alberta has competed in every ICF World Championship and the World Cup races since 1973, including every Olympics until 2012.

·      1976    The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the upper Red Deer River near Sundre for the 2nd time.

·      1978    The AWA develops and implements a provincial certification program for River Leaders and Instructors to lead trips and teach kayaking. 

·      1979    Canada hosts the first World Championships held in North America for Wildwater and Slalom at Jonquiere, Quebec

·      1980    The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Maligne River near Jasper.

·      1982    AWA joins other provinces and CWWA to develop an instructor and coaching certification program through the NCCP that will replace the AWA Kayak Instructor certifications.

·      1984    The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the upper Bow River near Lake Louise.

·      1984    The AWA begins construction of a whitewater training and racing facility on the Kananaskis River    at Canoe Meadows.

Every 4-5 years the AWA rebuilds and improves the lower Kananaskis River features and racing facility for recreational and competitive programs.  

·      1988    The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Kananaskis River at Canoe Meadows.

·      1991    The AWA works with the Alberta government to construct a whitewater training and race facility at Boulder Run below the new Oldman River Dam near Pincher Creek.  

·      1992    Slalom Canoe/Kayak reappears at the Barcelona Olympics. Alberta sends 3 athletes to the Olympics (Joanne Woods K1W – 8th, David Ford K1M – 15th, Roy Sharplin C1M – 22nd)

·                  The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Oldman River at Boulder Run.

·      1994    Alberta sends a team to the ICF’s first Canoe Polo World Championships to represent Canada.

·      1990’s  Freestyle kayaking (Kayak Rodeo) emerges as a new discipline in whitewater sport and World Championships are organized by an independent committee.

                Canoe Polo emerges as a new discipline in whitewater sport and World Championships are organized by the ICF

·      1996    The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Kananaskis River at Canoe Meadows.

·      1999    Albertan David Ford wins the ICF World Championships in K1M Slalom, the first non-European to win this premier event.

·      2001    The AWA and the Northwest Territories Kayak Association hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Slave River near Fort Smith.

·      2004    Alberta Canoe Polo Association (ACPA) is formed to represent canoe polo in Alberta and fundraise for its activities

·                  Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak Association is formed to represent canoe/kayak slalom in Alberta and fundraise for its activities

·      2005    The AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Kananaskis River at Canoe Meadows.

·      2008    ACPA hosts the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta

·      2009    ASCK and AWA hosts the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater on the Kananaskis River at Canoe Meadows.

·      2011    In Calgary, Harvie Passage is completed and opened to the public, transforming the deadly drowning machine at the WID weir into a recreational amenity in the downtown core.

·      2012    Alberta Freestyle Kayak Association is formed to represent whitewater freestyle kayaking in Alberta and fundraise for its activities

·      2013    Major floods hit southern Alberta and destroy the whitewater facilities and features at Canoe Meadows, Harvie Passage and Boulder Run

·                  ASCK and AFKA host the Canadian National Whitewater Championships for Slalom and Wildwater and Freestyle on the Kananaskis River at Canoe Meadows.

·      2014    AWA begins management of the Canoe Meadows Campsite on the Kananaskis River and undertakes a $750,000 rebuilding of the whitewater features on the Kan.