The Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival is a registered non-profit and was created in the year 2000 by the founding partners, the Chinese Heritage Association of Northern Ontario (CHANO), and the Sudbury Canoe Club (SCC).
The Festival embraces the culture and traditions of dragon boat racing.
The Mission of the Festival
- Embrace the culture and traditions of dragon boat racing and enrich the cultural diversity of our community
- Promote physical fitness, water sports, and enjoyment of one of Greater Sudbury’s many lakes.
- Promote tourism to Sudbury from other parts of the province and strengthen the local economy.
- Encourage the citizens of Sudbury to support paddlers and the community by making pledges to paddlers, which support the festival’s chosen pledge beneficiary each year.
- Raise community awareness of the beneficial effects of sports on the healthy development of children and youth
- Promote volunteerism generally for the benefit of the community
During its history, the festival has raised in excess of $1.5 million for local charities, including;
- Health Sciences North through the Sudbury Regional Hospital Foundation,
- Alzheimer Society Sudbury-Manitoulin,
- Multiple Sclerosis Society,
- Independent Living Sudbury Manitoulin,
- Sudbury Food Bank,
- Meals on Wheels Sudbury,
- Northern Water Sports Centre,
- Northern Cancer Foundation’s Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund
In 2017 the festival’s beneficiary is the Sudbury Hospice Foundation.
Sudburians give generously of their time and the festival benefits from the assistance of an average of 125 volunteers per year.
Paddlers are encouraged to raise pledge money as part of their participation and all funds raised by the paddlers support that year’s designated pledge beneficiary. The Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival sustains itself through team registrations vendor fees, and sponsorships.
About the Sudbury Canoe Club
The Sudbury Canoe Club (SCC) was first established as the Sudbury Boating Club in 1902. Over 100 competitive paddlers, from SCC ranks, have won medals at the national and international levels. Most notable were Don Stringer, Louis Lukanovich, John Beedell and Joe Derochie who competed at the ’57 World Championships and the ’56 and ’60 Olympics. During late 70’s and 80’s, the club evolved to include recreational paddling and wind surfing. The recreational divisions now include canoeing, sea kayaking, white water kayaking, and paddle boarding.
The club also has competitive dragon-boat teams and one of its teams (Team Chiro) won the National Championship in 2007 and won two silver medals and a bronze medal at the 2008 World Dragon Boat Championships held in Malaysia. In 2011, the Sudbury Canoe Club hosted the Canadian Canoe Polo Nationals which drew about 75 athletes on 18 teams from across Canada and the United States to the event.
About the Chinese Heritage Association of Northern Ontario
The Chinese Heritage Association of Northern Ontario (CHANO) was established in 1998 to promote Chinese culture. CHANO has brought various Chinese cultural groups from Montreal and Toronto to perform Chinese music, dance, and variety shows for Sudburians. In 2000, CHANO and the Sudbury Canoe Club initiated the very first Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival, which has become an annual event. The members of CHANO are proud of the success of the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival and happy to be a part of it.
Community Builder Award of Excellence
In 2005, the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival was honoured to receive the Community Builder Award of Excellence in the Sports & Recreation category. This award goes to “the individual or group that has contributed to the strength of sport in Sudbury. They have inspired people (a coach), established a program (a league or playground), mentored a team or an individual to extraordinary accomplishment, or set an example for many to carry in their hearts.”