flying canoe festival

There's actually a flying canoe festival in Canada this winter

A 110-year-old ski club in Edmonton has taken some of the most Canadian things it could think of and combined them into a festival that it is marketing as "A Canadian triathlon."

Canoeing, downhill snow sports, log cutting, and axe throwing will be combined into one jam-packed event called the Flying Canoe Festival, which has some pretty amazing artwork of a canoe team literally flying through the sky to advertise it.

The celebration of all things Canadian — with a focus on French-Canadian and First Nations traditions — started back in 2017 in honour of Canada's sesquicentennial, but it wasn't able to secure adequate funding to host the race portion again until this year.

The Edmonton Ski Club ran into another roadblock when they had a few canoes stolen earlier this month, but the incident failed to put a damper on this season's plans, as the group has received an outpouring of support and donations from the community.

During the races, participants have to hop in canoes and ride down a ski hill before cutting through a tree with a two-person saw.

They then take part in a bonus round of axe throwing (likely while decked out in plaid and denim) before getting to hang out and roast marshmallows around the site's outdoor bonfires.

After they're done watching the races, guests can experience a bit more Canadian history and culture through light installations, a historical "trapper's cabin," and Métis and Indigenous base camp setups complete with traditional music and more.

There is also a general store, crafts, a kids' zone and a "flying canoe cabaret," among other activities.

The festival also runs in-school programming throughout January to educate youth on French-Canadian and Indigenous cultural traditions.


The kooky Canuck race and associated events will take place at a number of locations in Edmonton from January 30 to February 1.

Lead photo by

Flying Canoe Volant


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