World-class big water paddling, 24-hour daylight, warm water and good friends – what’s not to love!

The Slave River, near Fort Smith NWT, Canada, is an awesome river for all ages and skill levels – from expert paddlers to brand-new beginners, and our festival has clinics and events for everyone from kids to elders.

Slave River Paddlefest is held on the August long weekend every year (the very first weekend in August – usually around the 1st) and is put on in partnership with the Fort Smith Paddling Club. Paddlefest includes instructional clinics, river trips, and fun, friendly competitions. There are events for kayaks, canoes, voyageur canoes, kids and adults. The Slave offers every type of paddling imaginable: from flatwater canoeing around beautiful islands to wild whitewater. Bring your kayak, canoe, or raft and join us for a paddling experience you’ll never forget! This isn’t your average paddling festival…

Paddlefest includes lots of activities for spectators – come watch the whitewater events, join our community feast, learn Dene traditional games, try paddling, or go on a guided hike to learn more about the local area.

The main events happen on the August long weekend, but most paddlers arrive a week or two early, and there will be river trips and clinics put on by the Fort Smith Paddling Club (advertisements usually occur on the Fort Smith Paddling Club facebook group) happening in the weeks leading up to Paddlefest – it’s a long drive – come on up and stay a while!  For updates and new media about Paddlefest like the Slave River Paddlefest Facebook Page!

Schedule for 2016

Participant Online Registration

Interested in Volunteering?

Become a Sponsor or Vendor!

deadline to have your logo on our t-shirt is July 27th

More Videos of Paddlefest and the Slave River


Huge thank you to our 2016 sponsors!