Instructional Clinics

As part of Paddlefest we partner with paddling instructors to offer skill-building clinics to gain confidence and expand your paddling abilities! We offer clinics for all skill levels and ages, including beginner sessions for those who don’t have much paddling experience. Whether you prefer to kayak, canoe, or SUP, these clinics are sure to take your Paddlefest experience to the next level.

Unless otherwise noted, these clinics can be added directly to your Paddlefest registration when you sign up or by logging in to your account.

  • All paid clinics are payable by cash or cheque (made out to Fort Smith Paddling Club) on-site at the beginning of the course, unless otherwise noted.
  • If a clinic is full, you’ll be notified and added to a waiting list. Depending on demand and instructor availability, additional spots may be added.
  • We may have to cancel clinics depending on participant interest or instructor availability.
  • Many clinics are scheduled at the same time. Make sure you don’t double book yourself.
  • Equipment isn’t necessarily provided for each clinic. Please read the descriptions carefully.

Youth Clinics

Saturday, August 4th @ 10:00am-11:30am

Required for first-timers to use kayaking equipment. You will learn the basics of kayaking and river safety, including the ‘wet exit’.

Note:  This clinic starts after the Paddler meeting and coincides with other clinics.

Gear:  Provided, first come first serve, may have to share.
Price:  $0.00

To be held the week before Paddlefest. Exact dates and times TBD depending on instructor availability and participant interest. Please respond if interested.

Level 1: Two days of river fun intended for youth with limited or no prior experience in river sports. We will be playing around with rafts, sups and kayaks while learning how to have fun while being safe in the current.

Note:  Must also register as an FSPC member. (Additional one-time $30 fee.)

Prerequisites:  Good swimmer.
Gear:  Provided.
Max Participants:  6
Price:  $100, payable to FSPC on first day of clinic via cheque or e-transfer.

To be held the week before Paddlefest. Exact dates and times TBD depending on instructor availability and participant interest. Please respond if interested.

Good for new or beginner kayakers to become more stable, efficient, and comfortable paddling a kayak. Teens welcome.

Note:  Must also register as an FSPC member. (Additional one-time $30 fee.)

Max Participants:  4
Price:  $100, payable to FSPC on first day of clinic via cheque or e-transfer.

Starts Sunday, July 28th 1:00pm. Ends Thursday, Aug  1st.

Location:  129 Carl’s Drive.
Instructors:  Brooke Hess, Ottilie Robinson Shaw, and Natalie Kramer Anderson.

Good for anyone with at least class-three whitewater skills, a solid roll, interest in improving their freestyle, and wants to explore what the Slave River has to offer with world class coaches. (More information here.)

Prerequisites:  Solid combat roll.
Gear:  NOT Provided. (Can rent if active FSPC member.)
Max Participants:  9.
Price:  $650 camping included. Deposit $325 to reserve a spot.

Email Brooke Hess at brookehh961@gmail.com for more info or to reserve a spot.

To be held before Paddlefest between July 17th and July 27th. Exact dates and times TBD depending on instructor availability and participant interest. Please respond if interested.

Intended for youth who have already participated in youth river programming but would like to increase their skills in kayaks and SUPs.

Note:  Must also register as an FSPC member. (Additional one-time $30 fee.)

Prerequisites:  Good swimmer, previous experience in a kayak.
Gear:  Provided.
Max Participants:  6
Price:  $0.00

Sponsored by Northwest Territories Recreation and Parks Association.

Adult/Teen Kayak Clinics

Saturday, August 4th @ 10:00am-11:30am

Required for first-timers to use kayaking equipment. You will learn the basics of kayaking and river safety, including the ‘wet exit’.

Note:  This clinic starts after the Paddler meeting and coincides with other clinics.

Gear:  Provided, first come first serve, may have to share.
Price:  $0.00

Sunday, August 4th @ 2pm-3pm

Intended for people who have been in a kayak before, but would like to start learning the kayak roll, or who have an existing roll and would like to troubleshoot their roll. For those who can’t make the workshop, we will also have a list of people willing to give private one on one instruction during Paddlefeset for $30/hr payable directly to your instructor.

Gear:  Provided.
Max Participants:  4
Price:  $30, payable to FSPC via cheque or e-transfer.

To be held the week before Paddlefest. Exact dates and times TBD depending on instructor availability and participant interest. Please respond if interested.

Good for new or beginner kayakers to become more stable, efficient, and comfortable paddling a kayak. Teens welcome.

Note:  Must also register as an FSPC member. (Additional one-time $30 fee.)

Max Participants:  4
Price:  $100, payable to FSPC on first day of clinic via cheque or e-transfer.

Starts Sunday, July 28th 1:00pm. Ends Thursday, Aug  1st.

Location:  129 Carl’s Drive.
Instructors:  Brooke Hess, Ottilie Robinson Shaw, and Natalie Kramer Anderson.

Good for anyone with at least class-three whitewater skills, a solid roll, interest in improving their freestyle, and wants to explore what the Slave River has to offer with world class coaches. (More information here.)

Prerequisites:  Solid combat roll.
Gear:  NOT Provided. (Can rent if active FSPC member.)
Max Participants:  9.
Price:  $650 camping included. Deposit $325 to reserve a spot.

Contact Brooke Hess more info or to reserve a spot.

Adult/Teen Paddleboarding Clinics

Saturday, August 3rd @ 10:00am-11:30am.

Intended for people who would like to learn to paddle board, including proper stance and good paddling that will make you become more stable on the board. Intended as an introduction to the sport.

Gear:  Provided, first come first serve, may have to share.
Max Participants:  6
Price:  $0.00

Afternoon of Sunday, August 3rd for 1.5 hr 2-3:30pm.

Perfect for people who are stable and comfortable on a paddleboard in calm water and want to advance their skills in moving current with eddy turns and peel outs and maintaining stability through waves.

Gear:  NOT Provided.
Max Participants:  6
Price:  $30

To be held the week before Paddlefest. Exact dates and times TBD depending on instructor availability and participant interest. Please respond if interested.

Good for new or beginner paddleboarders who are interested in progressing their skills. Instruction will be tailored to participant skill level.

Note:  Must also register as an FSPC member. (Additional one-time $30 fee.)

Gear:  NOT provided. Can rent if active FSPC member.
Max Participants:  4
Cost:  $100

Adult/Teen Canoe Clinics

Friday, August 2nd @ 10:30am-11:30am

Location: The Boat Launch.

Intended for folks interested in joining the Flatwater Friday canoe picnic but nervous about crossing the river due to limited or no experience with canoes.

Gear:  Provided.
Ages:  12+
Price:  $0.00

Sunday, August 4th @ 9:00am-1:00pm.
Location: Mountain Portage

This clinic is an opportunity for existing Paddle Canada Moving Water Instructors to work with Instructor Trainer Clayton Williams to hone their instruction skills and to learn some new instructing tips and techniques. This clinic will also help you maintain your Paddle Canada instructor certification.

Max Participants:  8
Gear:  NOT provided—BUT please contact us if this is a hindrance as we may be able to make arrangements.
Price:  Free — Sponsored by NWT Recreation & Parks Association.

Prerequisites:  Participants must be Paddle Canada Intro or Intermediate Moving Water Instructors who are in good standing with Paddle Canada (memberships paid for 2019).
 
Participants must register ahead of time. Please contact Jess Dunkin to register.

Led River Excursions

Friday, August 2nd @ 10:30-4:00pm.
Location: Meets at Boat Launch.

We will be leading a family-oriented picnic on an island at the bottom of the Rapids of the Drowned. Free to Paddlefest paddlers. Picnic lunch not provided, bring your own food.

Gear:  Canoes, Paddles, Lifejackets provided on first-come-first-serve basis. Compliments of FSPC, Aurora College, Parks Canada, and Smith’s Landing First Nations.

Ages: 12+
Price: $0 with paddler registration, else $25 (includes participation in voyageur canoe races and Friday evening activity.)

Monday, August 5th @ 11:00am-5:00pm.
Location:  Meets at the Boat Launch.

We will be leading a river excursion for canoes and other craft through a section of the rapids. You must be comfortable navigating currents. An appropriate section of the Slave River will be determined based on participant skill and river water level. Free to Paddlefest paddlers and FSPC members.  Intended for people with their own equipment that want to start becoming more familiar with the Slave River beyond the festival site.

Gear: NOT Provided. FSPC gear not available.
Ages: 12+
Price: $0.00

Saturday, August 3rd @ 5:00pm.
Location:  Meets at Playground Hole.

We will be leading a river excursion for all crafts through the golf course run. You must be comfortable navigating currents and have your own equipment. Free to Paddlefest paddlers and FSPC members.  Intended for people with their own equipment that want to start becoming more familiar with the Slave River beyond the festival site.

Gear: NOT Provided. FSPC gear not available.
Ages: 12+
Price: $0.00

Monday, August 5th @ 11:00am-5:00pm.
Location: Meets at the Museum.

We will be leading a river excursion for all craft through a section of the rapids. You must be comfortable navigating currents and have your own equipment or are an active FSPC member who can rent FSPC equipment. Depending on interest and guide availability, we may take a raft as well. An appropriate section of the Slave River will be determined based on participant skill and river water level. Free to Paddlefest paddlers and FSPC members. Intended for people that want to start becoming more familiar with the Slave River beyond the festival site.

Gear: NOT Provided. (Can rent if active FSPC member.)
Ages: 12+
Price: $0.00