Below is a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule with some general information. At the bottom of the page is a list of some of the specific games, activities, and competitions that will take place at the Mountain Portage Rapids.

Please refer to our map to locate the different festival sites.

Last updated July 21, 2019.

Day One: Friday, August 2

NWTRPA Flatwater Friday

Sponsored by NWT Recreation & Parks Association in partnership with Fort Smith Paddling Club.

TimeEventMeeting Location
9am-5pmRegistration & Check InParks Canada Visitor Centre
10am-4pmCanoe Excursion to Picnic SiteBoat Launch
10-11amFirst-Timers Introduction to Canoeing ClinicBoat Launch
11am-3pmIntermediate Kayak River Running ClinicBoat Launch
11am-4pmFamily Canoe Picnic
Partnered with WBNP and Aurora College
Boat Launch
2-3pmOlympic-Style Slalom Kayaking RaceSlalom Course in Rapids of Drowned
5:30pmCanoe Races (Tandem and Voyageur)
Partnered with WBNP, SLFN, & ENR.
Boat Launch
7-10pmRiver Night and Community Feast (Doors open @ 6:30pm)
In tribute to Jacques Van Pelt. Partnered with SLFN & SRC.
Roaring Rapids Hall

Day Two: Saturday, August 3

In partnership with the Fort Smith Paddling Club.

TimeEventMeeting Location
9-11amLast-Change Registration & Check InParks Canada Visitor Centre
9amMandatory Safety Meeting for PaddlersConibear Park
(across from Rusty Raven coffee shop)
9:30-11:30amMorning Clinics
(Kids Kayak Games, Kayak Rolling, First-Timers Intro to Paddleboarding)
Conibear Park
12pmOpening Ceremony with SLFN elder Francois PauletteMountain Portage Rocks
1-5pmSpectator-Friendly Competitions & Events
(Raft Rides, Duo Rides, Beginner Runs)
Mountain Portage Rocks
4:30-7pmIntermediate Kayak Freestyle Clinic
Paddleboarding in Current Clinic
Mountain Portage Rocks
5-7pmGolf Course Run River ExcursionMountain Portage Rocks
9pmBeach PartyDirty O’Fergie’s

Day Three: Sunday, August 4

In partnership with the Fort Smith Paddling Club.

TimeEventMeeting Location
9am-1pmNWTRPA Moving Water Canoe Instructor Maintenance Clinic39 McDougal Road
(The Yellow House)
10:30am-1pmGuided Hike & Spectating Giant Slalom EventMountain Portage at Trail Head
10:30am-1pmAdvanced Giant Slalom Race & Boatercross29 Carl’s Drive
1-5pmSpectator-Friendly Competitions & Events
(Raft Rides, Duo Rides, Beginner Runs)
Mountain Portage Rocks
2-3pmKayak Rolling ClinicMountain Portage Info Tent
7:30pmPaddler Appreciation Banquet
(Raffle, Silent Auction, & Awards)
Queen Elizabeth Campground

Day Four: Monday, August 5

In partnership with Northern Life Museum.

TimeEventMeeting Location
8:30-11amCommunity Pancake BreakfastNorthern Life Museum
11am-6pmEdge King Big-Wave EventNorthern Life Museum
11am-6pmLed River Excursion
Log Jam Route
Northern Life Museum
NWTRPA Flatwater Friday Overview

Brought to you by NWT Recreation & Parks Association

Flatwater Friday is a fun-filled day focused on canoeing and picnicking. There are views of the rapids, but all the events are in flat water. We start with a picnic on an island. Participants bring their own lunches, snacks provided. Kids often have epic mud wars and it is not unheard of for Parks Canada to start a fire and make bannock on a stick. We also run a kayak slalom race for more advanced participants that picnickers enjoy spectating. The picnic is followed up by the main events of the day: head to head canoe races, two person and six person teams. Teams are assembled on the spot or ahead of time.

Saturday & Sunday Overview

Mountain Portage Rapids

Saturday and Sunday are out at the rocks at Mountain Portage rapids with events for every type of craft that floats. We generally host some instructional clinics in the morning followed by competitions and events for every skill level from first-time paddlers to world champions. If you have a paddler registration, you can join any event as you feel like it.

There are even zany events like a pool toy race, SUP jousting, and more. For non-paddlers, raft rides are available for a cost, and there’s always something fun to watch happening. Snacks and water are provided around a campfire, and the vibe is a fun beach party. Even if you aren’t registered for Paddlefest, you are welcome to come down and hang out and watch all the craziness.

Evenings Overview

Friday River Night and Community Feast

Join us for a community feast and featured presentations, including a tribute to Jacques Van Pelt and the Slave River pelican colony, a talk from researcher Dr. Natalie Anderson focusing on global environmental issues surrounding dams, and the recently released Three Feathers movie. Smith’s Landing First Nation will also have traditional hand games.

Saturday Night Beach Party

Our annual beach-themed party includes music, limbo & hula dance competitions, and more!

Sunday Evening Paddler Appreciation Dinner

Participants and paddlers celebrate Paddlefest with a dinner. We have a raffle, silent auction, and awards for competition winners!


The schedule is subject to minor changes.
This online schedule is more up-to-date than printed copies.


Check out some of the fun activities we feature annually at Paddlefest!

And More!

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