Pair of Invermere paddling events set to stoke for summer season

Paddlepalooza and Reel Film Festival set to roll

The Adventure Paddle School and Columbia River Paddle are hosting not one, but two paddling-inspired events. The Reel Film Festival and the Paddlepalooza are hoping to get people excited about the upcoming summer season and to spend some time on the water.

Penny Powers of Columbia River Paddle is the organizer behind both events and is hoping to educate and excite people for some water activities.

“Our main goal is just to get people hyped up and excited for this season,” said Ms. Powers in regard to the second annual Paddlepalooza.

The Paddlepalooza will give the public an opportunity to try some of the various paddling equipment, such as stand up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks before deciding which style best suits them. It will focus on water education, with the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council and the Lake Windermere Ambassadors there with information about the local waterways. There will be a few games, including a canoe race with a twist.

“It sounds crazy, but we have two seven-seater canoes and a few years ago we tried it and we got it going fast enough with seven of us paddling that we got a water skier up on the back,” said Ms. Powers. “We thought that we would make that a competition.”

The local fire department has volunteered a team for the race, as well as Home Hardware.

The event will also feature safety demonstrations, such as how to switch seats in a canoe and kayak rolling. The Paddlepalooza, which will be hosted on May 11th at Kinsmen Beach from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will wrap up with a soiree at Ullr Bar at 9 p.m. that evening, with awards, snack and refreshments.

While the Paddlepalooza and the Reel Film Festival were celebrated on the same day in previous years, this year organizers separated the two events, hosting the film festival the Thursday (Mat 9th) before the Paddlepalooza. Ms. Powers said organizers are curating a collection of short films to screen, offering the audience a variety of films. “Everything from flat water paddling to wild rivers, and incredible scenery in some. Expedition movies and paddling in very remote areas. There are a couple of family adventures, sea kayaking, inspirational movies,” said Ms. Powers. “We will try to pick a nice variety.”

The Reel Film Festival is set for Thursday, May 9th from 7 to 9 p.m. at Ullr Bar. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and children are welcome to attend. Tickets can be purchased at Columbia River Paddle, Circle Café, Ullr Bar or at Wings Over the Rockies website – Wingsovertherockies.org.

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