Following successful hosting of the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships in Welland in recent years and the December 2014 announcement of the Ontario Trillium Foundation's investment in dragon boats for the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC), Dragon Boat Canada is teaming up with the WIFC to make Welland the host City of the national championships five (5) of the next six (6) years, with an opportunity to renew the collaborative agreement, making Welland host of ten (10) out of the next twelve (12) Canadian Dragon Boat Championships.
“Dragon Boat Canada is looking forward to our continued working partnership with the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation and we only expect the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships to flourish in years to come," stated Chloe Greenhalgh, Executive Director of Dragon Boat Canada. “The Welland International Flatwater Centre is a great asset to the dragon boat community and Dragon Boat Canada is excited to call the Welland International Flatwater Centre home for upcoming Championships."
The three (3) day event annually attracts nearly 2,000 athletes and attracts crews from coast to coast to stay and play in Welland and the surrounding area. Athletes are competing in hopes of being named a National Champion and participants range in age from youth to eighty plus. The Championships, as has been well reported on, provides a very positive impact to local businesses given the sheer volume of competitors. The collaborative efforts of DBC and the WIFC will be focused on continuing to grow the Championships, expand vendor opportunities and showcase the sport of dragon boat and the City of Welland.
Welland has established itself as a premier hosting venue for dragon boat, having hosted the 2011 and 2014 Canadian Dragon Boat Championships. This upcoming season, the WIFC will host not only the 2015 Canadian Dragon Boat Championships but will also host, for the first time in Canada, the 2015 International Dragon Boat Federation 12th World Dragon Boat Racing Championships and the 2015 Pan American Club Crew Championships August 14th -23rd.
“We are delighted that Dragon Boat Canada has chosen the City of Welland and the Welland International Flatwater Centre as a long term partner in delivering the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships," expressed Stephen Fischer, Executive Director of the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation. “The Ontario Trillium Foundation grant supporting the purchase of boats for Welland was a key factor in our ability to partner with Dragon Boat Canada long term and provide this unique opportunity and long term return on investment for both organizations, the local club, festival and businesses."
The next dragon boat competition, hosted in partnership with Dragon Boat Canada, at the WIFC North Course will be the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships June 26, 27, 28 of 2015.