RIP West Coast Kayak Symposium. We hardly knew ye.

Thursday, 28 January 2010
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The West  Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. Photo Credit: John BolivarI just got an email confirmation that that the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium is almost 100% not going to run this year which is really sad. Running for over 26 years, the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium is the oldest in North America and one of the oldest in the world.

Why the demise? It really comes down to economics. The organizers of the event, The Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) lost their major corporate sponsor last year and on top of that, declining attendance over the past couple of years made it a very unprofitable venture.

But take heart! It looks like there is a chance for the event to live on as TAPS may be willing to lease or sell the event over to somebody else to run. We just need somebody willing to take it on and turn it around.

Here is a quote from the email I got from TAPS President, Tim Rosenhan:
[blockquote]Will the WCSKS continue?  It will not unless another organization takes over the funding and management of the event; we are out of cash.  The Symposium was started 26 years ago by bootstrap efforts, and it might continue if key supporters immediately come forward.[/blockquote]
It’s too bad as the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium was the premier kayaking event in North America that attracted some of the biggest names in kayaking over the years. Nigel Foster, Nigel Dennis, John Dowd, David Burch, Derek Hutchinson, Chris Duff, John Lull, Dubside, Jon Bowermaster, Wayne Horodowich, Ginni Callahan, and Justine Curgenven have spoken or taught over the years.

Photo Credit: John Bolivar

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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