Working Hard to Safeguard Paddling Assets for All Canadians

All about Whitewater

All about Whitewater
A Blog about River Preservation and the need to protect our free flowing whitewater resources

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

River Fest this weekend

The Gull River Festival

For More Information on Minden Wildwater Preserve

info link:
date: Friday, June 27, 2008 to Sunday, June 29, 2008
type: other,play,race
difficulty: novice
accommodation: camp

Riverfest 2008 is Haliburton County’s most popular music, arts and kayaking festival. The event is held annually over the Canada Day weekend in the Minden Wildwater Preserve on the Gull River in Minden, Ontario, Canada. Riverfest 2008 promotes FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

Make plans now to attend Riverfest 2008, June 27-29, 2008. Book your campsite today. New acts, vendors and attractions will be added to the website as they are confirmed.

Check back with us regularly for new information!

Minden Wild Water Preserve
The Town of Minden is about 2.5 hrs. north east of Toronto on highway 35. The Preserve is located approximately 7 kilometers north east of Minden on the Gull River via Country Rd. 20 (Horseshoe Lake Rd.) Turn South onto Bethelchurch Road and cross the single lane stone bridge.
The Minden Wild Water Preserve is privately owned and operated by Whitewater Ontario for the use of its members.
The Preserves 100 acres include:

• Well drained campsites with picnic tables
• Large and small picnic shelters
• Indoor and outdoor washroom facilities
• Hot and cold running water
• Campers room with clothes dryer
• Trails for hiking, biking or cross country skiing

Parking is available on the south side of County Road #20. There is a large parking lot on the north side of County Rd #20 and at the Training Centre. Do not park on shoulder of County Rd.#20 or on Horseshoe Lake Road.

Whitewater Ontario
Paddlers of course will be familiar with the following events, for the non paddling music fans make sure to get down to the river and see at least one of these events, you’ll be amazed at the entertainment value and the advanced skills of the paddlers participating. If you are really daring bring some water clothing and we’ll do our best to get you into a boat in the nearby lake area.

On Saturday morning the annual Andrew Westlake Memorial Slalom Race will be held. This is a traditional slalom race using the entire run of the river. An excellent spectator event and a top quality race with many of the current Canadian team racers and Olympic hopefuls.

Saturday afternoon on the upper section of the Gull river Boatwerks will host the Boatercross Downriver Race. This is open to all festival participants. Think motocross on the water, head to head kayakers racing from start to finish in heats until only one is left. Elimination racing, side by side in Class 4 whitewater, very exciting to watch, even more exciting if you are in one of the boats.

Sunday all day there will be workshops and clinics for beginning to advanced paddlers. Festival goers are encouraged to join one of these sessions to learn first strokes or improve existing skills. Whitewater Ontario will make our fleet of kayaks and gear available for a first time experience to folks who don’t own gear. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to buff up some serious creeking or river running skills the Gull and these sessions could be the place.

Sunday Afternoon Mountain Surf Paddling Gear will host a freestyle / rodeo event. As yet the details aren’t confirmed but typically this is a surf based competition held at Earl’s wave in the upper river area. This event is often referred to the Average Joe and Jane Rodeo, in other words no pros. Maybe if enough of them are present we’ll see a Pro class. We’ll see what turns up this is always a fun event with some of the most impressive kayak skills being demonstrated.

Whitewater Ontario will also provide a food concession during the day Saturday consisting of barbecue foods, there will be a few healthy and vegetarian choices also.

Saturday though out the day and early evening there will be commemorative events and race results.

This is the Twenty Eighth year of operation of this amazing whitewater facility and we’re planning to honour the folks who started the thing and have kept it going over those years.

We are currently working on more activities for RiverFest ‘08. Please check back for more details as we confirm them.

Canadian Rivers

Canadian Rivers
I speak for river users too!

The Queen is not amused!

The Queen is not amused!

The Damned Dam - 2005 -

The Damned Dam - 2005 -
22nd Annual Kipaw Rally has modest turnout. - 23rd does better

The Ashlu river: it could happen to you

The Ashlu river: it could happen to you

Whitewater Ontario

Whitewater Ontario
Working Hard to Protect Canada's Paddling Resources

Whitewater Ontario - Mission Statement

It is Whitewater Ontario’s mission to support the whitewater paddling community through the promotion, development and growth of the sport in its various disciplines. We accomplish this through the development of events, resources, clubs, and programs for personal and athletic development, regardless of skill level or focus, to ensure a high standard of safety and competency; We advocate safe and environmentally responsible access and use of Ontario’s rivers. Whitewater Ontario is the sport governing body in the province, and represents provincial interests within the national body Whitewater Canada and the Canadian Canoe Association

Kipawa, Tabaret, and Opemican

Kipawa, Tabaret, and Opemican
If Hydro Quebec is not actively pursuing Tabaret what is that bite out of Opemican for?

Kipawa Dam: After

Kipawa Dam: After
Laniel Dam at 2006 Rally

Where is the Kipawa

Where is the Kipawa
Kipawa flows into lake Temiskamingue, running from Kipawa Lake, under hwy 101 in Quebec

Kipawa Dam

Kipawa Dam
laniel dam at 2004 River Rally

Tabaret is a Bad Idea

About the Kipawa

The best thing paddlers can do to help the cause of the Kipawa:

1. attend the rally and bring others including non paddlers to attend and buy beer and have fun

2. write your MP /MNA and raise the issue and post your objections -1 letter = 200 who didn't write

3. Write Thierry Vandal the CEO of Hydro Quebec strongly opposing the 132 MW standard decrying the use of "diversion" as the most environmentally inappropriate method of power production

4. Write Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec protesting that either the algonquin or the tabaret project will eliminate all other values on the Kipawa River by turning it into a dry gulch.

5. See if you can get other allied groups interested by showing your own interest, ie the Sierra Defense Fund, Earthwild, MEC, and so on.

6. Demand further consultation

7. Currently we are at the point where we need to sway public opinion and raise awareness.

However, if all else fails, don't get mad, simply disrupt, foment, and protest . The Monkey Wrench Gang.

Have you read Edward Abbey?

Important Addresses
CEO,Hydro Québec, 75 boul René Levesque, Montreal, P.Q., H2Z

Tabaret is a Bad Idea (Part Two)

Les Amis de la Riviere Kipawa is poised to use an application to the Federal Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus to ensure the Minster does what he is supposed to do, protect the public's right to navigate the water control structure at Laniel, Quebec using the Navigable Waters Protection Act. (see

In the now gutted Navigable Waters Protection Act lay the means by which the Minister of Transport could keep the public right of passage down our great Canadian Heritage, our rivers and streams which are threatened especially by resource corporations and power brokers such as Hydro Quebec.

These powerful entities continue to petition that 'this' river or 'that' stream is not navigable and therefore not protectable.
I don't say that dams and bridges should not be built, only that if they are, historical navigation rights should be considered and preserved by making reasonable accommodations for recreational boaters.

It is the Minister of Transport, in exercising the right to allow or disallow work on or over a navigable waterway is what keeps boats and recreational boaters plying our waterways.

To many recent cases launched in the Federal Court concerning the Navigable Waters Protection Act, most recently the case of the Humber Environment Group of Cornerbrook Newfoundland versus the Cornerbrook Pulp and Paper Company indicates that the important oversight is not being faithfully performed. Have we really come to the point now where we must say "such and such a stream is one foot deep, possessing so many cubic feet per second flow and so on?" The answer to this is... YES!

The honourable Mr. Justice John A. O'Keefe, ruled that it had not been shown that the river was navigable. How convenient was that to the Minister? But either the Minister of Transport acts to protect our rivers and streams as a public right or he does not and that means rivers and streams currently enjoyed by kayakers and canoists.

Enough of the cheating, and double-talk. Canadians! our rivers and streams are our own, lets urge the Minister of Transport and the our government to protect them.

Peter Karwacki

Tabaret is a Bad Idea (Part Three)

10 Reasons WhyTabaret is a Bad Idea1) Tabaret is too big. The station is designed to useevery drop of water available in the Kipawawatershed, but will run at only 44 percent capacity.We believe the Tabaret station is designed to usewater diverted from the Dumoine River into theKipawa watershed in the future. 2) The Tabaret project will eliminate the aquaticecosystem of the Kipawa River.The Tabaret project plan involves the diversion of a16-km section of the Kipawa River from its naturalstreambed into a new man-made outflow from LakeKipawa. 3) Tabaret will leave a large industrial footprint on thelandscape that will impact existing tourismoperations and eliminate future tourism potential. 4) The Tabaret project is an aggressive single-purposedevelopment, designed to maximize powergeneration at the expense of all other uses. 5) River-diversion, such as the Tabaret project, takinglarge amounts of water out of a river’s naturalstreambed and moving it to another place, is verydestructive to the natural environment. 6) The Kipawa River has been designated a protectedgreenspace in the region with severe limitations ondevelopment. This designation recognizes theecological, historical and natural heritage value ofthe river and the importance of protecting it.Tabaret will eliminate that value. 7) If necessary, there are other, smarter and morereasonable options for producing hydro power onthe Kipawa watershed. It is possible to build a lowimpactgenerating station on the Kipawa river, andmanage it as a “run-of-the-river” station, makinguse of natural flows while maintaining other values,with minimal impact on the environment. 8) The Kipawa watershed is a rich natural resource forthe Temiscaming Region, resonably close to largeurban areas, with huge untapped potential fortourism and recreation development in the future.Tabaret will severely reduce this potential. 9) Tabaret provides zero long-term economic benefitfor the region through employment. The plan is forthe station to be completely automated andremotely operated. 10) The Kipawa River is 12,000 years old. The riverwas here thousands of years before any peoplecame to the region. The Tabaret project will change all that.

Problems on a local River?

  • There is more to do as well but you have to do your research and above all, don't give up.
  • IN the meantime prepared a document itemizing the history of navigation of this spot and its recreational value. Use the Kipawa river history of navigation as a guide: see
  • Under the Ministry of Environment guidelines you have a set period of time to petition the change under the environmental bill of rights, you may have limited time to take this action. But it involves going to court for a judicial review of the decision.
  • 4. contact the ministry of natural resources officials and do the same thing.
  • 3. contact the ministry of the environment and determine if they approved the project
  • 2. determine if the dam was a legal dam, approved under the navigable waters protection act.
  • 1. research the decision and timing of it to determine if an environmental assessment was done.

Minden Ontario

Minden Ontario
Gull River Water control at Horseshoe lake

A History of Navigation on the Kipawa River

Prior to the environmental assessment there was no signage at the Laniel Dam

T-Shirts Area: These are available now!

T-Shirts Area: These are available now!
Send $25 and a stamped self addressed envelop for the Tshirt, and for the bumper sticker, a stamped and self addressed envelope with $5.00 for the bumper sticker to Les Amis de la rivière Kipawa, 80 Ontario St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1K 1K9 or click the link To purchase a Les Amis "T" contact Doug with the following information: Number of shirts:Sizes: Ship to Address: Method of Payment: cash, cheque and paypal, Shipto address:

Bumper Stickers Now Available

Bumper Stickers Now Available
Get your bumper sticker and show your support for the Kipawa Legal Fund ! - send $5.00 in a Stamped, self addressed envelope to: Peter Karwacki Box 39111, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1H 7X0