The Comox Valley Paddlers’ Club welcomes Mike Gilbert, president and B.C. director of Paddle Canada, as the guest speaker at their November meeting.
Gilbert was born and raised in Montreal and spent his summers exploring the rivers, lakes and farmlands of the Eastern Townships by rowboat and kayak. After leaving university he moved west and ended up settling in Vancouver.
With a growing family he spent a lot of time at ice rinks coaching hockey. He achieved his National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) qualifications and has coached at the provincial level. On making the decision to leave the hockey arena Gilbert found he had more time available, which he channelled towards sea kayaking.
He now instructs and coaches year round throughout the province and his paddling certifications include: Paddle Canada Level 4 Skills, Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor, Paddle Canada Rolling Instructor and VHF Marine Radio Instructor.
His company, BC Kayak Centre, provides Paddle Canada certification courses, clinics and related classes. He became Paddle Canada’s director for B.C. in 2013 and in 2015 was voted in by the board for a three-year term as president.
The presentation will be in two parts. Part one will cover the PaddleSmart program; what it is and how it came about. Gilbert will expand on specific topics relevant to coastal paddlers. He will also extend an invitation to those interested in becoming a PaddleSmart trainer or instructor. Part two will provide information and background on Paddle Canada: current issues, what has happened in the recent past and its three-year vision and direction.
The event starts at 7 p.m. sharp, Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Lion’s Den, 1729 Comox Ave., Comox (Nordin Street, behind the Pearl Ellis Art Gallery). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There will be a short club business meeting followed by the presentation. The event is free of charge and open to non-members. Anybody with an interest in developing their canoe, kayak or SUP skills is welcome.
CVPC winter meetings take place the first Thursday of the month, October through to May. Paddling enthusiasts can learn more about club events and activities at the meetings.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit comoxvalleypaddlers.ca or check out our Facebook page. Further information on Paddle Canada is available at paddlecanada.com