Every July, səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh Nation holds an annual canoe race based at our traditional village site, Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park) in North Vancouver, B.C. As “People of the Inlet,” canoe racing has been embedded in our way of life since time out of mind. Racing enjoyed a revival that began in 1910, when former Chief George Sla-holt carved a canoe he named “Earwigs” that soon earned a reputation as an exceptional racing vessel.

The TWN Canoe Festival welcomes crews from several Indigenous communities from across the southwest coast of B.C. and Washington state to compete in a variety of races that celebrate culture, showcase top canoe racers, inspire youth, and thrill hundreds of spectators. We invite canoe clubs and the public to join us at the festival.

All teams camp and race at the park. Races include youth categories (10 and under, 13 and under, 16 and under), women’s, men’s, and masters for 50 and older. We compete in traditional dugout racing canoes, which are very sleek, narrow, and fast

This year, the Canoe Festival takes place from July 7-9, 2023 at Whey-ah-Wichen.

We welcome external contributions of support for the ongoing success of this annual event. We are seeking sponsorships in the form of cash donations, raffle prizes, silent auction items or other contributions.

For donation-related inquiries, please contact Rebecca Coulthard, TWN Proposal Writer, at rcoulthard@twnation.ca.

For general information about the Canoe Festival, please email Skye Mills, Executive Assistant in TWN Community Development, at skmills@twnation.ca.