BC Sports Hall of Fame and Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society Present Paddles Up! The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Exhibit

February 11, 2021

Vancouver, BC – The BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society present Paddles Up! The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Exhibit open on Friday, February 12. The exhibit is a celebration of diverse cultural expression and sport in British Columbia. Explore the dragon boat festival’s history, see unique artifacts, and learn about the Festival’s rich cultural heritage.

“The BC Sports Hall of Fame celebrates extraordinary achievement in BC sport history, and we are thrilled to welcome dragon boats and their rich cultural story into the Hall,” explains Tom Mayenknecht, Board Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. “Vancouver is a significant and celebrated global destination for the sport of dragon boating, having been in our city since Expo ’86, and it’s important that we continue to feature these moments in sport history at the BC Sports Hall of Fame.”

This will be the first time in decades that the Festival’s legacy collection has been brought together for public display. Visitors can see up close two dragon boats used for racing at the Festival and experience a part of Vancouver’s history at the Hall.

Items on display include:

  • One of the original dragon boats that started dragon boating in North America, which was sent from Hong Kong to Vancouver for Expo ’86. Restored carefully in the last few years, the original teak dragon boat weighs in at 1,400 lbs and is 47 feet in length.
  • The Lieutenant-Governor’s Ceremonial Paddle, which was the first piece ever made for the Dragon Boat Legacy Collection.
  • A collection of dragon boat paddles that have been used at the festival over the years
  • Ceremonial Water Dragon Lantern, which was one of two created by Mary-Anne Liu for the Dragon Boat Legacy Collection
  • A collection of Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Exhibit posters

“2020 was the first time since 1989 that the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society has had to cancel the festival,” explains Dominic Lai, Development, Marketing, and Operations Director of Dragon Boat BC. “We wanted to find some way to share the spirit of dragon boating and the dragon boat festival’s history despite COVID, and we’re happy to work with the BC Sports Hall of Fame to showcase this part of BC’s rich cultural and sporting landscape through this exhibit. The BC Sports Hall of Fame is the place to view BC sport history and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

The BC Sports Hall of Fame will offer FREE ADMISSION on opening weekend,  February 12 and 13, in celebration of the Lunar New Year and Family Day.  Guests MUST pre-register for timed entry at bcsportshall.com/tickets and are welcome to bring members of their immediate household bubble.  Walk-ups cannot be guaranteed admission at this time due to COVID safety protocols.

Thank you to the BC Museums Association, our sponsor, for making this happen.

About the BC Sports Hall of Fame
The BC Sports Hall of Fame celebrates extraordinary achievement in BC sport history and inspires future generations to make their dreams come true. Each year, a diverse audience of over 35,000 visitors from around the globe are educated and enthralled by the collection of 27,000 artifacts and 100,000 archival documents representing 150-years of sporting accomplishments in British Columbia. Through Hero in You Youth Education Programs, the BC Sports Hall of Fame reaches over 6,500 youth across the province, advancing its mission of building outstanding community legacies by honouring the past and inspiring the future.

For more information, please visit bcsportshall.com and heroinyou.ca.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @bcsportshall.

About the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society
Community, culture and competition, all in one boat. The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society (dba Dragon Boat BC) is the non-profit organizer of North America’s flagship dragon boat festival – the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, and runs Dragon Zone Paddling Club – Canada’s largest paddling club. The Society also produces a series of races, cultural programming, and community initiatives centred around the traditional Chinese sport of dragon boat. Through its All Access and youth programs, supported by the Milton K. Wong Legacy Project, the Society makes paddling experiences accessible regardless of any barriers to participation.

Visit dragonboatbc.ca for more information, or like Dragon Boat BC on Facebook and Instagram.

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Media Contact

Shona Wercholuk
LBMG
604-805-4821
swercholuk@lbmg.ca