Annual Raft Race Makes a Splash

On June 21st, costumed competitors furiously paddled the Elk River in a fun and thrilling Raft Race. Canyon Raft has organised the annual event since 1997, and this year they saw the highest attendance, with 139 people split into 19 teams. The race is not only fun, but doubles as a charity fundraiser with entry fees going to the Elk River Alliance’s ‘Elk River Discovery Camp’, raising $2780 this year.

The 9 km race started at the Dicken Road put-in and went to the Fernie Boat Launch. Teams were encouraged to dress up, and this year there were some exceptional costumes, according to Lynn Muller, co-owner of Canyon Raft. 

“It’s so fun to see all the creative ways in which people approach a team costume,” said Muller, “some standouts were ‘The BeeHive’ which won first place and Big Bang Bagel team’s ‘Best of the Men in Black’, which took second place in our costume contest.”

The race itself was won by “Dave Huss Is With Us”, the Royal Sportsmen award went to the Stellar Vista Credit Union’s team, and the Legacy Award was won by “Lynn’s Rowdy Wranglers”, respectively. According to Muller, “Lynn’s Rowdy Wranglers” have attended every raft race since the very first one. The award ceremony was held at the Bridge Bistro, and Muller and the event organisers were very grateful to the restaurant for accommodating such a large event. 

The Elk River Alliance also participated in the event, and expressed gratitude to Canyon Raft organising the fundraiser. 

“To us, this kind of community support is essential,” said Chad Hughes, executive director of the Elk River Alliance, “the Raft Race is a really great way for people to experience the value of a healthy Elk River, and the donation is vital for us to continue our education and outreach activities”

Canyon Raft would like to express gratitude to all the organisations that supported the event with prizes and donated time including: Tunnel 49, The Bridge Bistro, Big Bang Bagels, Ski Base, Guides Hut, Board Stiff, Commit Snow & Skate, Edge Of The World, Giv’er Shirt Works, Gear Hub, Straight Line, Rooftop Coffee Roasters, Coal Town, House Of Gato, Fernie Hotel And Pub, Elk River Guiding Company, Barkside, Earth's Own Naturals, Freshies, Wapiti Music Festival.