In 2018, Anahim Lake Community Association received a $2,500 grant from Northern Development through the Fabulous Festivals and Events program towards this project. This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development
The Anahim Lake Community Association Canoe Race has been held for nearly 40 years in the Cariboo Regional District, approximately 135 kilometres east of Bella Coola. In 2018, the Anahim Lake Community Association successfully applied to Northern Development’s Fabulous Festivals and Events funding program to assist with some of the costs of hosting the anticipated event.
The $2,500 grant was used to purchase permanent signs indicating portage routes that competitors must follow, signs indicating the start and finish of the race and prime spectating locations along the race route. Funding was also used to update the sound system, resulting in a better experience for competitors and spectators and to buy safety equipment.
“This grant allowed us to direct racers and spectators to the appropriate places,” said Amy Hauk, secretary, Anahim Lake Community Association. “This meant more spectators gathered at the appropriate checkpoints, with an excellent view of the competitors. Once the race was finished, the new sound system allowed everyone to hear the results. We bought reusable items with the grant funding, so future races and other community events will benefit from this money.”
While named the Anahim Lake Community Association Canoe Race, the full day event is much more than people paddling across Nimpo Lake, down Dean River to Anahim Lake. The day’s events include kids’ events, including a bike rodeo, community garage sale, prize presentations, supper and dance.
Anahim Lake Community Association advertises in a variety of ways, hoping to attract visitors to the area to benefit local businesses and to encourage people to consider a longer stay in the area in their future travel plans.
The 2018 event welcomed 20 canoes in the race with approximately 300 spectators joining in the festivities from the shores. Event organizers estimate that 25 percent of the spectators came from outside the community, contributing to the lively atmosphere and supporting the community association and nearby business establishments such as gas stations, stores, cafes and accommodations.
The Fabulous Festivals and Events program provides annual grant funding to support unique festivals and events throughout the Trust’s service region. Depending on the event’s budget, applicants can receive either $2,500 or $5,000. Event organizers can apply anytime to receive funding each year the event is held, if it fits the program’s criteria.
Anahim Lake Community Association received a $2,500 Fabulous Festivals and Events grant to improve their annual canoe race.