Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium (BOFSKS)

Argyle, NS
September 23 -26, 2017
Run by Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Society
Registration fee

The Bay of Fundy Sea Kayaking Symposium is a 3-day paddling event that combines world class coaching with paddlers in one of the most spectacular coastal settings in Eastern North America. If you’re looking to take your skill from any starting point to the next level, this is worth considering. The Tusket Islands, Lobster Bay, Cape Forchu, Cape Sable Island and the entire Southwestern Nova Scotia coastline are not only rich with history and Acadian culture but boast large tides as the Bay of Fundy is home to the largest tidal range in the world. I’ve attended this symposium as a participant for three years and also participated on the Board of Directors and organizing committee for 2015 event.

After three strong years of growth, Fundy is on hold for 2016 and will be back again in full force in 2017. September 23 -26, 2017.

Cape Breton Paddlefest

St. Peter’s, NS
September 9-11, 2016
Run by Rising Tide Expeditions

Coastal Adventures Annual Sea Kayakers’ Meeting

Tangier, NS
June 11-12, 2016
Registration fee

Running for 27 years strong, Scott and Gayle’s annual meeting is the longest continuously running recreational paddle sports event in Canada. This 2-day event feature local paddles around the beautiful Eastern Shore, slide presentations, safety demos, and skills clinics. There are also vendors from several local kayak shops so you can try out boats and ask questions. Although many of my friends regularly attend the Sea Kayakers’ Meeting, I have not yet had the privilege of participating myself.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Paddlefest

Grahams Grove Park, Lake Banook, Dartmouth, NS
June 19, 2016
Free admission; nominal cost for clinics

Canada’s Mountain Equipment Co-operative hosts this annual 1-day event at Graham’s Grove Park in Dartmouth. This is one of the best events for a newbie to attend since the cost is free and includes the broadest cross-section of the Nova Scotia paddling industry. MEC and other commercial vendors have gear for sale. There are demo kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) that you can take for a spin on the lake. A series of modestly-cost clinics are run by some highly experienced coaches. I ended up buying my first boat from a vendor at the Paddlefest and have contributed as a volunteer coach for the past two years.

Shelburne Kayak Festival

Shelburne, NS
August 19-21, 2016
Town of Shelburne; Municipality of the district of Shelburne
Registration fee

Operated and coached by entirely by volunteers and with a host of commercial sponsors, the Shelburne Kayak Festival features clinics and social activities for new and experienced sea kayakers. The event showcases the town of Shelburne and the surrounding community of Shelburne County with all activities centred at the Islands Provincial Park. A guided tour of Shelburne Harbour highlights the scenic beauty of the 3rd Best Natural harbour in the world. Several of my friends contribute to this event as organizers and coaches but I have not yet had the privilege of attending myself.


What festivals did I overlook? Add a comment or drop me an email at