(North Bay, Ontario, May 1, 2020)   The 2020 Mattawa River Canoe Race set for July 25 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It takes a great deal of time and effort to make the arrangements for a successful event and the lead time we need has been dwindling away with the restrictions everyone is facing. This coupled with the need to follow provincial direction regarding physical distancing and restricting large gatherings made the decision obvious,” said Brian Tayler, NBMCA CAO.

“We’re also sensitive to the financial situation some of our race sponsors and businesses who donate prizes are facing.  Other considerations included giving paddlers and their families advance notice for planning.  We’ll be back as good as or better than ever for our 45th year in 2021,” he added.

The Mattawa River Canoe Race is a 64 km paddling marathon which starts at Olmsted Beach on Trout Lake and ends at the Mattawa Island Conservation Area.   There is also a 13 km race which starts at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park for youth and families, that also ends at Mattawa Island.

In 2019, 110 paddlers from across Canada paddled in 69 canoes, kayaks and paddleboards in 12 pro and recreational categories.  The race follows the historic canoe route followed by First Nations and later the European explorers and fur traders.  

The next Race is scheduled to be held on July 24, 2021. For more information about the Mattawa River Canoe Race,  visit www.mattawarivercanoerace.ca

The Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area hike which is normally scheduled for the day before the race has been postponed until the fall, depending on a change in provincial restrictions regarding physical distancing and public gatherings.  If the restrictions are not lifted by the fall, the 2021 hike will be held Friday, July 23.

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and the NBMCA’s 10 member municipalities. A non-profit organization, the NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with the environmental needs of the region’s watershed. The NBMCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.


For information media contact:
Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications & Outreach
(705) 474-5420 

Paula Loranger, Community Relations Coordinator
(705) 474-5420