Our Mission: Bringing Communities Together Through Paddling
The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club brings people together as individuals, teams, and businesses by sharing our passion for paddling.
Dragon boat and outrigger training are great ways for companies and organizations to build teamwork and community. Paddling builds friendships, confidence and mental, emotional and physical fitness.
Each year we bring thousands of people together for training, races and events on the beautiful waterways of Victoria.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, FGPC’s programs are fully COVID-compliant while continuing to offer FGPC’s four program pillars: train (our gym and coached programs), play (our kids camps and school programs), experience (community and group bookings, subject to COVID-19), and compete (our many racing programs).
We are proud of our role in our community, and we strive to help bring people together – as individuals, as teams, as businesses and as families. Join us, as paddlers, volunteers and sponsors to help us bring communities together through paddling and athletics.
Who we are and what we do
The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club (FGPC) is based on the Gorge waterway in Victoria’s spectacular harbour network
We are a community sports and recreation organization that focuses on our mission of bringing people together through paddling. Although some of our team programs have been affected by COVID-19, normally thousands of people visit our club for various paddling events during the year.
FGPC has a deep commitment to the paddling community throughout Canada, with paddlers and paddling teams visiting the club from not only Greater Victoria, but British Columbia, Alberta, elsewhere in Canada, plus the USA and even further abroad. The organization has raised thousands of dollars for men’s health, and hosted an online COVID-compliant outrigger paddling event in 2021 that attracted participants from across Canada, the U.S., the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Dragon boating is a highly inclusive sport, and FGPC is proud to coach and support youth and senior teams, and teams associated with breast cancer survivors, multiple sclerosis and vision impairment. FGPC has also revamped many of its programs to be safe and relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, profoundly improving the quality of life for many athletes. You can read of their pandemic experiences and FGPC here.
FGPC’s race management division has hosted hundreds of regattas involving thousands of paddlers since 2014, with dozens of annual local events in the waters just outside our club, and dragon boat regattas in Nanaimo, Victoria, Duncan and elsewhere. FGPC is also the founder of the new Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival, a festival planned for Aug. 6 – 8, 2021, on Victoria’s spectacular harbour network.
Our Four Pillars:
As mentioned above, the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club is dedicated to the following four pillars:
Selkirk Waterfront Fitness Centre: FGPC owns and operates the Selkirk Waterfront Fitness Centre. Located on Victoria’s gorgeous Gorge waterway, the gym is open to community members and paddlers alike, although only through our Extraordinary Access Programs at this time. Subject to COVID-19, Waterfront fitness has group programs, strength training, cardio equipment, weights and weight machines. Before COVID-19, we offered yoga and spin classes and multiple other programs, which we will resume when it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, besides offering a safe place to work out, we are also offering online fitness classes, including personal training.
Coached programs: FGPC offers coached paddling programs in Victoria for outrigger canoe and dragon boating. Although paddling in crew boats is temporarily curtailed due to COVID-19, FGPC has many recreational and competitive dragon boat teams, as well as various coached outrigger canoe programs in solo and six-person boats, catering to novice paddlers, intermediate paddlers and advanced competitive paddlers.
Kids’ camps: FGPC operates a highly popular series of summer paddling camps for children (6-10 years old) and youth (11-15). The camps will be fully COVID compliant in 2021 and will feature expert coaching and instruction on a variety of paddle craft, including sea and sprint kayaks, outrigger canoes, dragon boats and stand-up-paddleboards. The camps offer other activities such as games, park outings and group paddles.
The series of youth camps focuses on longer water excursions and greater skills, including self-rescue and team rescue skills in outriggers and kayaks. Click here for more info.
Group bookings: Although currently impacted by COVID-19, FGPC offers school programs and other group bookings for businesses, social groups, sports teams and more. The club normally can accommodate groups of 10 to 120 people, offering flexible schedules and on-water experiences tailored to your specific needs, interests and abilities.
We supply the safety equipment and staff, PFDs, paddles and qualified coaches who will accommodate your group’s willingness for fun, teamwork and adventure. The summers fill up fast, so we encourage groups to book as early as they can for the best date selections. Learn more about our 2021 offerings here.
Kayak and SUP rentals: FGPC normally rents kayaks and SUPs to drop-in visitors; this has been curtailed due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, members of the community are welcomed to apply here for a monthly subscription-based extraordinary Access Program to kayaks and SUPs.
FGPC paddlers range from complete novices to athletes who have competed on Canada’s national dragon boat teams in world competitions and in world-level international outrigger races in places such as Washington State, California, Hawaii, Tahiti, Cook Islands and elsewhere.
The club has more than 70 coaches and staff members and a fleet of more than 80 boats, including dragon boats, kayaks, SUPs, single, double, six and 12-person outrigger canoes, as well as three high-tech carbon fibre “ultralite” six-person outrigger canoes and multiple coach boats.
Click here to see the 2021-2022 race schedule.
Our history with Fairway Markets
Paddling at our Selkirk Community facility in Victoria BC began more than 20 years ago through the resources and hard work of the GO Rowing & Paddling Association of Canada. In 2014, the newly formed Fairway Gorge Paddling Club Society assumed operational responsibilities for the facility in order to ensure that training, recreational and competitive opportunities would continue, and expand dragon boat, outrigger, kayak and SUP opportunities in Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island.
The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club Society was inspired by the generosity and commitment to paddle sports within the Fairway Markets company. Fairway Markets remains the club’s chief sponsor. You can learn more about Fairway Markets company here.