About Dragonboating

About Dragonboating

Since 2002, the Friends Abreast has been enjoying the fellowship of paddling regardless of age or physical abilities.



What's happening with the Dragonboat Society?


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Shuswap Dragon Boat Society - Friends Abreast

Our 2023 paddling season was a huge success with many events both on and off the water.  For the most part we were blessed with little smoke but we did have very warm temperatures.  The water level took us by surprise though.  We ended up taking the boat out on July 25.  

March & April

We had our annual Garage Sale on Saturday, April 15.  All monies ($904.00) from this event went to the SDBS-Friends Abreast team. 

Some members also participated in a 4-week dryland training at Blackburn Park directed mostly by Liz Burdeniuk and Linda Fraser.  Thank you to you both for stepping up and leading us on.  

We had our AGM and Annual General Meeting on Sunday, April 23.  A plant was given to both Janet Ferns and Barb Puetz for their support in being president and participating on other committees since joining the SDBS.  Janet Ferns became Past President and Margaret Hinchliff became our new president.


On May 18, team members came out to the Shuswap Hospital Radiothon to receive the Fish Benefactor Award.  From our 2022 fundraising, we earned this award.  It will be put on the Benefactor wall at the Shuswap Lake Hospital.  Thank you to all who were able to make the presentation.

On May 19 was our launch day to get the boat in the water.  We had a great turnout to help load and paddle the boat over to the dock.  Once again paddler spouses were there to give us ladies a helping hand.  

On May 27, we had a Membership drive at the Farmers Market.  Liz Burdeniuk spearheaded the event along with the Membership committee.  We were able to recruit new members at the drive.  We want to welcome our new members - Denise, Esther, Gerda, Janine, Jessica, Joanne, Linda Wesley, Mary, Maureen McTavish, Maureen Rettie and Susie.  You all were a great asset to the team. We hope to see you all return next season.  


On June 12, the Social committee put on our first Gathering.  It was held at Brenda M'Clellan's house.  Thank you to the committee for organizing and bringing food.  It was a great event.  We had a great turnout.

On June 13, we held our annual Awakening of the Dragon Ceremony.  Donna Hazell was our guest to dot the eye.  It was such an honour for her as she is one of the founding members of the SDBS-Friends Abreast.  It was a blistery event with winds and rain but a memorable time for those who were able to attend.  

On June 24, our team attended the Salmon Arm Dragon Boat Festival.  It felt so good to be in a festival again.  Our last one was in June 2019.  Thank you Janet, manager, for rounding up the paddlers so we could participate once again.  I also want to thank Kevin for steering with very challenging weather conditions.  It was a cold and windy day but it didn't dampen our spirits. 

Ralph Seemann, husband of Karen a team paddler, attended the Steer Clinic on June 25.  He became our second official Steer person.  Thank you Ralph for becoming an integral part of our team.  Without a steer person we are not able to go out.   


On July 22, Friends Abreast attended the Vernon Dragon Boat Festival.  Between the Friends Abreast and a variety of Vernon Team paddlers we were able to put a full boat for every race.  Thank you Margaret Hinchliff, manager, for organizing and making the event happen. And Kevin for being our Steer person.  We are so appreciative of having you steer for us.  

On July 25, it was a sad day for our team.  Because the water level had dropped dramatically over the month of July, it was necessary to pull our boat out.  We had a great turnout to help bring it out and get it cleaned up for winter storage.  Again, we could not have done this without all the spouses of team members.  These men, Dwayne Burdeniuk, Ian Fraser and Mark Hinchliff, sure do make the job easier for us.  


On August 8, we held a Postseason Social Gathering at Marine Park.  What a great turnout.  Thank you Social Committee for doing a splendid job organizing and bringing food.  

On August 17 SDBS, Friends Abreast presented Wyatt Mullins with our annual Bursary.  We wish him well as pursues his career in Engineering.  


Our team supports the Terry Fox Run.  This year it will be held on Sunday, September 17.  Janet Ferns has set up a Pledge page under the Friends Abreast team on the Terry Fox website for members who wish to make a donation.  We will not be gathering as a team for this event as we have in past years.  If you wish to participate, it will be held at Blackburn Park.  Registration is at 9:00 a.m.


We will be kicking off our Breast Cancer awareness campaign.  Stay tuned for more information about this event.


We held our annual Christmas party on December 11 at the Salmon Arm Lawn Bowling Club.  We had 27 in attendance.  It was a great time with wonderful appetizers.  Thank you Social Committee for getting it all together for us to enjoy.  This is our last major event until the spring of 2024.  

On another note we have dedicated Thursday mornings to walking the Shoreline Trail for anyone that wishes to join us.  We meet in the Marine Park Parking lot at 9:00 am and go until 10:00.  Check out the Gallery and Home Slideshow to see pics of the walkers.  This event is new this year.  We wanted to introduce an ongoing activity that would keep team members connected in the off season.  

We started a coffee social on the first the first Thursday of the month. We meet at Underpass Cafe at Prestige Hotel from 9-10 am.  Everyone welcome.  It has stopped now until the off season starts again.  

Dryland training started.   We meet at Blackburn Park Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-2:30.   This is a free event.  We do some easy aerobics and cardio to get conditioned for the upcoming season.  Everyone is welcome.  
We held our AGM on Sunday, April 21 at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #62.  


NoteFor all the above events, one can go to Gallery link on the website.  There you will find a more detailed account. Also, the homeslide show will show photos of the various events.  









Membership Information

We welcome new paddlers – survivors and supporters alike. No experience necessary – we will teach you to paddle.

If you are interested in joining the Shuswap Dragon Boat Society, either as a Paddling Team Member or Friend of the Boat, please email us at and complete our membership application and waiver form and review our safety guidelines.


Contact Us:

Shuswap Dragon Boat Society
P.O. Box 1195
Salmon Arm BC V1E 4P3


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