2018 Fernie Raft Race winners, the ERA Streamkeepers. (Phil McLachlan/The Free Press)

2018 Fernie Raft Race winners, the ERA Streamkeepers. (Phil McLachlan/The Free Press)

‘Big fun’: Canyon Raft Company’s raft race coming up on June 22

Money raised from the race will go towards the Elk River Alliance

Canyon Raft Company’s annual raft race is coming up on June 22.

“It’s a super fun event,” said Lynn Muller, co-owner of Canyon Raft Company.

It will be about the 24th race put on by the company. They took a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic but returned with a limited rendition in 2021.

Money raised by the race will go towards the Elk River Alliance (ERA), as it has for about the last decade.

Teams will be made of six to eight people, and entrance will cost $20 per person.

Participants will meet at 6 p.m. at the Coal Creek boat launch. The race takes place between the North Fernie bridge and the West Fernie bridge.

A guide, life jackets, rafts, and paddles will be provided, but participants will need to bring their own costumes, which are encouraged.

ERA executive director Chad Hughes said the raft race was a great way to engage people with the river in a fun way. Money raised through the event will go towards the ERA’s Elk River Discovery Camp, a summer camp for Elk Valley youth.

“The summer camp aims to engage young people in environmental stewardship, provides Ktunaxa cultural learning, and has lots of fun opportunities for river recreation,” Hughes said, adding that the camp is sold out for 2022 but a waiting list is available through College of the Rockies.

Awards will be handed out after the race at the Bridge Bistro, which is providing space for the event.

The prizes will be painted rocks, she said. There will also be draw prizes.

Those who wish to participate can pre-register by calling 250-423-7226.

“We have people who’ve been coming since the beginning, and so many people say, ‘oh it’s the best event of the summer’,” Muller said.

She said it’s a great way to share the river with the people of the valley and get them out for a ‘beautiful evening float’.

“It’s big fun.”

READ MORE: After 26 years, Fernie’s Canyon Raft Company going strong


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