We have moved our festival to the end of the summer on August 21st to 22nd, arrive the evening of the 20th. We will again be bringing together some of the most celebrated kayak, canoe, and standup paddleboard coaches in the paddling scene in Ontario.

Women On Water is open to all women, from beginners to advanced paddlers, featuring Kayak, Canoe, and Stand Up Paddling (SUP) skills sessions. This year we are adding on new on-water discipline for you to try, rowing!

We are running this weekend super safely! We will have 40 paddlers maximum with eight instructors. We are having only five paddlers in a class with one instructor. We are only having two people in a cabin, one at either end. You may have more if you choose to and if you are all in the same bubble. You may also bring your own tent and sleep alone if you would prefer. All catering will be outside or if we have bad weather, in the dining hall with everyone sitting six feet apart.

Where: Camp Tapawingo, Parry Sound, Georgian Bay Ontario

When: August 21/22, 2021

Who: ALL women are invited! All skills levels welcome!


All new programming!

So let’s chat about the weekend and the programming. I have written kind of a lengthy explanation but I’m excited about the learning opportunities and skill improvement possible with this weekend, so please take a minute and let me know what you think!

When I started WOW, I envisioned it as a weekend where women could have an opportunity to try all different types of paddling in a fun and relaxed environment with some of the best female instructors in Ontario. Every year we have had more fun, made more friends and shared more skills. We’ve even had women who originally came as beginner students go on and take further training and end up teaching at WOW. 

My journey to become a full time instructor and kayak guide has been a success because I have always been open to learning new paddling disciplines. Anyone who becomes an expert at one sport, usually has experience in many other sports. On my journey to become the best kayaker I could be, I have found that learning other paddling disciplines such as stand up paddle boarding, canoeing and some white water kayaking has made my skills in a sea kayak even stronger.

Paddlesports all share certain skills, by experiencing and learning skills in a different paddlecraft, you will enhance your skills when you are back in your chosen boat or on your board.

By using different paddles with different blades, and moving them through the water to propel different watercraft, you will have a much greater feel for how to paddle more effectively and more instinctually. Your instructors will share their knowledge of hull design and how their craft moves through the water based on which stroke you are using. By gaining knowledge of how each craft actually moves, you will become a more instinctual paddler. As I mentioned, we have the best female instructors teaching at WOW and I know that many of them are also skilled in other paddling disciplines besides the one they usually teach.

So! This is what we want to share with you. The entire theme of the weekend will be learning how to paddle so beautifully, you’ll be doing pirouettes by the end of the weekend. Whether you are in a kayak, on a SUP or in a canoe, you will be paddling with style and grace. The theme of every class will be blade control and its effect on the watercraft. This way the next time you go kayaking, or canoeing or stand up paddle boarding you will paddle like a pro, with fast, efficient, maneuvering strokes that take you where you want to go. Plus you will get to try paddling a canoe, a SUP, a kayak, and just for fun this year….rowing! 

We will have four three-hour sessions. Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon. Each session you will move to a different watercraft. In every session the coaches will be talking about the blade and how to use it to glide their craft through the water. There will be four groups of ten and you will move through the weekend together. This allows us to keep any friends together. The group of ten will then be split into two groups by the instructors where needed so that we can give intermediate kayakers or intermediate Stand up Paddle boarders a chance to work on higher level strokes and maneuvers. Other than that, the group of ten will be split into two groups just to keep our class sizes small.

I hope this new format is as exciting to you as it is to me. I don’t think any other paddling symposium has provided this opportunity before. I hope I’ve explained it all clearly, get me talking about paddling skills and I can’t stop 😉

If it’s not quite clear, don’t worry! Come on out and try kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding and rowing with the most experienced female instructors in Ontario, have fun meeting new friends or come with some friends or your partner and enjoy a weekend of paddling, swimming, campfires and fun!


Aug 20-22, 2021




What’s Included

  • Friday and Saturday night Accommodation in cabins
  • All meals from snack on Friday evening to lunch on Sunday
  • Instruction in SUP, Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rowing for two days
  • Paddlesport equipment and safety gear.

What’s Not Included

  • Travel to and from Camp Tapwingo, Parry Sound, Ontario
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal clothing.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

 What You Should Bring 

  • Sleeping bag, Pillow and anything else you need to sleep in a shared cabin
  • Waterwear – Neoprene wetsuit or non-cotton layers.
  • BYOB to be enjoyed responsibly
  • Gear list sent closer to the event

Here’s what you can expect in the classes!

Remember, this year you will get to experience every single class with your group of ten paddlers. You will only split into two groups when kayaking and Stand-up paddleboarding based on your skills set. The coaches will chat with everyone pre-class and you can join either beginner or intermediate based on whatever one sounds like the right fit for you. Canoeing and Rowing will each be one class.


Kayaking will be taught by myself, Dympna Hayes, and Heather Stewart. Heather has been at every single WOW since it’s inception. WOW wouldn’t be the same without Heather and her kayak play!

Beginner kayak

You’ll learn all the basic strokes needed to control your kayak and head out on a journey. Forward sweep, reverse sweep, pivot turns, forward stroke, reverse stroke, draw stroke, stopping and low brace.

Intermediate kayak

We will step it up a notch. We will work on blending strokes. Low brace turns, edging with sweeps, powerful forward stroke, bow rudder, cross bow draw, hanging draw, sculling draw and sculling for support.

Stand Up Paddleboard

SUP-ing will be taught by Ariel Amaral and Jessica Rando, famous across Canada as leading female paddlers and coaches in the world of SUP!

Beginner Stand Up Paddleboard

We will begin with the basic forward stroke, forward sweep, reverse sweep and using the two together, back stroke, cross draw (and using it in a cross bow turn) and an intro into bracing.

Intermediate Stand Up Paddleboard

This class will involve more advanced stroke technique including stroke breakdown (understanding what our body is supposed to do, and why, during each phase of the stroke), straight draw, why a pry is very difficult on a sup (but can be done!), advanced bracing and the bow draw (aka reverse J-stroke….a VERY handy stroke for more advanced paddling including whitewater, surfing and racing)


Canoeing will be taught by Dot Bonnenfant and Lynette Chubb. Here’s what they had to say about the class they’ll teach.

Knowing this WOW group will have diverse experience already, we will run through the basics of tandem canoe bow & stern practices and skill sets quickly, slowing down to focus on questions.  We then plan to “up our game” with some more advanced paddle skills and refinements, so that every paddler goes home hoping they won’t forget all they’ve learned, and back to their favoured discipline with fresh eyes and new perspectives to experiment with!


Hatchets Rowing out of Port Carling has agreed to come with their rowing shells and teach all of us a three-hour Learn to Row Beginner rowing Class. Here’s how Kathy McCarthy, lead coach and owner described the class they’ll teach. If you would like to learn more about Hatchet’s Rowing in Port Carling, you can check out their website here. https://www.hatchetsrowing.com/

As well as being a beautiful, on-water, centering and fluid pastime, rowing is also a full body low impact workout you can do while enjoying being on the water. Anyone can learn to row and this is your chance to try it out. This beginner rowing lesson will guide you through getting in and out of the boat, the basic rowing stroke and some basic maneuvering in order to steer, turn and back up. The boats that we use travel beautifully on the water, yet are stable enough to allow you to learn to row. No experience necessary. We’ll spend a bit of time on land first, and then get you out in your own boat with lots of coaching to ensure you are comfortable.”

Daily Schedule


4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Arrive and sign in (Dining Hall) find yourself a cabin and settle in.

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Head into Parry Sound to get dinner (not-included)

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Welcome and Orientation in Dining Hall

9:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Campfire and Meet and Greet!


7:00 am – 8:00 am
Before Breakfast Yoga (Rec Hall)

7:45 am – 8:45 am
Breakfast (Dining Hall) Morning Announcements at 8:30am

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Morning sessions

12:15-1:15 pm
Lunch (Dining Hall). Announcements at 12:30pm

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Afternoon sessions

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Dinner (Dining Hall) Announcements at 5:45pm

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Campfire and Sunset paddling


7:00 am – 8:00 am
Before Breakfast Yoga (Rec Hall)

7:00 am – 8:00 am
Sunrise paddle.

7:45 am – 8:45 am
Breakfast (Dining Hall) Morning Announcements at 8:30am

9:00 am – 12:00 am
Morning classes

12:15 – 1:15 pm
Lunch (Dining Hall). Announcements at 12:30pm

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Afternoon Classes

4:30 pm Head home for another year!