On Line Certificates

CertificateThere has been a change in accessing Certificates for Instructor members, Instructor Trainers, Lifetime Members, and Master Instructors.  The certificate is designed in a more generic format. In order to access this new form, you will need to log in to your account here.    Once logged in, the new certificate can be located in the left column and can be downloaded from there.

Please note this is a fillable form where instructors will be able to enter various information using your keyboard:  the names of the participants, the course details, the name(s) of the instructors, the dates when the course was conducted, and; the date when recertification is required.

The certificate can be completed and saved.  It can be printed.  It can be printed as a PDF (which just creates a new PDF that is no longer fillable), and can be emailed to the students.  One other asset is that the certificate is no longer password protected.  The password is not needed since it can only be accessed by current Instructor members!  Please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need assistance with this new option.

RCABC Course Summary

Courses Lead to CompetenceRCABC instructors can offer a wide range of non-specialized and specialized canoe programs.  RCABC also offer these program at various levels from beginner to expert.  Our instructors are well-prepared and skillful enabling them to be fully competent in preparing future paddlers to achieve their goals.  You can view the Program Overview at this LINK.  The following list of programs can be accessed at all levels from beginners to advanced to instructors and to instructor trainers:

  • Lake Water
  • Moving Water
  • Tripping (lake, ocean and river)
  • Ocean Canoeing
  • Poling
  • Stand Up Paddling (SUP)
  • Canoe Guide Program

Our website contains the details for all of our courses.  We hope that we can encourage you to take our courses.  We know that you will benefit by becoming more skillful and, what is most important, SAFE.  Begin or continue your canoe learning journey with us. 

River Rescue

Canoe Rescue
River canoeing is a wet sport! Sometimes very wet, like when you find yourself bobbing down a rapid beside your capsized canoe. More hazardous situations can occur too, although rarely if precautions are followed.

The RCABC River Rescue Program is designed by canoeists for canoeists to develop skills to handle difficult situations. Too often paddlers rely on the most experienced rescuer in the group and don't get an opportunity to develop their own skills. The River Rescue Program encourages all river canoesits to be skilled participants and rescue leaders.

Ocean Canoeing

Paddling the Shoreline DeCourcey Isl
Canoeing on the ocean has a rich history in BC, starting with First Nations use of dugout canoes and the more recent use of modern tripping canoes. Both sheltered and open, exposed waters can be navigated by canoe if people have appropriate skills. Amazingly, people have circumnavigated Vancouver Island and even longer, more exposed journeys in canoes. Most people stick to the common trips such as the Broken Islands, Gulf Islands, Sechelt Inlet. With over 25,000 km of coastline, BC is the place to start exploring the ocean environment!

Big Canoes

Big Canoe

Big canoes are integral to the history and culture of First Nations, the Fur Trade and now, modern canoeing. They range from 22 to 40 feet and can carry up to 18 people. Big canoes are tremendously versatile and can be used on lakes, ocean and can even run rapids on rivers. For millenia, Big Canoes were Canada's transportation, using our extensive waterways as highways. They were originally designed by First Nations out of birch bark with wooden frame or dugout logs for carrying large loads and moving larger numbers of people.
Today they are a great vehicle to get larger groups of paddlers out on the water to experience nature and undertake many journeys.. Big canoes are stable, fast, manoeuvrable and versatile in the hands of skilled paddlers. The canoe pictured here is a Tlingit dugout based in Whitehorse.

C1 (Closed Canoe)

Nice C1 Surf at Bromley Rock
Closed canoes, or C-1s are fun and dynamic playboats or river running canoes which at first glance look like a whitewater kayak. The hull is similar or exactly the same as a kayak but that's where the similarity ends. In a C1, the canoeist kneels in custom outfitting with a higher center of gravity. The second difference of course is the use of a single bladed canoe paddle and the large variety of strokes used, many based on traditional canoeing strokes.


Pry Brace Demonstration Lyle
River canoeing is not only about tripping or exploring. Whitewater canoes have evolved to become a fun and challenging way to play on whitewater:

  • Running challenging rapids
  • Surfing waves
  • Hole surfing and  spinning
  • Eskimo rolls
  • Reverse paddling and surfing
  • and more...!

Stand Up Paddling - SUP

SUP Lessons 60
The sport of Stand Up Paddling has enjoyed spectacular success.  There are more and more SUP paddlers joining this sport as it is a unique, fun and easy way to get out on the water and get a good work out.  Stand up paddling partly evolved out of canoeing and has expanded to include river, surf, race, marathon and more. There are so many similarities between SUP and canoe that it was simple for RCABC to create the SUP Lakewater program with courses and certification ranging from beginner to advanced instructor. RCABC is training new Instructors and we will be launching the first courses in spring 2017.

Canoe Poling

Whiteswan Pictographs

Before paddles were created, canoes were propelled and manoeuvred by poling, and the art of poling is still alive today. Poling is a remarkably versatile way to canoe on lakes, river and even whitewater. Standing in the canoe gives you dexterity and an excellent view, plus it adds to your comfort if you want to change positions. The long wooden pole gives the canoeist opportunity to manoeuvre the canoe with strokes off the bottom of the waterway or on the surface when needed, similar to using a paddle. Poling is an ideal way to explore shallow waterways and to move a canoe upstream on shallow rivers. BC is lucky to have a number of canoe poling instructors in various regions of the province.

Canoe Tripping

Perfect Camping Place
For many, going on wilderness trips is the ultimate way to enjoy canoeing. It could be a weekend family getaway, or a remote, multi-week river expedition. The canoe is unparalleled in its ability to handle the variety of challenges that tripping demands such as large carrying capacity, versatility in numbers of canoeists, excellent manoeuvreability, running rapids, open water crossings, ease of rescue and more.

UPDATED! Lakewater


The RCABC Lakewater Program introduces and develops fundamental canoeing skills and is the foundation for river paddling, tripping and all other types of canoeing. The program includes courses which range from learning basic and advanced skills to leader and instructor level training. If your goal is any of the following:

  • going on your first canoe camping trip
  • leading kids and youth in outdoor pursuits
  • canoe instruction or guiding
  • to build the skills to go on a wilderness whitewater expedition....

then the RCABC Lakewater Program is the place to start.


UPDATE!  We've recently updated the program to include Lakewater Instructor Level 1, a more accessible level of instructor certification, and the Lakewater Leader Certificate, which is an update of RCABC's old Camp Leader Certificate. See details below.


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