Read Our Blog

Northern Hardware Canoe Races journey

Life out here journey of a blogger

On Sunday morning I found myself sitting cross-legged on a jet boat, drinking coffee from my thermos, watching the winding Nechako pass by, a beauty like no other.   

Four days earlier I had an idea – wouldn’t it be awesome if we could livestream the Northern Hardware Canoe Races from one of the race safety/rescue boats.

The Northern Hardware Canoe Races are an incredibly rich event: rich in culture, nature, competitive sport and more, all representing Life out Here. Seeing the resolve of the racers from start to finish is a different type of spectating, one that I hoped to capture for audiences at the race and online.

By Friday, I had my assignment and I showed up at the Cottonwood Island Boat Launch at 6AM Sunday morning, life jacket and camera gear in hand. We jetted up the Nechako to Isle Pierre, met the racers for a safety briefing and picked up the Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers.

After an inspection, the canoes lined up in the river under the BC Hydro transmission line – fiercely prepared, trying to avoid a false start and at 9AM, the paddling started. The paddlers in the six lead boats were intense; one of the SAR volunteers told me they would keep this pace for the remainder of the race – unbelievable to the untrained.


Throughout the race, the jet boats ran up and down the course, ensuring no boat was left behind; the happy banter on the radio from the SAR team tasking each other, checking in with racers to ensure they were okay was fascinating. The passion, knowledge and responsiveness of these lifesaving volunteers was something to behold.

The opportunity to be involved in community events like the Northern Hardware Canoe Races is one of the best things about working for Integris. The chance to witness the Canoe Races from such a vantage point on the water and to be able to share that with others was an incredible experience. I’d like to say thanks to the remarkable people who make events like this happen and to my Integris family – we collectively enrich community!

Thank you to Lheidli T’enneh for being a community champion. Thank you to Northern Hardware and the other partners/sponsors for revitalizing this event. A huge shout out to PG Search and Rescue and the jet boat captains for ensuring the safety of all on the water. And last but not least, thank you to the volunteers, to the spectators and to friends and family … without all of you, this event would not be possible.

My experience started with an idea but it turned into so much more; it was a journey on which I met new people, experienced the beauty and vitality of our region, living life out here in the best way I know how.  Thank you!

C.U. at the Northern Hardware Canoe Races in 2017 … and beyond!

Cori Ramsay,
Integris Blog Squad Blogger 

cori-ramsay Written by Cori Ramsay, BA – Communications Officer