Cornwall Waterfest to Set Sail August 10-11

By Bob Peters
August 1, 2012

Cornwall WaterfestCornwall, ON - The Cornwall Canal will be brought to life in mid-August during Sun Life Cornwall Waterfest. The 3rd annual festival is slated for August 10th and 11th, and features Dragon Boat races, swimming races, a Water Run, ARTfest, a Strongman Competition, and more.

"We're excited about the slate of events for this year's Waterfest," said Johanna Murray, one of the event organizers. "We think it will be a hit with both participants and spectators."

The 2012 Festival is moving west along the Canal this year and will take place at Lock 19, near the Kinsmen Soccer Fields at the end of Second Street West in Riverdale. Construction at the base of the Seaway International Bridge has necessitated the move.

Funds raised from Waterfest will go to the local chapter of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

"We're grateful to be selected as the charity of choice," said Area Manager Cindy Rowe. "Physical activity can be a life-saver. When you're active, you can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease and stroke."

The two day festival promises something for everyone, with a variety of competitions.

Friday, August 10th, 2012

  • 5:30 PM  -  Swim Race
  • 6:30 PM  -  Water Run

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

  • 8 AM  -  Dragon Boat Race
  • 9 AM  -  Art Fest
  • 9 AM  -  Strongman Competition
  • 5 PM  -  Dragon Egg Drop

Dragon Boat Races

Waterfest's signature event is the Dragon Boat races, which will take place on Saturday August 11th. During this popular event, teams of 21 work in unison to steer the boats along a 275-metre course. Each team participates in one practice run and 3 races, with the fastest teams moving on to the finals.

A number of teams have already registered, however there is still room for those interested. Experience isn't necessary as there are two divisions – a Sport division and a Fun division. 
"The Dragon Boat races are a fun-filled activity, and it's a great team-building sport," added Mrs. Murray. "They offer a great way to build company morale and team spirit." 

Water Run

People looking for a unique physical challenge this summer need look no further than the Cornwall WaterFest Water Run.

Participants can take part in either a 5K or 10K run that will take them in and around the Cornwall Canal and Guindon Park in Cornwall's west end. The run consists of trail running in addition to 7 water crossings - including 3 crossings of the Canal by rope! The course also includes some short, steep hills. The race starts at 6:30 PM and the top 3 finishers in both the 10K Men's and Women's races will receive prizes.

Participants can register in advance at the Heart and Stroke Foundation office or on the day of the race itself.

Swim Race

There are two swimming competitions at Waterfest: a 750 metre race and 1500 metre race.


ARTfest is back for a second year with a collection of local artists who will be displaying and selling their work at the Waterfest site. Visitors can expect the same type of diversity as last year's event, with  over 30 artists from Cornwall and The Counties, Ottawa and Montreal expected to attend. This year’s Artfest will offer all sorts of artistic mediums and the opportunity to talk with each artist.  From hand painted buckets, repurposed and upcycled home décor, to acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings, and even photography and jewelry, Artfest has something for everyone.

Come out to meet Bradley Pennell, author and illustrator of Demongelic; Patrick Guindon, painter, author and illustrator of Sad Monster & The Wishing Tree and the upcoming children’s book Henry’s Paintbrush; Kate Dwyer and Sarah Bee, upcyclers; Marion Stanley, creator of jewelry, mosaics and barley bags; Anne Wylemans, with her gorgeous paintings; and more!

With profit from the registration fees going towards the Heart & Stroke Foundation, local musicians Sara Murphy and Chuck Leclair have stepped in to kick the event up a notch, bringing a variety of incredible musical acts to the art yard for busking.  The buskers will donate 50% of their proceeds to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Artists who are interested in participating are asked to contact Patrick Guindon at

ARTfest will take place on August 11th, from 9am to 4pm, on 2nd Street West, just before the Kinsmen Soccer Fields.  Free transportation to the Dragonboat Races and all other Waterfest activities, happening just up the street at the Old Canal, will be available throughout the day. 
Strongman CompetitionNew this year is a Strongman Competition that offers men and women a chance to test their strength in a variety of competitions. The event is limited to 12 participants in each activity, and 48 participants in total.

Dragon Egg Drop

Dragon Eggs will be dropped from Lock 19 into the old Cornwall Canal.  The first, second and third egg to cross the finish line will be awarded prizes of $1000, $500 and $250 respectively. People can "purchase" an egg for $10 each or 3 for $20 at the Heart & Stroke Foundation office or at Scotiabank in the Brookdale Centre.


Volunteers are needed to assist with various activities on the day of the event. Interested individuals are asked to contact Don Daugherty at (613) 933-6282 x 3114 or

For additional info about Waterfest and registration forms, please visit:

Category: Arts and Entertainment