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Dragon Boat Exhibit

Photo Credit BC Sports Hall

The BC Sports Hall Of Fame is opening a new Sports Exhibit Friday (February 12th) putting on display the history of BC’s Dragon Boat Racing International which offers recognition of this impressive and unique sport to the viewing public. 

The sport is now known as Dragon Boat Racing and was initially established to identify the culture of the sport which has been hosted by the City of Vancouver since 1986 following the conclusion of Expo 86 which took part in False Creek for the past 44 years.

Dragon boat Racing are not for just older racers, but offer training for racers with the youngest being ten to the oldest most senior racer in the late 80ties.

Locally, the club offers training to various schools throughout the lower mainland in addition to having school’s spend time at the club from as far away as Texas, which say’s much about the professionalism offered by the Vancouver Dragon Boat Club.

When the teams arrive in Vancouver they do not bring their own boat, mainly due to the cost involved transporting a 40+ boat to Vancouver, which would be enormous to each team.

All boats are supplied by the Vancouver Dragon Boat Club that has some competitors  arriving either two days or more prior to the race, depending on the distance they have had to travel.  

The rich and diverse history of the sport in normal years is watched by thousands on the waters in False Creek agency to Science World. 

The newest exhibit enshrines the sport from the inception to present day history set in a manner for many to remember and relive past memories. 

The media event saw a video presentation in addition to having two boats on display a short distance inside the entrance to BC Place, but a short distance outside the opening to the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Tom Mayenknecht; Board Chairman of the BC Sports Hall of Fame told those on hand “The BC Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the extraordinary achievement in BC Sports history, and we are thrilled to welcome dragon boats and their rich culture into the hall.”

He continued “Vancouver is a significant and celebrated global destination in the sport of dragon boat racing , having been a part of it since Expo 86 in Vancouver and it’s important that we continue to feature these moments in Sports history at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.”

This marks the first time ever that the sport of Dragon Boat Racing of the festivals and it’s recognition are on public display. 

The BC Sports Hall of Fame shares this impressive and unique international sport for public viewing for both boats that were used in the races on the water in False Creek.

Dominic Lai; Development and Operations Officer of Dragon Boats BC mentioned that they were “\We had to cancel the race in 2020 the year of the COVID-19 which was the first time this has happened since 1989 and are hopeful that there is no cancellation for this year’s race.

He continued saying “We are happy to work with the BC Sports Hall of Fame showcasing this part of BC’s rich history and Culture and the sport.” 

The hall had various items on display for the exhibit which included the following:

  • The original Dragon Boats that started the races in North America that were sent from Hong Kong to Vancouver for Expo 86
  • They were both restored to their original teak Dragon Boat dimensions, weighing 1,400 pounds with a length of 47 feet.
  • The first piece made for the Dragon Boat Legacy Collection was the Lieutenants-Governor’s Ceremonial Paddle, in addition to a collection of paddles used in the past 43 years for the Vancouver Dragon Boat Races.
  • A Ceremonial Water Dragon Lantern was also on display and was one of two created by Mary-Lui for the Dragon Boat Legacy Collection.
  • There was also a collection of Canadian International Dragon Exhibit posters in addition to various other artifacts of the history of Dragon Boat Racing.

The event will open this coming weekend (February 12th) which has the Hall offering free admission for the newest exhibit (February 12th and 13th) in celebration of Lunar year and BC’s Family Day celebration. 

Those wishing to attend either separate or wanting to bring members of their immediate “bubble” must pre-register for timed entry at bcsportshall.com/tickets.

Walk-ups can not be Guaranteed general admission at this time only due to COVID-19 regulations as well as safety protocols put in place by the Province of BC.

For more info please visit the following link http://www.gov.bc.ca/content/goverments/celebrating-british-columbia/bc-familyday

For additional info on the BC Dragon Boat Society feel free to spend your time and visit dragonboat.bc.ca

The Province of British Columbia has provided the BC Sports Hall of Fame a one-time grant in support of this free community day activity.

Here’s hoping that the Boats can hit the water in False Creek with competitors attending from around the world.

Enjoy the history – it’s well worth your time to attend!!!  

 

Photo Credit Ed Nguyen Photography/Facebook

Photo Credit Ed Nguyen Photography/Facebook