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In 1977, Orenda Canoe Club was formed to fill a need for constructive recreational pursuit for the young people within Lake Echo during the summer months. 1978 to 1981 were Orenda's growing years. Boats were obtained from other, well established, clubs within the Province.
In 1982, a plywood garage was constructed to house boats and equipment. In 1983 with membership growing rapidly, the Club is incorporated as a non-profit organization. 1984 was the beginning of an Orenda traditions. Orenda wins Atlantic Division Bantam Championships for the first time. The Midget Ladies War Canoe Canadian record set by Orenda crew (2:01.8) and Orenda wins Atlantic Division Championships. In 1985, a new Club House is built by Volunteers who donate their time, labour and services. The Province approves a building grant. Orenda wins Bantam Championships and Atlantic Division Championships. Tony Hall, Orenda's Head Coach, is named as Paddling Coach of the Year. Five Orenda Paddlers named to the Nova Scotia Canada Games Team: - Monique Mullen, Kim Steele, Karl Francis, Greg Knox and Jennifer Kilgar. They assist in bringing four medals to Nova Scotia. The winning tradition continues in 1986 when Orenda wins Bantam Championships and Atlantic Division Championships. 1987 is a banner year for the Club. Orenda wins Bantam Championships and Atlantic Division Championships. Orenda wins their first Canadian Championship, becoming only the second Atlantic Canadian Team to do so in 75 years. Orenda Athletes make the Canadian National Team and participate in International Competitions for Canada.- Peter Giles, Glen Girard and Bryan Burns. Orenda wins Canadian Championships for the second consecutive year in 1988 as well as the Bantam Championships and Atlantic Division Championships. Orenda chosen Moosehead Sports Team of the Year. Tony Hall, Orenda's Head Coach, is chosen as Moosehead Coach of the Year. Four Orenda athletes participate in Paddling Championships in Western Europe. - Peter Giles, Steve Giles, Leslie-Anne Young and Glen Girard. In 1989 Orenda wins Canadian Championships for the third year in a row and wins the Atlantic Division Championships. Steve Giles wins a Bronze Medal for Canada at the World Junior Championships in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Orenda Athletes form almost two thirds of the Nova Scotia Canada Games Team. - Coaches: Tony and Mary Hall. - Athletes: Kelly O'Leary, Scott Smith, Vicki Martin, Andrea Corbin, Kim Cook, Sarah Grant, Dean Warner, Jason Knox, Patrick Kennedy and Steve Bellefontaine.
In 1990, Orenda's athletes Steve Giles, Peter Giles, Leslie-Anne Young and Bryan Burns are the only Nova Scotians to make the Canadian National Paddling Team and compete at the World Championships in Paris. Steve Giles of Orenda replaces Larry Cain as Canada's #1 Canoe Paddler. Orenda wins Provincial Bantam Championships in 1991. Orenda's Athletes Steve Giles, Leslie-Anne Young and Glen Girard are chosen for Canada's Olympic Team to compete in Barcelona at the Olympic Games in 1992. Orenda Athletes Tobi Brooks and Colin Farah are named to the Nova Scotia Canada Games Team in 1993. - Tobi Brooks wins a Silver Medal as part of the K4 Team at the Canada Games. Adult Paddling Program (Masters) is introduced at Orenda, making Orenda a truly family oriented facility. In 1994 Orenda was chosen as winner of Fair Play Award for Canada. Steve and Peter Giles, Glen Girard and Leslie Anne Young are chosen to represent Canada at the World Paddling Championships in Mexico in September. Orenda wins nine trophies at Bantam Championships, Lake Banook. N.S. Orenda is named as Canada's nominee for the International Fairplay Award, to be awarded in Paris later in 1994. Orenda wins Midget Ladies National Championship Burgee at National Championships, Welland, Ontario 1995. Steve Giles maintains his position as National C1 Champion. Orenda wins Bantam Ladies Burgee and 10 individual and team boat trophies at Bantam Championships, Lake Banook. Brock Brooks sets new Lake Banook record by winning both Peewee Mens C1 and K1, Bantam Championships, Lake Banook. In 1996: Steve Giles captures eighth position in C1 500M at 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Five Orenda Paddlers named to the Nova Scotia Canada Games Team : Elizabeth Orton, Brendon O'Connor, Andrew Tyrrell, Chad Brooks and Dereck Bourdeleau. In 1997 Orenda coach Troy Comeau is named Canada Games Head Coach. Under his coaching, the Nova Scotia paddling team brings home a total of 27 Canada Games paddling medals, 14 of which are Gold, the largest medal total ever for paddling. Every member of the team achieves at least one medal. Steve Giles achieves 6th in the 1000M and 4th in the 500M in World Championships held in Dartmouth N.S. In 1998, Steve Giles wins World Championship 1000M C1 in Szeged, Hungary. Corey Firth takes over as new Head Coach of Orenda. The Club’s membership is predominantly young paddlers - the next paddling generation. In 1999 Steve Giles wins Gold in Pan Am Games 1000M C1 and Silver in 500M C1 in Winnipeg, and is voted the IKON Male Athlete of the Year. At National Championships in Ottawa Orenda wins Midgets ladies C15 and Midget mens K4. Orenda Masters win 5 Silver and 3 Bronze medals at CANMAS.
Steve Giles caps his paddling career with an Olympic Bronze medal in Sydney Australia in 2000. Orenda receives municipal grant and with significant Volunteer help, builds new two story extension to the clubhouse to accommodate expanding boat housing needs, and club activity requirements. National Championships see Midget ladies C4 Gold, Midget ladies C15 Silver, Juvenile ladies C15 Silver, Senior Ladies C15 Bronze. In 2001, four Orenda Paddlers win places on the Nova Scotia Canada Games Team : Sara Lawlor, Catherine MacKenzie, Chelsey Bowser, Brock Brooks. Angela Barrett, a long time Orenda paddler, is the Team Manager. The athletes all bring home at least one medal, with three achieving multiple medals including Gold. Orenda sends the largest contingent ever to National Championships, 57 athletes. This reaps 2 gold in Midget and Juvenile ladies C4 and 8 Bronze in mens and ladies C15 and singles.
Check out these YouTube videos of Orenda.
What A Life Project: Orenda Canoe Club
The history of Orenda Canoe Club, Lake Echo, Nova Scotia; the difference it has made for individuals, its community and the sport of paddling. Click here to open video.
Orenda Canoe Club Reel 2008
This Video tells you all about our history of the club and a virtual tour plus a run of the ages at the end. Click here to open video