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Currents


PADDLING TOGETHER


Canada’s national non-competitive canoeing and kayaking body, Paddle Canada, recently announced a new partnership with Rapid Media. As the publisher of Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots & Family Camping and Rapid magazines, Rapid Media is now the official me- dia partner of Paddle Canada. Members will receive their choice of Rapid Media magazines beginning in February, replacing Paddle Canada’s own longstanding publication, KANAWA. Paddle Canada’s executive director, Graham Ketcheson, says the


decision has been a long time coming. “Some of our board members didn’t want to let KANAWA die after 30 years of history,” he says. “But with the economic realities facing not-for-profits and our print publi- cation, it just made sense to jump on board with Rapid Media.” Paddle Canada is an instructor-based organization and Ketcheson


sees his members greatly benefitting from targeted titles. “KANAWA just wasn’t speaking to many of our instructor members for several different reasons,” he says. “Instructors will really benefit from choos- ing the magazine that fits their needs.” Te KANAWA title will be preserved as a Paddle Canada-sponsored


section inside Rapid, Adventure Kayak and Canoeroots, providing readers with a snapshot of association happenings. “I’m excited about all PC members reading our magazines, it cer-


tainly strengthens our reach to enthusiasts and industry leaders,” says Rapid Media founder and publisher Scott MacGregor. “But the big win here is the rest of the paddling community being more aware of the efforts of their national paddling association.” Tis announcement comes within a year of a similar agreement be-


tween the U.S.’s member-based, national paddling nonprofit Ameri- can Canoe Association (ACA) and Rapid Media. Last fall, the ACA announced that they would no longer be producing Paddler magazine, a long-time membership benefit also available to outside subscribers.


PADDLE CANADA AND ACA PARTNER WITH RAPID MEDIA


“Paddler had been around for 20 years so there was some immediate backlash,” says ACA executive director Wade Blackwood. “But after members read their first issues of Rapid Media’s publications, that went away.” A year on, Blackwood says the transition has largely been viewed as


positive for the ACA. “Tis has been one of the largest fusions of support in the ACA’s history,” says Blackwood. “We’re seeing members looking to interact through Rapid Media’s digital and print publications.” When MacGregor started Rapid in a cabin in the Ottawa Valley


14 years ago, becoming the official magazines of both America and Canada was only a dream. “In those early years all our big paddling initiatives were perceived as being in direct conflict with either as- sociation,” remembers MacGregor. Working together with both the ACA and Paddle Canada, MacGregor sees all three organizations now “perfectly aligned to grow paddling.” Being the national media provider for both an American and Ca-


nadian paddling association may have its challenges. Not that pad- dling is any different north or south of the border, but what about the Queen’s English? “Last year when we signed the ACA deal, we switched to the Web-


ster’s Dictionary in our editorial office,” jokes MacGregor. “But with the Paddle Canada partnership now in place, we feel we can once again reference poutine, toques and 2-4s and enough readers will know what the hell we’re talking about.” For Ketcheson, the partnership goes beyond magazines. “It opens


the door to working with the ACA, Parks Canada, Canadian Heri- tage Rivers and some of Rapid Media’s other major partners. Tere are many benefits that will emerge as things grow, there are lots of possibilities.” —Michael Mechan


PADDLING BUYER’S GUIDE | www.rapidmedia.com 19


IN THE SAME BOAT. PHOTO: BETH KENNEDY


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