News & Events


Carnation Ceremony 2019

posted Jun 26, 2019, 4:18 PM by Robusters Website


On Saturday, June 22 we had our Pink Carnation ceremony after practice. This has become a  Kootenay Robuster tradition as we pause to remember those who have lost their battle with Breast Cancer, those who are presently fighting to restore their good health and to renew our commitment to our Mission to experience physical, emotional, spiritual, & mental wellness at a level that is comfortable & personally challenging. 

Please pause to remember Robusters who are no longer with us: Pat Austin, Phyllis Weldon, Wanda Mears, Lora Burke, Mary Jane Cadman, Maria Morris, Janet Merry, Mavis Chato, Amy Fehr, Kay Read, Lisa Marken, Maxine Dewdney, Sharron Griffiths, Judy Peck, Dr. Trudi Toews & Arlene McGillivray.



Okanagan Super Sprints

posted Jun 16, 2019, 12:01 PM by Robusters Website

June 15, 2019
The Kootenay Robusters took part in an early season festival in Penticton on Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15. With many new paddlers on the roster, our goals were to practice putting  6 races together using the skills that we will be honing all season  - and to have some fun!  Although we didn't win any prizes, we were pleased with how well the team paddled after only 19 practices this season. The Super Sprints were a perfect starting point for us, since the 250 meter races were manageable for everyone. This festival included some highly skilled teams whose strength and timing impressed and motivated us.  We hope to be ready to compete again in August at the Calgary Festival.

Robuster Launch 19th Season

posted Apr 28, 2019, 4:44 PM by Robusters Website   [ updated Apr 28, 2019, 4:44 PM ]

On Saturday, April 27th, the Kootenay Robusters gathered at Christina Lake Resort for the first paddle of the season. The day began when Otter Louis unveiled her winter's project of refinishing the club's carbon fibre paddles - a huge undertaking that earned the undying gratitude of all her team mates. Then it was time to unwrap the dragon boat and slide it into the water.  The chilly temperatures and stiff wind only made the first outing more exhilarating and it was good to get the season underway.  The Robusters' first festival is in mid-June so every practice counts as they prepare for competition.





Annual Donation to the KBRH

posted Dec 10, 2018, 9:01 AM by Robusters Website

The Kootenay Robusters have donated $4,000 in memory of Dr. Trudi Toews to the Oncology Department at KBRH. Dr. Toews was a charter member of the Kootenay Robusters and longtime Physician at KBRH. Lisa Pasin, Director of Development for the KBRH Health Foundation accepted this donation from members of the Kootenay Robusters Dragon Boat Team.
The funds are raised primarily through the sale of the annual calendar of scenic Kootenay photos - eagerly awaited by the Robusters' many supporters.  

18th Season Ends

posted Dec 10, 2018, 8:55 AM by Robusters Website   [ updated Jun 26, 2019, 4:26 PM ]

The Robusters put their dragon boat to bed at the end of September and got ready to put some effort into dryland training for the off season.Paddlers from each of the three regions (Grand Forks/Christina Lake, Trail/ Rossland and Castlegar) organize group and individual training sessions to complete a winter program under the direction of coach Trish Ostlund.  We hope to be fit and ready to take to the water again as soon as possible in the spring.  

We are grateful for the generosity of Schulli's Resort, which has been storing our dragon boat, safety boat and outrigger canoe on their property for many seasons.  

Robusters Compete in Victoria

posted Aug 14, 2018, 2:31 PM by Robusters Website   [ updated Aug 14, 2018, 2:33 PM ]

The Kootenay Robusters travelled by bus to Victoria on Aug. 10-13, 2018 to compete in that festival for the first time.  The setting in Victoria's inner harbor was spectacular and the women's competition as intense as usual.  The team ended up placing fourth in the Diamond A division - a fantastic result considering that the average age of the members is 64. Competing was great, but being together was our favorite part.  The team stayed at the University of Victoria dorms and relived experiences from the past.
As usual, the festival held a moving carnation ceremony and this time included a team of survivors called "Stayin' Alive" composed of people who had experienced a wide variety of cancers.

Christina Lake Homecoming 2018

posted Jul 16, 2018, 2:51 PM by Robusters Website


The Robusters moved their Saturday practice to late afternoon so they could take part in this annual event at the south end of the lake.  The team had a picnic on the beach and then took members of the public out to try dragon boating while they waited for the skies to darken.  Earlier in the day, Susan Sandner led a group of dragon decorators in a lighting project to make our new boat look its best for the party.  We tied for first place in the non-motorized category and made a good impression on the assembled home comers. 

Carnation Ceremony and Trudi Tribute

posted Jun 17, 2018, 3:00 PM by Robusters Website


On Saturday, June 16th, the Robusters, past and present, gathered with friends and family of the late Trudi Toews to honor her and the other members of the team who live on in our memories.  

Trish Ostlund gave a moving tribute and Trudi's husband, Cedric, also spoke about what the team meant to her.  Barb Read had composed a lovely poem, which she read.

After the traditional playing of Garth Brooks' "The River," we threw carnations and roses into the waters of Christina Lake, where we had shared so many happy memories with the team mates who are no longer with us.  

This will be our last carnation ceremony at the Read property, as we are moving to a new location at the end of June.

Slopes for Hopes 2018

posted Jun 17, 2018, 2:50 PM by Robusters Website


Once again, the Kootenay Robusters made an impression at the annual Slopes for Hopes fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.  As usual, we had a great day at Red Mountain, skied the height of Mount Everest and left a trail of pink feathers everywhere we went.  

The team raised a lot of money for the Cancer Society and enjoyed our time together on the slopes.  

Participants included Lisa Kramer-Hunt, Susan Sullivan, Kathryn Tremblay, Denise Maier, Maria Maier, Lori Beetstra, Jan Micklethwaite and Pat Bruce.  

Plaque to Honour Robusters

posted Jun 17, 2018, 2:39 PM by Robusters Website

A few years ago, the Robusters decided to place a plaque above Colville Bay, where we have spent so many years practicing and paddling together.  It was in response to the passing of several team mates but was also intended to honor all breast cancer survivors.  

Recently, the area had become overgrown and the plaque almost impossible to see, so three Castlegar members of the team made the difficult descent down to the location and cleared away the brush.

Then a Rossland team member planted some flowers and placed a paddle to draw attention to the memorial, which is now much more visible.

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