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Next edition of the Festival - August 22th to 24th 2014 - Register now!
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The Festival

The Upper Gatineau Whitewater Festival was created to promote the Gatineau River as a whitewater destination and to demonstrate to the local community the vast recreational and touristic potential of this magnificent river. As always, the Festival is aimed at making people and governments aware of the importance of protecting our rivers.

Join the Festival and help us preserve the Gatineau and other Quebec rivers in their natural state. All Festival proceeds go to the Quebec River Preservation Fund of the Fédération québécoise du canot et du kayak.

The Festival holds most of its activities on the Gatineau River. The Festival welcomes canoe, kayak and rafting enthusiasts of all calibres. Portages are maintained on all of the rapids providing a means by which the less experienced can discover the river. For families, a day care (day camp) is offered for children two years and up.

Click here to see the 2014 Festival's poster.

History

Re-discovered in 1997 after the end of the log drive by canoeists of Les Portageurs Canoe-Camping and Whitewater Club, the Maniwaki-Bouchette section of the Gatineau River soon became famous and very popular among Quebec's whitewater community. But the Gatineau River had also been spotted by hydroelectric development promoters. Hydro development would flood and/or artificially regulate the flow of the river, destroying rapids and ecosystems forever, and limit public access to what remained. In short, hydroelectric development would have had a devastating effect on the touristic potential of the river.

Confronted with these issues, Jasmin Lefebvre and Alain Bonin founded the Festival in 1997. The first edition was organized by the Portageurs Canoe Club.

Since 1999, for logistical and legal considerations, the Fédération québécoise du canot et du kayak (Québec Canoe and Kayak Federation) has organized the Festival. It has grown to become one of the major whitewater events in North-America, attracting enthusiasts of all calibres from Québec, Ontario, the United States and beyond.