During the last week of august, the Okanagan Brigade Society hosted voyageurs from across Western Canada, the North West United States, and possibly from as far away as Europe and Australia.
Base camp for the first two days of the brigade was the historic O’keefe Ranch. Entertainment included story telling by local historical story tellers. The first day’s activities included warm up paddles on Wood lake and Kalamalka Lake.
The official launch of 15 to 20, 24 foot long voyageur canoes occurred at the head of Lake Okanagan) on August 27.
Over the next several days the brigade travelled the entire length of lakes Okanagan and Skaha, to Okanagan Falls.
Each canoe waspaddled by six to 12 voyageurs. During the brigade, participants had the opportunity to learn about the rich history of the Okanagan First Nations people, the Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail, and the early ranching history of the valley.
The voyageurs were impressed by the beauty of the Okanagan valley. After paddling, there was ample time to savour fresh produce from local fruit stands and sample award winning wines from local wineries.
On hand to greet the paddlers upon their arrival at Christie Park was Area “D” Director Tom Siddon and Alternate Tom Styfffe, as well as a scattering of Okanagan Falls residents.