Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival putting down their paddles

Sudbury, ON –After 20 years of dragon boat racing on Lake Ramsey, the dragons will not be returning. The Festival will no longer be held and the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival Corporation will be closing permanently effective September 30, 2019. 

Over the years, the Festival has raised over 1.8 million dollars in support of nine local charitable campaigns. Each one of these capital projects was successfully completed and made a substantial impact on the City of Greater Sudbury. 

In the mid 2000’s the Festival had over 150 teams participating, however, through the years, the Festival has faced a slow but steady decline with only 36 teams participating in 2019. 

Despite the challenges, the Board of Directors felt it was important to mark the 20th year of racing here in Sudbury in honor of the founding partners who created the Festival that spanned two decades, the community who has long supported the event, and of course all the teams who held their paddles up for charity. 

NEO Kids Foundation, this year’s charity of choice, received $45,000 in funds raised in support of the NEO Kids Care Center expansion project thanks to the paddlers, sponsors and volunteers who participated this 2019 season. 

With declining team participation and sponsorship opportunities, the event is no longer sustainable in its current format, therefore, the Festival made the difficult decision to be fiscally responsible and close its doors. Many factors were evaluated and the Festival explored several options before the Board voted to shut down the corporation. 

The Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival’s Board of Directors would like to thank everyone for their involvement and support of the Festival and its’ beneficiaries over the many years they operated. In addition, the Festival would like to thank the countless volunteers who helped plan and run the Festival every year. Every contribution was invaluable and greatly appreciated.