New Work Experience Project to Restore Historical Dragon Boats

The following information is excerpted from a release from the Government of British Columbia.

IMAGE: VANCOUVER SUN

IMAGE: VANCOUVER SUN

The BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is contributing nearly $164,000 to the Aspiral Youth Partners Association in Salmon Arm for a project that gives at least six people work experience in wood-working and restoration as they restore six original Taiwanese camphor wood dragon boats.

Under the guidance of a supervisor, participants will restore the dragon boats through various wood-working techniques (including work with power tools), painting and varnishing while also receiving additional work experience in personal management, teamwork and event-planning. Once complete, participants will have work experience they can add to their resumes and be better suited to find meaningful, full-time jobs in construction and restoration.

Once restored, the dragon boats will be on display at the Canada 150 Original Wooden Dragon Boat Festival from July 14 to 16, 2017, on Shuswap Lake at Canoe Beach, where there will be opportunities for multicultural participation and celebration of dragon boating with First Nations and Chinese dragon boats also on display. The event also features food, cultural entertainment and children’s programming to go along with wooden dragon boat races.

Kal Tire is also contributing $14,310 for transporting the dragon boats, while Westcor Media is providing $11,000 in-kind for video footage of participants to be compiled throughout the project.

The Province and Aspiral Youth Partners recently completed a similar partnership that gave seven people work experience restoring nine teakwood Chinese dragon boats, which were once paddled up False Creek during Expo 86 in Vancouver.

Those freshly-restored dragon boats have been on display at various community events – eight will be made available to use in communities, festivals and events throughout the province and the ninth will be returned to the Chinese Cultural Centre Dragon Boat Association in Vancouver to remain on display.

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