FAQ General Questions

The Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival is a three-day Dragon Boat competition, connecting folks from all walks of life to raise funds in support of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

All water activity is managed by Facility Marketing Group (FMG).

The traditional boats used in most modern-day events are 12 meters in length, constructed of solid teak and weigh approximately 1500 lbs. They are propelled by 20 paddlers, guided by a steersperson and kept in rhythm by a drummer seated at the bow of the boat, maintaining a steady and powerful pace for the duration of the traditional 500-metre course.

A sheer strength advantage in each individual paddler rarely results in victory. Teamwork combined with good strength to weight ratio is the key. Well-coordinated female and mixed crews routinely defeat all-male crews.

Each race takes approximately 2.5 minutes, but heats are run every 12-15 minutes allowing for teams to load and unload their boats.

Boats race in heats of three to four boats across. Total teamwork and a little spirit of competition make each race exciting!

Above all FMG Dragon Boat racing is great fun! It is extremely user-friendly and anyone, young (14 years plus) or old, at any fitness level can quickly adapt to and develop a passion for this sport.

Step 1: Register your team with FMG (Facility Marketing Group)
Step 2: Check back in with us to kick off your fundraising

A full team is 25 members (20 paddlers, 1 drummer, 1 steer-person and 3 trained alternates). One team member or paddler is selected to obtain the position of team manager, and this person is responsible for:

  • Team conduct
  • Communicating and distributing team information to all 25 team members
  • Gathering and submitting all necessary forms and waivers for the team
  • Representation at the very important race logistics meeting scheduled three days prior to the event date
  • Acting as a liaison with the race committee (only the team manager is to speak on behalf of the team members)

Each mixed team must consist of a minimum of eight female and eight male paddlers.

Yes. Each team is required to pay a $900 registration fee to FMG. If you have a full team (25 members), the cost per person is approximately $36.

What does my registration fee include?
Payable to Facility Management Group (FMG), your registration fee is used for:

  • Complete festival and event management
  • Management of on-water activities, including site selection, race management and race results
  • Participant training and safety
  • Use of one of the most modern, and up-to-date fleets of dragon boats, portable docks, paddles and life jackets

No. In accordance with Canada Revenue Agency Guidelines, registration fees are not eligible for tax receipts.

The Dragon Boat Festival is much more than a fundraiser. Participants who register commit to a personal health and fitness goal with incentive to fundraise. YOU commit to:

  • Participating in two to three scheduled team practices
  • Being available for the weekend of September 6-8. You will race two out of the three days and will receive your race times in advance of the event
  • Being proactive in reducing your own risk of cancer by making practical changes in your everyday life. Move, Nourish, Protect, Clear, Check and Protect Your Tomorrows

Click here for more healthy living tips.

A registered team member must be 14 years of age of older in the year of competition (unless otherwise approved by race management) and no team member under the age of 18 will be allowed to practice or race without written consent and a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Please bring your registration package. Wear water shoes and clothes you are comfortable exercising in and getting WET!

Proper equipment can make all the difference to your experience as this is a rain or shine event! We have put together a list of recommended items. Most importantly, check the weather and dress appropriately.


Plan to get wet! Make sure all your clothes, including your shoes are water friendly. This event goes on rain or shine, so consider rain coats and/or pants in cooler weather.

Did you know 80 per cent of UV rays pass through clouds on a cloudy day? Remember to wear a hat and sunscreen, rain or shine! Bring a sweater and/or nylon windbreaker with you in case of cool temperatures.


Make sure you are wearing shoes that can get wet, such as water shoes or sandals. Consider bringing an extra pair of shoes you can wear in between races.



Water will be available onsite, but we encourage you to bring a reusable water bottle that can be filled at various locations on the Forks grounds.

Pack for the day. You’ll be onsite all day, so make sure to bring everything you need, such as your water bottle and a change of clothes. Additional items like snacks, a camera, sunscreen, lip balm, extra socks, pain reliever and anti-blister aids can also be carried on you. FMG offers a coat-check for a fee to store your items safely when you are on the water.

FAQ Fundraising

Fundraising is at the heart of what dragon boaters do. Our fundraising significantly impacts in the lives of children in our province, and can help improve outcomes for Manitoba kids with cancer.

It's important to know that any donation, no matter the size, makes an incredible difference. And fundraising is really much, much easier than you'd think. We're here to help you experience the thrill of achieving your goal! For more information on how to fundraise, visit our website or contact events@cancercare.mb.ca.

No, fundraising is not required to participate in the event, however it is STRONGLY encouraged. 50 to 60 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Paddle the big boats on the Red in support of kids with cancer.

When you raise $1,000 you earn a special edition Red Dragon Boat Paddle, so Paddles UP and set you sights high! Our top fundraiser is presented with a one of a kind Gold Paddle!

A welcome package will be emailed to those signed up to fundraise. Feel free to copy it and distribute to all team members who are eager to get started!

Raising money may seem like a daunting task. Some, who hesitated at first, have now become our top fundraisers! Once you’ve registered, you will create a where you can tell your story and encourage donations from friends and family. Here’s how you can help Manitoba Kids with Cancer:

  • Hold a team meeting to organize practices, design team shirts, and most importantly to discuss fundraising.
  • Set a fundraising goal. If every paddler raised $200, the event would raise over $350,000!
  • Make a fundraising plan, how is every paddler on your team going to raise $200 or maybe $1,000? Easy! Sign up online and create your own personal webpage. Post a picture of your team and let people know why you are participating. Then share the URL with your teammates, so they can create their own personal pages. Check out more tips on making the most out of your fundraising efforts HERE
  • PERSONAL FUNdraising See a breakdown of your fundraising goal HERE

Online fundraising is definitely the easiest and best way for you and your donors. Not only will the online donation show immediately on your team page, your donor will receive an electronic tax receipt within a few business days. Click here to register or join your team to fundraise online.

Whether you are collecting donations from your contact network or holding your own fundraising event, we are here to help! Our Fundraising Tips & Resources page has great ideas to get you started, or you can call us at 204-927-5433, we’ll do all we can to help you succeed!

The sooner you register, the better! Donations are accepted up to event day. Please make every effort to turn in your donations by Thursday September 5 to allow for processing, so you are credited with all donations prior to the day of the event.

To avoid potential lineups on event day, please try to turn in any donations in advance at the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation office, Monday to Friday, located at 825 Sherbrook Street. Entrance to the office is located on the corner of Sherbrook Street and Bannatyne Avenue across from the Health Sciences Centre. Parking is available at the loading zone by the entrance. Enter under the blue canopy on Bannatyne Avenue and follow the signs through the sliding doors on your left.

We want to get as accurate a count as possible of those who have made a commitment to fundraising, so we can plan for their participation on event day and help keep our costs down. We also want to ensure we have the appropriate number of Red Paddles for participants who raise over $1,000.

Your fundraising efforts will benefit all Manitoban children through the outstanding work done at CancerCare Manitoba and the Children’s Hospital. We know your donors will appreciate supporting these kids through the Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival.

FAQ - Corporate and Community Teams

A corporate team is a group of individuals from a Manitoba business or organization. A community team is a group of individuals who choose to enter together as a team.

A full team (crew) for racing is 25 members (20 paddlers, 1 drummer, 1 steer-person and 3 trained alternates)

FAQ Donations

Fundraising is not required to participate in the Dragon Boat Festival, however it is STRONGLY encouraged. Remember, your fundraising will make a significant impact in the lives these children, and can help improve outcomes for Manitoba kids with cancer.

It is important to know that any donation, no matter the size, makes an incredible difference. And fundraising is really much, much easier than you'd think. We're here to help you experience the thrill of achieving your goal!

Donating online is easy and secure. Click the DONATE button at the top of the Dragon Boat website.

Enter the name of the participant in the search area you wish to support and follow the prompts. You may also choose to search for a team or donate to the Dragon Boat Festival directly. Online donors will receive an immediate confirmation of their donation, followed by a tax receipt via email.

We make every effort to protect your personal information. The software we use for registrations and donations on the website uses industry-standard SSL encryption techniques to make sure that your credit card information, passwords and personal information travel securely over the Internet. Our software provider has also installed an encryption engine on our database server so your data is securely stored. Credit card information is never stored in our database or our software provider's database.

Download a printable donation form or call our office at 204-927-5433 and we will send one to you. Mail the form in with your donation cheque. Our mailing address is on the form.

Cash donations can be made in person Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) at the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation events office located at 825 Sherbrook Street. Office entrance is located on Bannatyne Ave under the blue canopy. Parking is available at the loading zone by the entrance. Or if you are in the CancerCare Manitoba building, please drop of your donations at the main Foundation office, main floor, room 1160.

Donations made online will show up immediately on a participant's web page. For donations made by cash or cheque, please allow up to two weeks for processing.

Receipts will automatically be mailed for donations of $15 or more.

Please allow two to three weeks after your donation has been received in our office to receive your tax receipt. Receipts for online donations will be sent by email. Tax receipts for mail or walk-in donations will be sent by Canada Post.

FAQ - Training

Yes! We want you to feel great and celebrate your successes on event day. Your team will be provided with three opportunities to get your feet wet, practicing together. The information will be provided to you in early July.

Please wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.

Your team captain will receive your practice schedule for the month of August. Each team is required to attend three practices. At each practice, FMG staff will review the safety guidelines for on land and on water, the rules of dragon boating and the dragon boat paddle stroke.

The practices are one hour in length and you and you are required to arrive 30 minutes before your practice. Each participant must sign a waiver and each boat must have the minimum number of paddles.

Practices take place on the Red River at The Forks in the same location as event weekend. The site is close to the Esplanade Riel/Provencher Bridge, north of the Children’s Museum and east of the outdoor stage.

If you are unable to complete your races due to an emergency, please let one of the FMG Dock Crew know.

Your safety is always our first priority and we have EMS on site to assist if you need medical attention. If you are unable to compete for another reason, you must let your team captain know.

Remember just because you can’t make it on event day, doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference by raising funds that profoundly impact CancerCare Manitoba patient outcomes. Email or call us at 204-927-5433 for more information on how to support the Manitoba Dragon Boat festival and raise funds for kids with cancer.

Looking to get involved, but not sure if paddling is right for you? We have a range of other options including VOLUNTEERING, cheer leading and more! Contact at 204-927-5433 to find out about other ways you can get involved on event day.

FAQ - Your Personal Page and Participant Centre

The Participant Centre is part of the website that is only available to you after you register. You will have a username and password to log in. Once you log in, you'll have access to excellent tools to set up and edit your Personal Page, send emails to potential supporters and access exclusive fundraising and healthy living tips.

Log in to your Participation Centre on the Dragon Boat website by clicking “Login” on top right-hand corner of the Dragon Boat home page. Enter your username and password. Click here to learn what else you can do from your Participant Centre.

Your Personal Page is your opportunity to tell your story to the world. Friends and family can visit and easily donate to you online or print out a donation form. Anyone who looks up your name on the Dragon Boat site will be directed to your Personal Page. Your Personal Page is automatically created when you register. Then it's simply a matter of personalizing it by adding photos, writing messages about what inspired you to Paddle the Big Boats and sharing the page with your family and friends.

Login NOW to get started!

You can simply call 204-927-5433 and our friendly staff will get you started and provide you with ongoing support.

When friends or family visit www.manitobadragonboatfestival.ca, they can either click on the "Donate" button or they can select SEARCH FOR A PARTICIPANT from the ‘Participant’ drop down menu at the top of the webpage. Either way, when they type in your name, they will be directed to your Personal Page. You also have the ability to send emails from your Participant Centre that will give donors access to a link that takes them directly to your Personal Page.

To personalize your webpage, you can upload a photo from your computer to your online Participant Centre. Read Using Your Participant Centre details here.

If you are having difficulties please call 204-927-5433.

Hover your mouse over the ‘Login’ button on the top right corner of the Dragon Boat page. You will see a prompt that asks ‘Forgot your password?’ click it. This will take you to a password recovery screen. You may also recover your user name here.

At the top of this page, log in using your username and password.

Once you are logged in, at the top of your page click on a topic called “Update Profile.” This takes you to your profile information. You will be able to change your contact information, email address, username and password. At the bottom of that page, click ‘save’. You can now continue using the site.

If you are having difficulties, please call 204-927-5433

FAQ - Your Dollars at Work

Yes! Not only are you making a difference in the lives of Manitobans living with cancer, you are making a difference in your own life by participating in the Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival and getting active!

To find out more about the impact your donations are making, click here.

Proceeds from the event stay right here in Manitoba to support research, clinical trials and in hospital care for children living with cancer.

We are committed to keeping the cost of running an event of this magnitude to a minimum and our sponsors, volunteers and partners contribute significantly to help offset those costs. We will continue to strive to have all costs covered by sponsorship, so all funds raised can go directly to CancerCare Manitoba.