APRIL 14-16


2023 event details (CLICK HERE)

MACKfest Venue: 

Event date: April 14-16, 2023

Location: Marmora and Area Curling Club, 2 Crawford Dr, Marmora ON, K0K 2M0

MACKfest Schedule:

Friday April 14:

Saturday April 15:

Sunday April 16th:


Friday Creeking Clinic:

Paddler Co-op Creeking Clinic

Paddler Co-op will be hosting a guided, low cost kayak creeking and river running clinic on Beaver Creek on Friday April 14, 2023. 

The goal of this clinic is to provide participants with a guided experience to get to know and explore the river, to build confidence in paddling narrow and steeper rapids, paddling in cold temperatures at the start of the season and to explore the limits of their comfort zones in a safe and supportive setting. 

The clinic takes place over the entire river run where we will explore warm-up techniques, refine basic skills and maneuvers to inspire confidence, set goals for the day, scout and dissect the more challenging rapids, encourage self-regulation and safety with our line choices, river running styles, options to walk, and explore the river in a way to inspire confidence and familiarity. 

The cost for this clinic is entirely by donation ($50 minimum suggested), and all funds will be donated to MACKfest. 

The clinic will be capped at 10 paddlers to ensure safety and quality. Instruction will take place throughout the river run, and is suited to experienced but novice-and-up paddlers looking to build confidence. Participants must have cold-immersion gear (dry suit preferred), a consistent roll in class 2 and a willingness to challenge themselves and implement coaches’ feedback.

Ryan O’Connor, will be the clinic’s head coach, supported by additional qualified and professional guides from Paddler Co-op. Ryan’s experience and instructional expertise is second to none when it comes to diagnosing and refining technique, building confidence in paddlers and addressing the mental game, as well as breaking down skills into digestible, bite-sized pieces that are practical and applicable. Some of his accreditations are ORCKA Moving Water Canoe and Kayak level 3 (advanced) Instructor and Instructor Trainer, River Rescue Instructor and North American Whitewater Open Canoe Championships silver medalist. With over a decade of professional instruction and guiding under his belt participants are sure to walk away with more confidence, clarity and ability on the water and much more value than they paid for.

Set yourself up for the best MACKFest yet and sign up today, spots are sure to book up fast!


Since its inception in 2008, the Marmora and Area Canoe and Kayak Festival, MACKfest for short, has grown significantly in popularity and developed a reputation as one of the “must make” spring whitewater festivals in Ontario.

The three-day whitewater paddling event is organized by volunteers from one of the largest recreational paddling clubs in Ontario, the Kawartha Whitewater Paddlers (KWP). 

MACKfest promotes some amazing rivers, known as the “Highway 7 Runs” as they intersect Highway 7, running between Peterborough and Ottawa.

They feature river runs from Class II-IV as well as a number of quality park and play spots.

New to the festival for 2023 is the MACKfest Paddler Polar Dip in Queensborough and a Friday Creeking Clinic hosted in partnership with Paddler Co-op (pre-registration required).

This annual festival is a great way to kickstart your paddling season, dust off your winter cobwebs and meet new and old friends. Aside from exciting spring boating, the event promises amazing prizes from many sponsors and great live music, with proceeds going to local community organizations and river advocacy initiatives.  Organizers are looking forward to boaters gathering in Marmora once again to celebrate spring paddling in Ontario!

A Little MACKfest History:

MACKfest and WO Advocacy have negotiated with landowners over time to establish and maintain river access land-sharing agreements on a number of the Highway 7 runs. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the following landowners:

1. Beaver Creek put-in at the hydro cut: This land is owned by Dale Reynolds and family

2. Beaver Creek Bridge Drop rapid: The land river right is owned by Natalie Zanussi 

3. Beaver Creek Fidlar’s Take-out: The grassy meadow is owned by Brenda Gorham

4. Upper Black River - BBB Falls portage on river right: The land is owned by Jerry and Kim Brodey and family

5. Upper Black River Take-out in Queensborough: This land is owned by Elaine and Lud Kapusta and family

6. Crowe Bridge play waves: River right wave access is on land owned by Lucille and Joe Orlando 

7. Skootamatta River Take-out: The cottage and trail at the take-out is owned by Phil Kompass and family 

Whitewater Ontario gives thanks to Queensborough

During a presentation held the morning of March 24, 2012 in the hamlet of Queensborough, Whitewater Ontario unveiled a plaque recognizing the community for their continuing generosity in welcoming kayakers along the Black River.   Since 2005, the Queensborough Community Centre (QCC) has been hosting a fund raising luncheon for the paddlers who enjoy early spring runs on the Upper and Lower Black River.  The Money raised through the Saturday barbeques (known as Treats on the Black River) will be used to fund the drop-in children's summer program at the Community Centre this July.   Attending the presentation were, from left, Ann Barry (QCC), Joan Sims (QCC), Stephanie Sims (Children's Summer Program Counsellor), Susanna Sims, Ludwik Kapusta (QCC), Elaine Kapusta (QCC), Laura Duncan (Whitewater Ontario Advocacy Committee Chair), Wayne Donison (Whitewater Ontario Vice President), Gary George, Leah Kindree, and Ben Plumb (all Advocacy Committee members). The sign reads, "This access opportunity provided in partnership between Ludwik and Elaine Kapusta and Whitewater Ontario.  Erected by Whitewater Ontario in appreciation of the Queensborough Community's ongoing hospitality to whitewater paddlers, with a special thank-you to onwners Ludwik and Elaine Kapusta."




Elaine & Lud Kapusta

Black River

Jerry and Kim Brodey

Black River

Dale Reynolds

Beaver Creek

Natalie Zanussi

Beaver Creek

Brenda Gorham

Beaver Creek

Phil & Amanda Kompass

Skootamatta River 

Lucille & Joe Orlando

Crowe Bridge

A special thank you to the community of Queensborough for offering such a warm welcome to paddlers!




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