Canadian Voyageur Brigade Society (CVBS)

 2018 Writing / Story Competition

This competition will provide participants in past Brigades the opportunity to tell their individual story on some aspect of our brigading.  We are requesting short stories related to participation in Voyageur Canoe Brigades since the first Columbia Brigade in 2006 up to the series of Brigades held this past summer in 2017 celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.  Listed below are the general guidelines and information on this unique opportunity:

  1. The story is to written by individuals who have been part of at least one Brigade.
  2. Short story length to be between 1500 and 2000 words.
  3. Limit of one submission per person or persons.
  4. Topic categories, there is only 1- Brigading. Can cover anything and everything from organizing, team dynamics, funny situations, shuttling, community interaction, weather, impressions, friendships, trials and tribulations, anything that strikes to the essence of being a participant in a Brigade.  The topic matter is endless. Ground crew non paddling members are eligible.
  5. Prize money $1000. Breakdown is as follows: $500 first place, $300 second place, $100 third place and four honorable mentions at $25 each.
  6. Notification of contest on web site and mailed to CVBS mail out list. Spring newsletter. ( May)
  7. Reasonable submission period – Stories to be submitted by September 30, 2018.
  8. Winners announced at the end of November depending on number of submissions.
  9. Writers are to allow CVBS the right to post all suitable submitted stories on the CVBS website, and for future CVBS publications.
  10.  A future book with suitable submitted stories to be discussed and decided upon by CVBS executive and writing contest committee members.
  11. Initial committee members and judges- Rick Zroback, Diane Watson, Wayne Wilson.
  12. Entries to be submitted to Rick Zroback at, 780 817 4623, by November 15, 2018.
  13. Decisions on winners will be final.


Voyageur Canoe Brigades 2006 – 2017

2006 Columbia Brigade

2007 Columbia Brigade

2008 David Thompson Brigade

2010 Montreal Brigade

2011 Columbia Brigade                                                2011 Athabasca River Voyageur Canoe Brigade

2012 Okanagan Brigade

2013 Rideau Brigade                                                     2013 Fraser Brigade

2014 Gulf Islands Brigade

2015 Red Deer River Brigade

2016 Broughton Brigade

2017 Ft St. James to Prince George Brigade            2017 Sunshine Coast Canoe Journey

2017 Athabasca River Canoe Brigade                       2017 Sault St. Marie Ontario Brigade

2017 Ft Edmonton Canoe Brigade                             2017 South Wind Brigade                                                          

2017 West Wind Brigade                                             2017 North Wind Brigade

2017 East Wind Brigade                                               2017 St. John River Brigade

2017 PEI Brigade                                                           2017 Lake Superior Canoe Brigade

2017 Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage



Rick Zroback– I have taken part in ten Brigades as well as numerous overnight and daily trips in voyageur canoes since my first introduction to voyageur canoe paddling in the 2008 David Thompson Brigade. I have been team leader for several Brigades as well as being part of the organizing committees for several Brigades including the two official Brigades held on the Athabasca River in 2011 and 2017. I also write a human interest column for the local weekly newspaper which of course has included past stories on brigading.
Wayne Wilson – I spent the bulk of my working career in the Museum field, the last 12 years of this as the Executive Director of the Kelowna Museums Society. I hold a BA and MA in Historical Geography (UBC), and have published a number of books and articles on the Okanagan Valley’s local and regional history and geography. I have participated in 3 Brigades as well as a number of other long distance canoe trips. Co-judge, Rick Zroback, and I were part of a monumental month-long 1500km journey from Fort Providence to Inuvik in the Mackenzie River Delta in 2014.
Diane Watson – Diane Watson’s love of the mountains and outdoor life brought her to her first teaching job in Hinton, Alberta in 1979. She has ‘dabbled’ in writing stories of adventures hiking the high places, skiing the best tracks and powdery passes, cycling the summits, and paddling the pristine waters of the Rockies. Interests in history, nature and sport have ignited a passion in her for voyageur canoes. Diane has participated in  five brigades and been a part of organizing two of them. She has been an active, long standing and award winning volunteer in the mountain community.