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"Free" rafting on the Kipawa River with Esprit

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    [b:eh8ekrc9]”Free” as in Esprit will donate 100% of our revenues from this trip to Les Amis to help offset their legal fees in their fight to preserve navigability of the dam at Laniel.[/b:eh8ekrc9]

    Here is the scoop. As some of you know (and others may not) Les Amis de Kipawa has entered into a legal action with Public Works Canada. The fight is to maintain the navigability of the dam at Laniel which is currently under reconstruction. There has been tireless effort put in by some VERY dedicated volunteers to keep the dam at Laniel navigable for recreational purpose including canoes, kayaks and rafts. This case is very important for the paddling community at large, and may be precedent setting for environmental battles in the future.

    Les Amis, their lawyers (who have taken the case pro-bono) and some other dedicated individuals should all be applauded for their efforts. Without these dedicated individuals we would all be putting in below the dam.

    Esprit is also trying to do its part. We have appealed to our new MP (the new Minister of Transport), we are expert witnesses in the Les Amis case, we have helped translate some documentation….. but now there is a financial crunch coming on and i think that the general paddling community can help us raise some funds to keep the case alive.

    An escalation of expenses has put the pressure on les Amis. Despite free legal council….expenses add up and this escalation is putting the case at risk.

    Esprit is prepared to offer Les Amis 56 rafting spaces on an afternoon trip on Sunday June 25 at 1:00pm to 7:00pm free of charge. To join this trip participants would make a donation to Les Amis. The donation fee would be the same as our normal rafting rate ($100 per person) but all proceeds would go to Les Amis. Our guide’s, dedicated to the cause, have offerred their wages to help support the LES AMIS cause as well.

    What we need from the paddling community is to rustle up your friends, family and companions who cannot paddle the river and get them booked on this particular trip. When we combine a worthy cause with a fun and adventurous time…..everyone wins!

    To book on this trip contact Julie at 800 596 7238 or
    Please mention you are interested in the Les Amis Legal Fund trip and 100% of your trip costs will go directly to Les Amis and their battle to preserve our navigation rights at Laniel.

    We hope to see you at the Kipawa,

    Jim, Erin and Team Esprit

    Kevin M

    It’s a great idea for people to take their non boating family etc to see the Kipawa. Their view of wonder falls will be worth the trip alone.


    Thanks for the kind words Kevin…..but our offer is only generous if the paddling community takes us up on the offer. So far….. we have made one booking, just 55 spaces left.

    Peter karwaki or Doug Skeggs would be able to tell you if donations are tax deductable….I don’t believe they are as Les Amis is a not for profit rather than a charity.

    Spread the word!!

    See you at the Kipawa!


    Kevin M

    I really hope your plan works out for les Amis. Kayaking has been changing over the last few years. People are not as river friendly as they us to be. Hopefully as it get closer it will start to fill up.


    We have currently 2 bookings baesd on our offer to donate 100% of our revenues to les Amis for the Sunday afternoon trip.

    In stead of raising just $200 i hope the paddling community can instill some extra interest in the rally and bring some non paddling friends for the Les Amis Legal Fund trip. It would be embarrassing if we can’t fill the trip with 56 people and raise $5600 for Les Amis!

    Lets hope we can fill the trip up!!



    Many, many thanks to Jim for doing this. And I hope people pick up on the opportunity.

    We are trying to protect the Kipawa River from agressive hydro power developers and from bureaucrats who can’t seem to understand the fundamental nature and importance of navigation rights granted to Canadians through the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA).

    We’re in a fight here to protect a piece of the planet, a beautiful and valuable natural resource, and to protect our rights to experience and interact with that natural resource in a very personal way.

    We would not be where we are today in that fight without Esprit Rafting. Several years ago, Jim started pulling his rafts out of his money-making operation on the Ottawa and bringing them up to the Kipawa to help us with the rally.

    What that did for us was it allowed us to take people down the river who otherwise would never see it the way we see it…local people, who would then come to understand the value of the river.

    In 2005, more people rafted the river than ran it in canoes and kayaks.

    Now Jim has offered to take a fanancial hit on his operation at the rally and direct all of the proceeds to our legal costs.

    Our legal cost are substantial. I spent 20 hours with our lawyer last week alone. Anyone who has ever had to pay a lawyer, knows that legal help does not come cheaply.

    The Ottawa law firm of Jewitt-Morrision is giving us an incredible discount because they care…their motto is “We Fight The Good Fight”. The lawyer they’ve made available for our case, Rob Monti, is a boater who has run the Kipawa, so he knows what we’re talking about.


    And years from now, when the polar ice caps have melted and your grandchildren ask “what did you do for the environment?” you can say “well I helped protect the Kipawa River.”

    This is important folks. Please make an effort to support Jim’s fund-raiser.



    Thank you for the compliments Doug. As it stands this is a crucial time in preserving the river. If our collective voice is not heard now….. we will not stand a chance against Taberet. We often have people ask us what we can really do to preserve our “wild rivers” and I usually think the best thing is to use them responsibly and share them so others will become passionate about preserving them as well.

    I thought that this trip would be a “no brainer” to fill as I figured the paddling community must have some non-boating friends and family to “share” the river with.

    I hope the paddling community will rally behind this trip to make it happen in a meaningful way.

    If 25% of the paddlers going to the Kipawa were to share the river with 1 non paddling friend this trip would be full in a heart beat and Les Amis would have $5600 to fight our collective fight..

    Lets hope it happens.



    I just spoke with Mark Long from Momentum and they are going to join us for the Les Amis Legal Fund Trip and donate 100% of their revenues from the Sunday PM trip to Les Amis. This gives us 77 spaces available to hopefully raise $7700 for Les Amis. Our goal is to raise $10000 for les Amis. In the event the paddling community sells out this trip to 77…. Esprit will free up any available spaces from our regular revenue producing inventory to top up the final 23 spaces. $10000 for the legal fund!

    So…..Esprit and Momentum are prepared to provide $10000 in product to help Les Amis fight for our collective navigation rights.

    To make this happen we need YOU….. to bring at least 1 non paddling friend to this years rally and book them on this trip.

    Lets make it happen!


    Kevin M

    Too bad other boaters don’t have the same conviction and generosity as you do.
    If they did we might be able to save the Kipawa for future generations of paddlers.


    Jim’s Earlier post is true. Momentum Outdoors has gotten on board with Esprit and will join the Sunday PM Legal Fund Trip. As with Esprit 100% of the proceeds will go to Les Amis Legal Fund.

    We must reiterate though for this to work, and really be able to help Les Amis in the legal battle, we need to fill all those spaces. So call all your non paddling friends and get them out to help save a river. Not only will they have a great time rafting a beautiful river they will be helping out a good cause.

    If you are interested in booking or want more info contact us at 1 800 795 7701 or


    Thanks to everyone at Momentum for coming on board. It is great to be able to work together on a worthy project. Now lets hope the paddling community can fill up our spaces.

    Jim, Erin & Team Esprit


    <img loading=” title=”Sad” /> Going through some of the other posts and I notice that this one topic has close to a 1000 hits. This means that close to a 1000 people from the paddling world have read this article. Is the word “FREE” that grabbed peoples attention?

    I suspect that there will be more people at this rally than ever before( I Hope) What can happen to this river is beyond belief. Could you imagine never being able to run the dam again. Why should hard core boaters be able to experience the thrill of running the dam.

    Do “you” remember what is was like to feel the rush of of approaching the edge and sliding down onto that massive rooster tail at the bottom? Most paddlers are going to spend a few dollars to get there, what is an extra $100.00? This could be the best present you ever gave someone.

    The support that Les Ami is providing to help protect this river does not come cheap. There are expenses that members of Les Ami should not have to bear out of pocket.

    Anyone that has been to the Kipawa drives away with an experience that hard to duplicate anywhere else. This is a pristine river with no real estate development. The water is crystal clear and the rapids along the way provide a thrill that will remembered for a life time. Paddlers, don’t be the only one that gets to hear the cheers at Hollywood. Let your significant other enjoy the same feeling.

    SO maybe the word “Free” got you to open this post, but don’t let the $100.00 fee scare you away. Fathers day is just around the bend, take your fathers out for the day and let them experience and understand why you have been nagging them all these years for the gas money to head out to all of those remote rivers.

    And by God, please help save this beautiful river so that the children we see at Scotts can one day have the opportunity feel the rush of the dam, or get spanked by the Great Button hook.


    see you on the water

    Grow old knowing that you have experienced everything you possibly could in life.

    Brian :razz:

    Peter Karwacki

    The two firms Esprit and Momentum are running whitewater rafting day trips at the 20th Kipawa River Rally, June 23, to June 26, Laniel, Quebec.

    Esprit is donating its proceeds to the legal expenses incurred by Les amis in their Federal court action to defend traditional navigational rights on the Kipawa. The case has implications for other “self directed” Environmental Assessments and the protection of navigational rights on other navigable whitewater earned through periods of longstanding.

    The Kipawa is a beautiful recreational resource to be cherished. The 20th Kipawa Rally is a special event: imagine 20 years of recreational boating!
    Whitewater rafting doesn’t get much better or more exciting than this.

    Please, to support the cause of protecting the Kipawa River for posterity, invite your friends and others to attend the rally, and have a great time while supporting this cause, and to have an adventure of a lifetime while at it.

    Peter Karwacki



    How are bookings going on this Sunday afternoon rafting trip. Are you getting any response?



    Hey folks!

    Momentum is excited and looking forward to the rally.

    Bookings for Sunday are slowly creeping in but there is still plenty of room to see the river and support the cause. Feel free to give a call and check us out.

    All the best,

    Mark, Jean & crew.


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