STARTboating.ca – Attracting New Canadians to Boating

Wednesday July 19, 2017 - 9:07 am

Published By: Jonathan Lee

It’s said there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story. Do you remember the last time you shared details of fantastic vacation with your friends? The desire to share memorable experiences seems to be in our nature.

Perhaps at some point you’ve seen some of the exciting forms of on-water recreation long enjoyed by nearly one third of Canada’s population. Rather than watch idly from the sidelines, it’s time to jump right into the mix and find out exactly how you and your family can make these exhilarating and healthy activities part of your lives. Sadly, some hesitate to visualize themselves as being among those out enjoying our abundant waterways, perhaps because of a lack of familiarity about what’s involved. If you find yourself searching for fun things for your family to do on the weekend, boating might be the answer.

To attract new participants, leaders from the recreational marine industry have launched a new initiative to help families to become part of the on-water lifestyle. The Lifesaving Society has partnered with Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and Public Safety Canada to create STARTboating.ca, a multi-language website designed to introduce new Canadians to the fun offered by power boating, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. STARTboating.ca features four short videos (one for each of the earlier mentioned disciplines) presented in English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog and Hindi.

Each video features a compelling story of a family or person that tries one of the activities for the first time. Recognizing the evolving nature of how people take in information, there are four natural breaks in the story, featuring links to side clips explaining basic boating topics covered in the preceding segment. This feature allows the website’s videos to more successfully engage its viewers by allowing them to control what they’re shown next.

Take kayaking for example, which is one of the fastest growing segments of recreational boating and doesn’t require a licence to operate. A father depicted in the kayak video story reflects upon his family’s newfound enjoyment of the sport, including the sound of the water lapping against the hull, exploring inhabited and secluded areas and seeing all sorts of wildlife. Arriving at the first story pause, links to side topics appear, explaining how to use marine maps, why to avoid high-traffic areas, river paddling tips and how dress for the sport.

The stories are designed to plant a seed in viewers, which blossoms into a desire to partake in the featured activity.

STARTboating.ca’s relatable stories and on-demand method of explaining the basics of boating is sure to resonate with those still green to on-water activities or have never considered them before.

Most new Canadians are eager to embrace the culture of their newly adopted home, and what better way then to join us in sharing our gorgeous waterways?