SISKA's May 2021 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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May 2021 SISKA Newsletter


Dear Tony,

Thanks to those members who contributed photos and materials. After enjoying a SISKA event or paddle, please consider sending a short (100-150 words) summary article; for more information, contact one of us. If you would like to start a regular column, please let us know!

Alan Campbell (SISKA president) and Tony Playfair (editor)
PS: You can find SISKA on Facebook at this link.

PPS: SISKA has a Meetup site for "impromptu" and other paddles organized by club members. For more details, go to To join this, you have to be a club member.

PPPS: You can find the SISKA newsletter archive here:

Table of Contents


Upcoming SISKA Events

Saturday, May 01st, 2021 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Paddlers Workshop
Saturday, May 01st, 2021 - 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Advanced Currents
Sunday, May 02nd, 2021 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Advanced Paddlers Workshop
Sunday, May 02nd, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Cadboro Bay Tour Paddle
Sunday, May 02nd, 2021 - 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Advanced Currents
Thursday, May 06th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Esquimalt Gorge Park to Portage Inlet Paddle
Saturday, May 08th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Spirit Bay to Cabin Point Paddle
Sunday, May 09th, 2021 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Crystal Pool Drop In May 9th
Sunday, May 09th, 2021 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Crystal Pool Rolling Clinic
Friday, May 14th, 2021 - 9:15 AM to 12:45 PM - Forward Paddling Development
Friday, May 14th, 2021 - 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM - Blade and Body Awareness
Saturday, May 15th, 2021 - 9:15 AM to 12:45 PM - Balancing and Bracing Skills Development
Saturday, May 15th, 2021 - 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM - Steering and Turning Skills Development
Sunday, May 16th, 2021 - 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Blending Skills
Sunday, May 16th, 2021 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Towing Skills
Monday, May 17th, 2021 - 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Correction Strokes and Skills
Monday, May 17th, 2021 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Greenland Paddling Strokes and Skills
Monday, May 17th, 2021 - 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Greenland Paddling Strokes and Skills
Thursday, May 20th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Gordon Head Tour Paddle
Monday, May 24th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Oak Bay in-shore area to Willows Beach. Paddle
Saturday, May 29th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Amherst to Shoreline Exploration Paddle
Sunday, May 30th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Amherst to Shoreline Exploration Paddle
Thursday, June 03rd, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Moses Point to Deep Cove Paddle
Saturday, June 05th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Amherst to Rum Island Paddle
Thursday, June 17th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Gordon Head Tour Paddle
Saturday, June 26th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Shoreline Exploration Paddle
Sunday, June 27th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Amherst to Shoreline Exploration Paddle
For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

These events are not formally supported by SISKA, but considered to be of interest to a significant number of our members.

Any member may request an event to be included in this section by sending a note to

Siska May 26, 2021 General Meeting Agenda

by Fred Pishalski

Come join us for the last SISKA meeting, May 26th, of our 2021 spring/summer schedule. We are off until the fall when hopefully we may be once again able to meet in person.
Our presenter is the University of Victoria astronomer Karun Thanjavur who recently presented to Alpine Club of Victoria.

“As avid kayak aficionados, all of you cherish the awe-inspiring beauty of the wide-open ocean spaces ​during the day. At the same time, as night falls, back at camp on a beach after a great day amongst the waves, you are also privileged to enjoy the stunning beauty of the night skies, unpolluted by any light of civilization. As you lie back on the sand and take in this beauty overhead, here is a little guide to signpost the starry sky as your eyes wander through it. Since there is of course a Universe out there to explore, I will aim to at least touch up the highlights of our summer sky, and hope to motivate you to continue this celestial journey with some useful tools and public resources to take along.”

Born and raised in a small town in South India, Karun completed his education up to a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Karuan’s life took a dramatic turn when he decided to leave his profession as an engineer in India to pursue teaching new skills to underprivileged youth in remote parts of Zambia, Africa. He later emigrated to Canada to pursue graduate studies first in Robotics, and later in Astrophysics After his PhD from U of Vic, he worked as a Resident Astronomer at CFHT in Hawaii for three years, before returning to U of Vic to accept a position as a senior lab instructor in astronomy.
Join May 26 Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 897 8238 6066
Passcode: 152820

SISKA Approves Voting by Electronic Means at Annual General Meeting

by Alan Campbell

At SISKA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 28, 2021, members approved a special resolution to permit voting by electronic means. Since AGMs have been held by Zoom since the pandemic began, voting online has been legitimized by the State of Emergency declared and renewed since last March by the Province of BC. Following the pandemic, when the State of Emergency expires, SISKA requires voting by electronic means to be explicitly permitted within our Bylaws. This is now in place.


Special Resolution to add the definition of voting by "electronic means" to the definitions and to add subsection 3.19 to the bylaws
(Current SISKA bylaws can be found from our website homepage by selecting Members, Documents, SISKA Constitution and Bylaws).


"Electronic Means" means any system or combination of systems, including but not limited to mail, telephonic, electronic, radio, computer or web-based technology or communication facility, that:
  1. in relation to a meeting or proceeding, permits all participants to communicate with each other or otherwise participate in the proceeding contemporaneously, in a manner comparable, but not necessarily identical, to a meeting where all were present in the same location, and
  2. in relation to a vote, permits voters to cast a vote on the matter for determination in a manner that adequately discloses the intentions of the voters.


Electronic Participation in General Meetings

The Board may determine, in its discretion, to hold any General Meeting in whole or in part by Electronic Means, so as to allow some or all Members to participate in the meeting remotely.
Where a General Meeting is to be conducted using Electronic Means, the Board must take reasonable steps to ensure that all participants are able to communicate and participate in the meeting adequately and, in particular, that remote participants are able to participate in a manner comparable to participants present in person, if any.
Persons participating by permitted Electronic Means are deemed to be present at the General Meeting.

SISKA Operations and Finances for 2020 and 2021 – Being Prudent and Ensuring Value

by Alan Campbell

During the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by Zoom on April 28th, excellent questions were raised by members about the Club’s Financial Report for 2020 and Budget Plan for 2021, in the light of current operational restrictions. Following a discussion that brought forward several points of view, the 2020 Financial Report and the 2021 Budget were accepted by the members present.

If you were unable to attend the AGM, but are interested in learning more, reports of all kinds, completed for and received at the AGM, are posted on the Club website under Members, Meeting Minutes and Reports . The AGM itself was recorded and is posted on the Club YouTube Channel at

These pandemic-affected years are challenging for all organizations, ours included. However, thanks to our many volunteer leaders and instructors, 2020 activity levels compared favourably with those of 2019, the last normal year of operation. In fact, using Zoom for virtual meetings and off-water courses has actually increased the number of people participating in these activities! Of course, we are still very eager to return to in-person meetings and off-water events when it is deemed safe to gather again. We have also been fortunate to be able to continue with on-water activities (paddles, workshops, and courses) by doing so in smaller groups and ensuring that appropriate Covid precautions are maintained.

By last year, SISKA had accumulated a financial surplus, carried forward from previous years, which exceeded the operational reserve we need to maintain out of fiscal prudence. Consequently, in 2020 we ensured that our income and expenditures were roughly balanced, and the 2021 Budget anticipates spending somewhat more than we take in for this year only so that our ongoing reserve funds are returned to a level sufficient only for one year’s operation.

Of course, 2021 is also not a normal year, so SISKA’s Board has kept assumptions regarding operations and finances properly conservative, while continuing to provide what we believe is excellent value for members’ annual fees. For example, Crystal Pool Sessions have been doubled in frequency, even as paddler numbers permitted in the pool have been substantially decreased, and the Club subsidy has significantly increased as a result. Off-water clinics and courses continue to be provided virtually and freely to all who wish to attend. We have partnered with several professional kayak coaching companies to provide outstanding skills training as well as discounted goods and other services.

We continue to believe that joining SISKA is well worth the $40 (single) or $60 (family) annual fee that has been maintained for a number of years now, and the ongoing strength of our membership, even in these extraordinary times, indicates that there is broad agreement in this regard.

Duncan Pennington- Lifetime Member of SISKA

by Jennie Sutton       

January 20, 1926 - April 16, 2021

For many of us, Duncan was a mentor, teacher and a very reliable friend over many years. He would poke fun at you and his British sense of humour could be cutting at times. His gleeful laugh would follow after one of his antics on and off the water.....Continue reading the full article HERE