Subpage Header Photo

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I register for the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival?

Team registration is completed online on our page: Register Your Team from the homepage. The person registering the team is called the Team Captain. Be sure to complete all the required information on the registration form.

Please note that only one team per person can be registered.

Please note that registration closes on August 1 of the festival year.

A team registration is not approved until full payment is received.

I had an account last year; can I just sign in with that one?

No. The information on our website is erased year to year, so any information regarding an old account is lost. You will be given new login details in an automatic email when you are added by a Team Captain, or when you apply as an individual paddler.

Is there a registration fee?

There are two registration fees for the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival.

These fees are the Early Bird Registration fee, which is $1,000.00 for the teams who registered before March 31, and the regular registration fee, which is $1,200.00 for the teams who registered after April 1 of the respective event year.

Team registration fees go to help offset the costs of the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival.

What is the role of a Team Captain?

The Team Captain is responsible for managing their team’s registration, ensure waivers are signed and into the Festival Coordinator by the deadline, and will be the primary contact for practice bookings, and festival communications.

By default, the person who registers the team is considered to be the team captain. If the captain needs to be changed for any reason, please contact

How do I add my paddlers to my Team roster?

At the bottom of the “My Team” page click “Add New Team Member” on the left navigation menu. Enter the Paddler’s email address, name and position. Then click “Submit Team Member” button at the bottom of the screen. The Team Member has been added to your team and can now login.

You may also add an individual by sending them an invite to join the team. Write their email in the box below, and click “Send Invitation”.

There is also now a “Team Code” which can used by paddlers when they are joining teams on the “Individual Paddlers” registration page.

Note: ALL REMAINING INFORMATION should be considered a required field for the paddler.

How can I join as an individual paddler?

As an individual paddler, you can join a community team by going to our page: Join a Team from our homepage. Fill out the required information and be sure to select the correct team from the list that you would like to join.

If you are unsure of which team to join, please contact to find out more about the community teams.

How do I sign my waiver?

Waivers for the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival are signed electronically. Once you have been added to a team, an email is sent from our website. This email includes a username and a randomized password. If there is a problem with their login, it can be reset. Once you have successfully sign in, go to the “My Waiver” page, and put their birthdate in by selecting the Month, the Year, and then the Day.

Once your birthdate is confirmed, you will then confirm your age and submit the waiver.

You may also sign your waiver when you sign up as a individual paddler, or when you register your team.

All waivers must be completed prior to an individual’s first practice, or by August 1st.

How do I book a practice?

The Team Captain can schedule a practice by selecting the desired date and time on the calendar; once selected, the practice will be pending approval. Each practice is $110.00 per hour. The $110.00 fee is the cost for boat rental.

The practices are held on Kempenfelt Bay at the Heritage Park Docks in Barrie, Ontario.

What do steerspeople and coaches do?

A steersperson is assigned to a practice to steer the boat, they are hired and trained by the Library.

All practices include a steersperson, but do not include a coach. If someone wishes to book a coach for practices they are responsible for contacting them directly on a one-to-one basis. Coaching fees are at the Coach’s discretion. There is no affiliation between the Barrie Public Library, and the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival, however we do provide a list of available coaches.

How do I find a steer and coach for my practices?

A steersperson is assigned to the practice by the Library. If your team has their own steersperson they must be approved by the Barrie Public Library.
On Festival Day, we provide steerspeople for teams without an individual to steer. The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival reserves the right to pull a steersperson on race day if there is concern for the safety of the paddlers and equipment.

We provide a list of coaches approved by the Barrie Public Library who are available for training. Please note that coaching fees will vary and are paid directly to the Coach. Team Captains are responsible for all communication and coordination with their hired Coach.

What happens if one of my practices gets cancelled?

In the case of inclement weather (excluding Tornado Warnings), practices will be cancelled down at the docks. You will be notified upon arrival if the weather is too dangerous to paddle in. In the case of a cancelled practice, you will be able to book another one as a replacement.

How do I book a site in the Team Village?

The Team Captain can select a site in the Team Village on the “Team Map” page by selecting your requested site number from the select box, then click the submit button, and the Festival Coordinator will review the request and approve or select the closest available site location.

If you require a specific site location for health, or accessibility reasons, please inform the Festival Coordinator.

I would like to volunteer; what can I do?

The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival offers a variety of opportunities for individuals to participate in this great community event.

We welcome applications from all interested individuals who are 14 years of age or older. Students are welcome to apply, and community hours can be credited. Please see our Volunteer Positions for full descriptions of the different positions.

Please note that all volunteers must sign a volunteer waiver prior to volunteering.

I would like to be a vendor; how do I apply?

If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival, please complete an application on the contact us!

Please note, all vendors are required to purchase a vendor space upon approval of their original application, fees vary.

I would like to be a sponsor; how can I do that?

There are so many different types of sponsors at the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival, and we are sure we can design the perfect sponsorship for you! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact the Festival Coordinator at or at 705-728-1010 ext. 2230 and we’d be happy to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the different opportunities!

I am having trouble signing in.

If you did not receive an email from the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival website, or you have forgotten your login information, please contact for assistance.


Can I make changes to my profile?

Yes, paddlers can sign in and adjust their information on their Profile page.

What are the different types of teams?

A corporate team is a team of people who work for the same company.

A community team is a team that is open to the public for individual paddlers.

A BCS Team is a team comprised of all Breast Cancer Survivors. All paddlers and the drummers must be Breast Cancer Survivors. Unless racing as part of a Women’s Division, male Breast Cancer Survivors can paddle or drum on a BCS crew.

A charity team is a team of people who work for the same charity. To be a charity team, the registration number of the charity must be given to the Festival Coordinator.

What is a team roster?

The team roster is a listing of all the participants on your dragon boat team. The roster will include the participants’ names and roles, such as paddler, steersperson or drummer.

Team rosters have a maximum capacity of 26 members. That includes 24 paddlers, a drummer, and a steersperson.

Can I make changes to my roster?

Yes, Team Captains can make changes to their rosters until August 1st.

How many paddlers do I need?

The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival team roster allows for up to 26 team members.

All teams registered for The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival must have a minimum of 8 female paddlers for a total race compliment of 20 paddlers and 1 drummer in the race boat for each race. If you have your own steersperson, you may carry 26 members on your roster.

The minimum number for your team roster on race day is 16 paddlers, and 1 drummer.

Please note: if your team requires more than the maximum of 26 people due to health reasons, please contact the Festival Coordinator by July 31st. Teams with an expanded roster will still only receive 26 festival gifts.

Can my team still race if I cannot get a team of twenty together?

Yes. The minimum number allowed for your team roster on race day is 16 paddlers, and 1 drummer.

If you need assistance recruiting paddlers, please contact and we will be happy to assist you.

What happens when I miss the roster and waiver deadline?

As a Team Captain, it is your responsibility to have your roster completed online, before August 1st. Failing to do this means that your team members are not able to complete and digitally sign an online waiver. If the deadline has past and you have made changes to your roster and/or are still missing waivers, you must contact the Festival Coordinator prior to the week of the Festival about changes. If you are still making changes to your roster week of due to emergencies, please inform the Festival Coordinator on Festival Day.

Is my team required to raise money for charity?

Yes. Each team is required to raise $500.00 minimum for the charity of their choice. Please ensure that your team has chosen the charity you would like to fundraise for and is recorded on your team page no later than August 1st. The team gives the money raised directly to the charity.

The team that raises the most money at the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival will be the recipient of the Barrie Dragon Boat Tim Hortons Cup.

What is your refund policy?

Our refund policy is as follows:

  • 50% refund if registration is cancelled prior to May 31
  • 25% refund if registration is cancelled between June 1 and July 4
  • No refunds after July 4

In the event of extreme weather conditions that result in the cancellation of races, there will be no refunds.

What are the BDBF race rules?

Please see our Rules and Regulations.

What are the BDBF water safety plan?

Please see our Water Safety Plan.

How do I donate to a team?

If you are interested in donating to a team, please see our Teams page to see what charities the different teams are supporting, and the fundraising pages from the teams.

Event Day

Where is the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival?

The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival is located at Heritage Park in Barrie, Ontario; see our map (DBFRoadsMap) with main roads on how to get there.

Please note that there is some confusion between Centennial Park, and Heritage Park. Heritage Park is off of Simcoe Street, and to the east of the City of Barrie landmark, the Spirit Catcher.

How does Team Registration work on the day of the Festival?

Each team captain must report to Race Headquarters on race day. Check in consists of confirming your team roster, ensuring all waivers are signed and fees are paid. Race kits will be handed out to teams with completed waivers and rosters. Any team with missing waivers will have to wait until the waivers are completed to receive their Team Kits.

Check in typically opens 1-2 hours before the first race of the day.

What are in the Team Kits?

A team kit consists of wristbands for every member listed on the roster. Only members that have signed a waiver will be given a wristband to compete. Promotional items and samples may also be handed out as part of the race kit. Wristbands are necessary for each team member as it will grant them access to the docks.

What do I need Festival Day?

Bring your equipment (if you own any), spare clothing, sunscreen, water, rain gear and cash for any vendors on site. There is food available for purchase, and several events feature a beer garden.

We supply the boats, PFDs and paddles, so you’re all set for racing equipment. Paddlers are permitted to use their own PFDs or paddles provided they meet safety requirements.

For the Team Village, teams bring their own tent, table and chairs. Some teams bring a full spread of food and beverages, play music, or even decorate their tent. If you bring your own food, mind the bees and wasps.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing that does not hold or absorb moisture and has a tighter fit. Thermal or dri-fit tops and stretchy/spandex shorts or pants are all appropriate choices. Most common attire is a comfortable t-shirt with stretchy shorts or pants. Teams are welcomed to have t-shirts made for their teams.

Will I get wet?

Yes. Sometimes you will finish a race feeling like you just cannon-balled into a swimming pool, other times you will only experience a few odd splashes from your teammates’ paddles. It all depends on where you sit and the intensity and technique of your teammates. Do not bring anything into the boat like wallets, phones or iPods as these items could suffer water damage.

Will the boat tip over?

This happens very rarely. If your boat flips, remain calm. If you are under the boat, swim out so your team captain can do a head count. All participants must wear PFDs.

Our Water Safety Plan outlines what to do should your boat tip. All participants should be aware of our safety plan prior to Festival Day.

Please note that we do have emergency boats on site should a boat tip.

What happens if it is rains, or thunder storms?

Races are rain or shine. Only thunder and lightning or extreme wind/weather conditions are grounds for cancelling races. Races must be put on hold for 30 minutes following each thunder clap.

What is the schedule for the Festival Day?

Please see the Schedule. We try to adhere to this schedule as closely as we can, but everything is subject to change.

What is a typical race?

The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival is held at Heritage Park on Kempenfelt Bay. The racecourse is a 300-metre course, clearly marked with neon buoys.

What are the Festival Awards?

The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival has three different categories for the Festival Awards:

The Community Awards are the Spirit Award, Best Dressed Team Award, and the Bruce Saunders Rookie Team of the Year Award. Each team is presented with a keeper plaque for these categories.

The Challenge Cups are to the team who had the fastest race time of the day within that challenge grouping. These include the CFB Borden Dragoon Masters Challenge Cup, the “Your Body Talks” Health and Wellness Challenge Cup, the Anna Kwan Breast Cancer Challenge Cup, the Charity Challenge Cup, the Moore Packaging Corporate Challenge Cup, and the Karen Saunders Women’s Division Challenge Cup.

There are 6 race divisions, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, and Iron. Winning teams in each division will be awarded 25 engraved medals.

For the criteria of each award, please see: Festival Awards.

How many times will my team race?

Each time will race 3 times, weather permitting.

What is a Race Heat?

A race heat is one of a series of races or competitions, the winners of which then compete against each other in the next part of the competition a qualifying heat.

There are 3 Race Heats on Festival Day, weather permitting.

How will I know when the next race is?

Your first race of the day will be pre-determined, and will be used to seed your team into the next rounds of racing. Progressions will be posted on a results board in the Race Headquarters. Make sure that you visit the Gazebo often throughout the day to find out when you will be racing next.

What is there to do between races?

At the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival, there is much to do in terms of entertainment. We have a Vendor’s Village with a variety of vendors, including retail, health, and food, kids’ crafts and entertainment, live music, and a beer garden.

When is racing done?

After racing in a Division Final, your team will be officially done! That doesn’t mean you should pack up and go. Participants are welcome to stick around until the last race of day is done and to enjoy all the on-site activities and programming, and of course, stay for the closing ceremonies to find out who won!

Where are the results of the race posted?

The race results are posted on a results board in the Race Headquarters in the Gazebo in Heritage Park. Race times are also posted on our social media platforms as well. Final race results from the day will be posted after the event on our Race Results page. Please give us time to update the page following the Festival Day.

What happens at the Closing Ceremonies?

The Closing Ceremonies are to announce the winners of the Festival Awards. There is much celebration, opportunities for photos, and fun for all at the closing ceremonies!

Can my friends and family come to watch?

Yes! The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival is free and open to the public!