Sail Parry Sound Inc. has achieved much since 1997, and it has its eye on the future.
Have a look at our History:
In the autumn of 1996, Parry Sound Mayor Nancy Cunningham, John Hackett and Pat Northey, invited the former racing director of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to Parry Sound to evaluate the area as a potential racing venue. Ted Chisholm pronounced the waters of the Big Sound as superb for sailing races.
Nancy Cunningham invited a few interested community people in March, 1997, to a meeting attended by Bill Beatty, Marianne King-Wilson, John Mason and John Shipman.
On April 11, 1997, a crowded public meeting was held at which the decision was made to pursue racing events and re-establish the sailing culture in Parry Sound, through regattas and a sailing school. Marianne King-Wilson would chair the group.
On June 20, 1997, Chisholm, Cunningham and King-Wilson made a presentation to the International Shark Class Association at the Buffalo Canoe Club.
In October, 1997, Sail Parry Sound held its first race planning meeting.
In June, 1998, King-Wilson went again to the International Shark Class Association in Breitenbrunn, Austria.
In July, 1998, the first sailing school classes were offered.
On August 22/23, 1998, the Shark Canadian Championships were held.
On December 2, 1998, Sail Parry Sound Inc. was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the Province of Ontario.
In February, 1999, Sail Parry Sound, with support from all the communities on the Parry Sound shoreline, entered its bid for the Olympic Yachting events in 2008 as part of the Toronto bid.
1999 marked the recognition of the Parry Sound Regatta Week with the J/24 Ombrelle Ontario Championships, August 14/15; and the Shark Class Canadian Championships, August 21/22, and the Sail Parry Sound Sailing School offering classes throughout July and August.
In 1999, the Parry Sound Yacht Club became part of Sail Parry Sound.
August, 2000, we hosted 54 boats and their crews and families for the Shark Class World Championships. Paul Henderson, then President of the International Sailing Federation opened the championship.
In 2001, the sailing school announced its Silver School, to develop home-grown racers and instructors from among its 800 graduates.
In 2002, with the help of a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Silver School opened. Students of the Sailing School could now learn how to race. Silver Sail is an advanced course following the Bronze Sail level. The Silver level forges the link between the racing events managed by Sail Parry Sound, Inc. and the school’s students. This youthful team of competitive racers, has been bringing home championships.
In 2003 Larry Woolner, director of the Sail Parry Sound Sailing School accepted the William Abbott Senior Award from the Canadian Yachting Association, as best in Canada.
In 2004, Sail Parry Sound leased a shoreline property from the Town of Parry Sound for a site of its own. Until then, all operations had been on borrowed premises.
In 2005, we unveiled the plans for a $525,000 facility, and launched the fundraising initiative. Many graduates who began with our sailing school are now qualified sailing instructors.
On March 15, 2006, construction began, to build the Sailing Centre and Public Park. It was operational in July 2006.
April 11, 2007, Marianne King-Wilson completed her ten-year term as founding president, succeeded by Larry Woolner.
On June 21, 2007. Ted Chisholm, and Visionaries Nancy Cunningham, John Hackett and Pat Northey returned to participate with 150 guests, in the Grand Opening of their early vision. Former President of the International Sailing Federation, Paul Henderson, raised the Burgee to open the sailing centre officially, and congratulated Sail Parry Sound.
The next day, Sail Parry Sound welcomed the Ontario Albacore Championships.
Early in 2008, the Ontario Sailing Association named Sail Parry Sound as a Development Training Centre.
On June 14, 2009, Founding President Marianne King-Wilson was inducted in the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame as Builder, Sailing. Past-President of the International Sailing Federation, Paul Henderson, SPS President Larry Woolner, and SPS Exec VP Terry Johnson were onstage with family members.
The First Annual Big Sound Challenge training regatta shared the CYA award for Best Recreational Event in Canada 2009.
In 2010 and 2011, the Big Sound Challenge Regatta was another tremendous success. Fred Eaton was a dynamic guest speaker.
Honorary Life memberships over the years include internationally renowned people from the world of sailing:
- Vic and Hazel Carpenter
- Paul and Mary Henderson
- Gordon Laco
- John Shipman
In 2013, Sail Parry Sound unveiled plans for Phase 2 of its sailing centre development.
2015 saw the return of the Big Sound Challenge and the Wayfarer Ontario Championships.
Phase 2 construction was completed in December 2015, with the support of FedNor, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, municipal donations, and generous friends.
2016 was another busy and successful year, with the outstanding Splash event in July, the opening of the observation deck cafe, the only elevated foodservice venue in Parry Sound with a view of the Big Sound, and a regatta.