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Much-anticipated Aquatic Park opening just around the corner

Assuming there are no unexpected delays, the Canora Aquatic Park is expected to open in early June.

CANORA - The wait is almost over.

Assuming there are no unexpected delays, the Canora Aquatic Park is expected to open in early June according to Aaron Herriges, director of leisure services.

The exact soft launch opening date “is a bit up in the air as we are working our way toward the finish line. One of the more noticeable tasks left is the parking lot but we are hoping to have that completed shortly,” said Herriges. 

“Aside from that, mechanical and health inspections need to be passed, the playground needs to be finished, sponsor signage installed, and some landscaping. Most of the finishing work will be done throughout the season and will not affect our ability to open.”

From a day-to-day standpoint, a large and capable staff is in place heading into the new season.

“We have many returning lifeguards and a bunch new faces we are excited to add to our group,” said Herriges. “Mackenzie Gulka is returning for her ninth season with the Town of Canora aquatics program. As the experienced manager she is, Mackenzie’s knowledge has been extremely valuable in not only the transfer to a new facility, but our transition from the Red Cross Program to the Life Saving Society. The Town is glad she is back to help us through this process because there are some changes to the program that only trained people would be able to distinguish.”

Gulka will be continuing on as manager until July, when she will be moving on to further her education.

“Taking her place mid-season will be Breanne Woloshyn,” said Herriges. “Breanne brings the personality, skills, and program experience we look for in this role. We are glad she accepted the position and the program will be in good hands after Mackenzie leaves.”

The new park will offer similar swimming programs as in past years, including: public swim times, Aquafit, lane swims, swimming lessons, and private rentals.

“Our Aquafit program is especially great for Seniors as it is very low impact exercise. The Town of Canora is offering our Aquafit program this season at no cost to our seniors 65 and up. It’s important they can experience the benefits of the program without barriers. They will need to phone the pool and register for the program after the schedule is released.”

Mackenzie Gulka said swimming lesson registration is going to look a little different this year.

“With a new facility, we have converted the registration for all our programs to completely online. We are using a platform called BOOKKING, which will allow for families or individuals to make an account and register for any of our programs.”

The BOOKKING site is expected to be unveiled to the public in the very near future.

Each family can make one account and add their children to their profile. All the programs are created for the whole summer and registration will become available for all of them at once.

“Our swimming lessons are transitioning from the Red Cross Swimming Lesson program to the Lifesaving Society programs,” continued Gulka. “We will be offering Swim for Life swimming lessons and the Canadian Swim Patrol program. The Red Cross equivalencies to the Lifesaving Society swimming lessons can be found on our Canora Aquatic Park website. Each individual course also has a description and a list of the prerequisites needed.”

Aquafit and Lane Swim will once again be available in June, and the dates can be found on the June 2023 schedule, according to Gulka.

“Aquafit and Lane Swim are each offered four times a week and we charge $5 for a drop-in fee,” said Gulka. “We highly encourage patrons to check out our monthly pass on our registration page where patrons can purchase a month pass for either June, July, or August of either Aquafit or lane swim for a deal of only $40 a month.

“We are excited to offer some new programs this summer. We will be offering youth/adult swimming lessons on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in June that run for three weeks per session. This program is for anyone 12 years of age or older at any skill level.

“We are also offering a Fitness Swimmer program that will be running in June on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Fitness Swimmer is for all ages of swimmers who are capable of swimming 50m continuously. It consists of structured workouts that help improve muscle strength and endurance.”

Those looking for more information are encouraged to go to and visit the swimming page, including finding out when the BOOKKING site goes live.

“We highly encourage everyone to create an account because we believe this process will make registration easier and more effective for families,” said Gulka. “Anyone who requires assistance with registration can stop by the Canora Aquatic Park and staff will gladly assist them with the registration process.”

Herriges said, like most area residents, Town Council and staff are excited to see the Canora Aquatic Park project completed. But as is the case with every new facility, there will be changes and challenges.

“One of those changes is that we will be introducing electronic transactions for the public’s convenience,” he explained. “Another small change is our admission policy, which mirrors that of the Access Water Park in Yorkton. The policy includes wristbands for certain ages and swimming abilities. This will help our lifeguards keep order in the pool and identify where problems may potentially exist in the water. Their primary objective is to keep swimmers safe and this supports that. For additional information on the admission policy, please visit the swimming page.”

Herriges reminds the public that staff members at the new facility are youthful and skilled, but sometimes inexperienced.

“So when the season begins, I want to encourage the public to be mindful that these young people will be operating a slightly more sophisticated facility and there will be a learning curve. This pool will no doubt be busier, so the continued show of respect towards them will be much appreciated.”

Season passes and swim cards will be sold at the pool. More details are available at

Anyone that is on the donation list with $500 or more can redeem their swim pass or punch card when the season opens.

The official grand opening date for Canora Aquatic Park is set for Wednesday July 19, with details to come as they become available.



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