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Canadian Safe Boating Council

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CSBC postersThe Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) received funding from Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program to carry out a comprehensive three-year Canadian Safe Boating Campaign beginning in April 2013 and running until the end of March 2016.
The Campaign incorporates several boating safety outreach initiatives, with the objective of raising Canadian boaters’ knowledge and awareness of safe boating practices.

The Campaign encompases three distinct components:

  • a National Boating Safety Promotion Campaign that includes:

    - four media-centred boating safety events throughout the summer season
    - a national billboard campaign
    - a mini safe boating guide
    - a community cable outreach strategy

  • a Research Project that will measure and track the boating safety attitudes and behaviours of Canadian boaters, and

  • a Grass Roots Safety Initiative that will make modest financial contributions to local boating safety organizations and leverage their energy and engagement to achieve boating safety goals that benefit their local community


National Boating Safety Promotion Campaign

Media-Centred Boating Activities

SBAW-Banner-smSafe Boating Awareness Week (last week of May) Safe Boating Awareness Week has always been a media-focused boating safety outreach initiative; in 2014 it will be expanded to include five launch events across Canada, in Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax and Montreal (in partnership with the Quebec Safe Boating Council). Click here for Safe Boating Awareness Week

hooked on life jackets smHooked on Lifejackets
(early July) This event aims its boating safety messages at those who fish, a very large segment of people who boat. Hooked on Lifejackets has attracted and will continue to partner with provincial hunting and angling associations across the country to help send out boating safety messages to fishers, and the ‘wear your lifejacket’ message in particular.
Click Here For Hooked on Lifejackets

Operation Dry Water
(early August) Once the summer boating season is in full swing, Operation Dry Operation-Dry-Water-Logo-smWater is launched; it is designed to put a media focus on the serious issue of drinking and boating.
Alcohol is a factor in some 40% of boating incidents in Canada, and Operation Dry Water was created to reduce that number. Although the initiative began in 2013 as a media promotional campaign, in future years it will be expanded to include a ride-along component. The CSBC will match interested media with enforcement personnel on the water to participate in ride-alongs to get a more intimate look at the dimensions of this challenging problem. Click Here For Operation Dry Water

Stretching-the-Season-smStretching the Season (end of boating season) Stretching the Season is designed to send vitally important messages to boaters who try to squeeze every last minute out of the boating season – sometimes close to freeze up. Boating late in the season can be wonderful and solitary, but it does require that the boater be more independent and self-sufficient on the water. Through media outreach, Stretching the Season will share with these extreme boating enthusiasts the knowledge they need to stay safe well into fall.
Click Here For Stretching the Season

National Billboard Campaign

Catch Impared Boaters 350pxFor each of the three years, the CSBC will work with Pattison Outdoor Advertising to create and launch a mall poster program across Canada. The posters will focus on a different key boating safety message each year. In addition to delivering the tip or message, they will also encourage visitors to go to the CSBC site to learn more about the chosen subject.

Community Cable Outreach

A series of boating safety video clips will be assembled and provided to local community cable stations that support the summer boating safety campaign events. A data base of cable stations and boating safety advocates will be created and maintained to help match local volunteers to local broadcast networks. The CSBC will facilitate the contact between the program managers and boating safety experts to do taped interview segments; the video clips will be used to add colour commentary to the boating safety clips, and bring the subject to life. (Along with the matching service between cable networks and boating safety volunteers, the video clips will help boating safety advocates to provide good quality information and interviews to boaters though community cable access channels.)

Boat Notes

The CSBC will create a scaled-down version of the popular Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide in years two and three of the campaign. Working with partners from across the country, the first version will be distributed in the spring of 2014; after receiving feedback on the guide from those who are using it, the CSBC will modify and distribute a final version in significant quantities in the spring of 2016, the final year of the campaign. The Boat Notes Guide will deliver the critical information that boaters require to operate their vessels safely in Canadian waters.

Research Project

CSBC Hooked Ad smThe goal of the comprehensive research initiative will be to achieve breakthroughs in boating safety interventions to improve the safe boating behaviours of Canadian boaters. The research will identify barriers, motivators and high potential action areas in boating safety. It will include the following:

  • Qualitative Consumer Focus Group Research to uncover new insights, which can then be tested and validated in the subsequent quantitative research
  • A Boating Safety Stakeholder Focus Groups to broaden the base of fresh thinking before conducting comprehensive quantitative research of boaters across the country, 
  • A National Quantitative Research utilizing online surveys of Canadian boaters

Once completed, the research findings will be used to refine messaging in the campaign and shared with boating safety stakeholders through a Research Dissemination Strategy to support boating safety nationwide.

Grass Roots Safety Initiative

grass rootsThe Grass Root Safety Initiative is designed to capitalize on the large number of local boating safety initiatives that occur year round across Canada. Many of these initiatives contribute significantly to raising local boating safety awareness – most with modest or no funds – leveraging large volunteer and in-kind contributions. Many of these campaigns deliver incredible value in the opportunity to share good ideas and best practices to others also promoting boating safety at the local level.

The Grass Roots Safety Initiative will provide an important opportunity to work with local partners; using small, well-managed financial contributions, it will be a strong catalyst for existing boating safety initiatives and promote the development of new ones tailored to meet local needs.

The Grass Roots Safety Initiative will help bring into focus the many boating safety efforts happening locally and regionally across Canada. The CSBC is positioned to share resources and expertise and also to provide a platform for sharing of best practices.