File photo Brent Moffat, from the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, dots an eye on a teak dragon boat which was awakened during the Awakening the Dragons ceremony at the Mall at Piccadilly last December. Two new dragon boats will be awakened this Friday.

Dragons brought to life in special ceremony

Two restored dragons wil be awakened on Friday at the Mall at Piccadilly

Another dragon will be awakened.

Aspiral Youth Partners Association and the Shuswap Rowing and Paddling Club host an “Awakening the Dragon Ceremony” at 2 p.m. Friday, June 16.

For the past four months, dragon boats made of camphor wood from Taiwan have been restored by four participants working on this community project.

“The team has been working very hard and bringing these stunning pieces of historic and culturally significant art back to life. Two of the six boats are now completed and will be on display in The Den across from Starbucks in the Mall at Piccadilly,” says Shuswap Rowing and Paddling president Ted Crouch.

At the Awakening Ceremony, four community leaders will paint the bulging eyes of the carved dragon heads. This ceremony symbolizes the ending of the dragons’ slumber and the re-energizing of its spirit.

The celebration consists of learning about the history of dragon boating in Canada and Salmon Arm’s role in this remarkable story, says Crouch.

Participants will be available to share the story about the restoration process and the experiences gained by working on these boats.

For more information, visit facebook@Original Wooden Dragon Boats to see the videos of the restoration process and all of the Shuswap Rowing and Paddling Club’s upcoming Canada 150 community events.

This initiative was made possible through a Job Creation Partnership Program with funding from the provincial and federal governments. The work experience program provides unemployed EI eligible clients with opportunities to gain meaningful work experience while working on a beneficial community project, says Crouch.