Our Squadron History

What is CPS-ECP?

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, with over 15,000 active members. Our volunteer instructors and programs help recreational boaters improve their boating safety knowledge as well as their vessel handling and navigation skills. ‘The Power Squadron’, as it is commonly called, has operated in Canada continuously since 1938.

The organization is composed of individual, local ‘Squadrons’, each providing Boating Safety, Seamanship and Marine Navigation courses for the recreational boater.

Okanagan Power and Sail Squadron History

The Okanagan Squadron is a unit of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP).

Our Squadron began with the concern of local boaters over the increased number of power boats on the Okanagan Lake. Archie August, the Kelowna Yacht Club Commodore, felt very strongly that education was imperative to keep everyone safe while enjoying leisure time on the water.

In 1961 members of the Kelowna Yacht Club wrote the Boating course exam given by the Pacific Mainland District, and all 10 students passed. This was enough to start a local squadron. The Kelowna Power Squadron was chartered April 25, 1961.

With the Kelowna success, members of the Vernon Yacht Club were encouraged to take the course and exam. All passed, and the Vernon Squadron was also chartered on April 25, 1961.

Kelowna and Vernon members then assisted Penticton and Summerland until they had sufficient members pass the Boating examination and form the Ogopogo Squadron in 1962.

Today, the Okanagan Squadron is the combination of six Squadrons, being Kelowna Squadron, and the former Vernon, Ogopogo, Kamloops, Kootenay and Shuswap (Salmon Arm) Squadrons.

For more than 60 years, the Kelowna Yacht Club, the Vernon Yacht Club and the Squadron have enjoyed close working relationships. The Yacht Clubs continue to provide the Okanagan Squadron with classroom facilities for its boating safety and marine navigation courses. Many Squadron social events are also held at the two Yacht Clubs.

As a tribute to the close affiliation between the two organizations, the CPS-ECP flag flies proudly alongside the KYC and VYC flags on the flagstaffs overlooking the Yacht Clubs’ marinas.

OK Squadron Burgee
Spirit of Sail
Our Okanagan Squadron pennant is modeled after the Kelowna waterfront sculpture,
“Spirit of Sail” by Robert Dow Reid.