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CNL title sponsor for new Water and Dirt Festival, with events in four municipalities this summer

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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has signed on as the title sponsor for the inaugural Water and Dirt Festival which is coming to four Renfrew County municipalities this summer.

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This new and unique festival, which is a partnership between the Town of Petawawa, City of Pembroke, Township of Laurentian Valley and North Algona Wilberforce Township, will feature nine events spread across the municipalities between Aug. 4 and 14. It was born out of the successful Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival with the new event adding land-based outdoor adventure races to the already popular water-based sports. The events include mountain bike races, skateboarding, triathlon, whitewater kayaking, BMX and trail running which have been added to the long-running events such as the Upper Ottawa River Race, OSPCA Doggy Paddle and the Kayak Fishing Tournament.

CNL donated $15,000 and this title sponsorship will allow the event to offer live musical performances and activities for all ages in an event that plans to present new opportunities to residents and tourists from near and far, according to Colin Coyle, Petawawa’s recreation program co-ordinator and one of the key organizers of the festival.

“We are truly grateful to our sponsor, CNL as this event could not happen without them and we are looking forward to work alongside our neighbouring municipalities to bring this exciting event to the Ottawa Valley,” he added.

CNL president and CEO Joe McBrearty and Patrick Quinn, CNL director of Corporate Communications, recently presented the cheque to the mayors of the partnering municipalities and the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association, which is supporting the festival along with the Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization.

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“It’s a beautiful valley abounds with tourism opportunities; we believe this contribution and our participation in the community will really benefit everyone involved,” McBrearty said. “We believe our sponsorship for this event goes to show our commitment to the environment and to the Ottawa River here in the Ottawa Valley.”

Since 2015 CNL, through its parent company Canadian National Energy Alliance, has supported local community initiatives. CNL had previously served as title sponsor for the Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival so this is a continuation of the company’s involvement in this event, which some of the 2,800 employees from CNL’s Chalk River Labs have taken part in over the years.

“We believe our participation is critical for our success in gaining support in local communities,” McBrearty added. “The response we see from our employees and the communities that we live in and we service we think it’s been an absolutely fantastic response. It goes to grow the beauty and the potential of the Ottawa Valley.”

CNL typically sponsors a couple dozen events throughout the year and this year staff had a chance to choose the local events and groups that were supported through a crowd-funding initiative which presented 20 different opportunities.

“The participation from our staff was enormous,” McBrearty noted.  “It goes from the impacts of COVID that we’ve all gone through over the last two year and the sense of wanting to give back to the community.”