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Ian Mortimer taking over the reins

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) announces the retirement of Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Graham Barton following five years with the organization after returning from Own The Podium. Ian Mortimer will be assuming the role of CTO in leading the technical side of the organization effective October 1, 2021.

“As a coach, High Performance Director, High Performance Advisor and more recently as Chief Technical Officer, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some amazing people,” said Barton. “I want to thank those who motivated me, those that mentored me and those who supported me. None of our success could have been possible without a great team behind the team and I want to thank all the people I have worked with over the years who through their support and hard work made Canoe Kayak Canada one of the leading organizations in Canadian sport. It is hard to say goodbye after dedicating your life to sport. I will miss it, but I leave with the comforting knowledge that our athletes and our system are in good hands with the new leadership team. I wish them and all our athletes all the best as they prepare for Paris 2024 and beyond.”

With over 40 years of experience in the sport system, Barton led multiple Canadian paddling teams to international success, including the most recent Tokyo 2020 podium finishers in women’s canoe, Katie Vincent and Laurence Vincent Lapointe, and four world champions at the Senior/U23/Junior World Championships.

Barton built his legacy on the foundation that excellence is a process and a collaborative effort amongst many partners.

“We send Graham off with mixed emotions as he has done such a tremendous job re-setting and restabilizing the organization’s high performance program,” said Casey Wade, CKC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Graham left CKC in 2009 as a very talented High Performance Director and returned as a truly exceptional CTO.”

Ian Mortimer will take over from Graham Barton as of October 1, 2021. Ian, a former national team canoer, has been part of CKC’s leadership team since 2014 leading and driving the development side of the organization.

“It’s truly an honour to continue to work with our entire Canoe Kayak Canada community to build not just world class performances, but a community where all feel welcome and both paddlers young and old can work towards their goals and enjoy our sport,” said Mortimer. “The response to the COVID-19 pandemic within our community, and the resilience of our national team paddlers has been exemplary through these exceedingly tough times. It has underscored for me how special of a sport we have. By working together, our potential is sky high and I am excited for the challenge ahead and seeing our athletes break through to the very highest levels of our sport and reaching the World Championship, Olympic and Paralympic podium.”

“Ian has proven to be an emerging leader both within CKC and the Canadian sport system. He has remarkable leadership and communication skills that will be critical in empowering our team to be among the best in the world,” said Wade. “I have no doubt that Ian will continue to build a culture of excellence that is supportive of people performing at their best.”

As the Chief Technical Officer, Mortimer will head Canoe Kayak Canada’s High-Performance strategy and National Team Programs in collaboration with coaches, athletes, officials, clubs and funding partners. He will lead the strategic long-term technical plan to ensure sustainable success across the system, including our Team Red development program.

Mortimer will work as part of the senior management leadership team, including a close partnership with Head Coach, Anders Gustafsson, and our world class coaching team. It is critical that this team works to ensure success throughout the system, stemming from the grassroots and club level, and progressing to the highest levels of competition.

The CKC Board of Directors and staff wish Graham Barton the very best in his retirement and congratulate Ian Mortimer on his new role.

About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships.