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The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) is Canada's national river conservation program. It promotes, protects and enhances Canada's river heritage, and ensures that Canada's leading rivers are sustainably managed. Read more...

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St. John River Officially Designated to CHRS


On September 12, 2013, the St. John River became the 38th river to be designated to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. This designation recognizes the St. John River’s importance to First Nations and to the development of Canada as a nation. For 10,000 years, this waterway has played a pivotal role in this region. It continues to do so even today,connecting communities as it flows 400 kilometres through New Brunswick. For more information, read the news release or visit

 L'honorable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-gouverneur du
                Nouveau-Brunswick, l'aînée Maggie Paul de la Première Nation St. Mary's,
                l'honorable Rob Moore, Ministre d'État (Agence de promotion économique du
                Canada atlantique) et député fédéral pour Fundy-Royal, l'honorable David
                Alward, Premier ministre du Nouveau-Brunswick, et Dr. Cynthia Stacey,
                Présidente du Comité de désignation de la Société du fleuve Saint-Jean.
              © Parcs Canada
The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, Elder Maggie Paul of St. Mary's First Nation, the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and MP for Fundy Royal, the Honourable David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick, and Dr. Cynthia Stacey, Chair of the St. John River Society's Heritage River Committee at the plaque unveiling. © Parks Canada



South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers Officially Nominated as a Canadian Heritage River!


As announced by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers have been collectively nominated to the Canadian Heritage River System based on their rich cultural heritage. The process to officially designate the rivers to the System will now begin.


First Nations were first attracted to the area some 10,000 years ago, and the rivers have since played a vital role in the fur trade, the establishment of Métis communities and the subsequent Northwest Resistance. The importance of the rivers continues today as they provide water for hydro-electric power, community water supplies, flood control, industrial development, and agricultural irrigation, in addition to being key sites for recreation and tourism.

Read the official Nomination Document

Read the official May 18, 2012 announcement

Métis dancers celebrating the nomination of the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers.  ©Gabriel Dumont Institute / Bonnie Hrycuik
Métis dancers celebrating the nomination of the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers. ©Gabriel Dumont Institute / Bonnie Hrycuik


2011 Photo Contest Winners


Rapid Media and the Canadian Heritage Rivers System are pleased to announce the winners of their first annual Canadian Heritage Rivers Photo Contest.


Of the hundreds of photos entered, 12 winners were chosen from four categories. The winning photos have been published in the Spring 2012 issue of Family Camping and Canoeroots Magazine, and have begun their North American tour as part of the 2012 Reel Paddling Film Festival. The winners were also awarded prizes with a total value of over $6000.


Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you very much to all those who entered the contest! View the winning photos in the photo gallery.


Next year’s contest will be launched May 1, 2012. Categories and other information will be posted on the CHRS blog in the coming months, as well as on Canoeroots’ website.


Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers
1st place: Yu Sheng
2nd place: Rick Matthews
3rd place: Jason Kuruc

Canadian Heritage Rivers and You
1st place: Doug Hamilton
2nd place: Nick Troutman
3rd place: Rick Matthews

Canadian Heritage Rivers and Culture
1st place: Ryan Marko
2nd place: Doug Hamilton
3rd place: Dale Dewar

Canadian Heritage Rivers and Nature
1st place: Justin Fabian
2nd place: Claudia Schwab
3rd place: Lee Gilbert


Communities at Work on Heritage Rivers  


Congratulations to the Humber Watershed Alliance, who were awarded the 2011 National Achievement Award for Volunteer Contribution from the Heritage Canada Foundation.


Volunteers at the Humber Watershed Alliance created a comprehensive inventory of the heritage bridges on the Humber River. This inventory, Crossing the Humber: the Humber Heritage Bridge Inventory, is the first of its kind for the Greater Toronto Area. It provides information on each of the 33 identified bridges that pass over the Humber River.



The Humber Watershed Alliance’s commitment to promoting and protecting the heritage value of the Humber River is a great example of how vital community members and associations are to the success of the CHRS program.



Read more about the Humber River.
Read more about the Humber Watershed Alliance’s recognition award.



Paddling Across the Country?!?! Are you Crazy?!

Can you imagine someone paddling across the country in a canoe? Is that even possible? It sure is! Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey is doing just that. They are a group of experienced paddlers who will be traveling across Canada by canoe in less than 170 days. Their goal is to raise awareness about Canada’s waterways and the significance of their values for the Nature Conservatory of Canada and the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

To learn more about Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey or to track their progress, visit their website at