Home > History


Who are we?

The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons is a nation-wide association of boaters who have banded together to increase their knowledge of seamanship and navigation in power and sailing vessels.

As a non-profit organization, CPS was incorporated under the Companies Act of Canada. All administrative work and teaching is performed by CPS members without remuneration.

The national organization, based in Toronto, is a confederation of Districts stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Districts are formed by grouping local Squadrons.

Pacific Mainland District is comprised of 21 Squadrons on the Lower Mainland, from Chilliwack to Pender Harbour, plus the Northern Interior and the Yukon. Some of our Squadrons have only a few members, but in urban areas the membership numbers many hundreds. There are about 5,000 members in the Pacific Mainland District.

CPS is not a government agency, nor does it perform inspections or any other duties for government. It is not restricted to boat owners; some members own boats, others do not. The majority of boat owners have vessels ranging from 14 to 40 feet, but all members share a love of boats and boating.

Looking Back

CPS is a spin-off of United States Power Squadrons, originally formed in New York to teach the elements of navigation and boat handling to small-boat operators.

The concept spread across the U.S. and sailors in Windsor, Ontario, heard about it from their neighbors across the river in Detroit. Classes began in Windsor during the winter of 1937-38, and Windsor Power Squadron, the first Squadron in Canada, was formed in 1938.

On October 14, 1941, members of Windsor, London and Samia Squadrons met at Chatham and agreed to the formation of Canadian Power Squadrons. After the war, the Squadrons began to expand rapidly across the country. Letters patent under the Companies Act were issued in October 1947 and the Canadian Power Squadrons flag was adopted at a meeting that November. The flag was copyrighted in 1948.

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons currently lists over 35,000 members in the rosters of 179 Squadrons in 18 Districts.

How do you join?

To become a member of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, a prospect must take the Boating Course and successfully complete the examination. Every individual, regardless of previous experience, has had to qualify in this manner. CPS is proud of its reputation of having no shortcuts to membership.

Social activities are a large part of the fun of boating, and CPS regards this as an important aspect of membership. Squadrons organize cruises during the season and various social events throughout the year.

As a member, you can participate in activities at the Squadron, District or National levels, serve as a proctor or instructor at the local level, serve on the executive at any level, or simply attend the many parties, movie nights, visits to marine installations, dances, conferences and cruises, etc.

Page Created March 11, 2009