Pickleball Canada History

There appears to be no one clear cut date that pickleball began in Canada. However, from the early years of the 1970’s, snowbirds were returning to Canada bringing back with them tales of playing pickleball in the southern United States and wishing to continue playing pickleball in Canada. The returning pickleball players were spread out across Canada, and at first it was difficult to find pickleball players and courts to play on.

Sometime during the 70’s courts were built on the roof of the Doan Development building at 1050 W Pender Street in Vancouver, BC. By 1984, there was a 48 team pickleball league on these rooftop courts. At this time, the game was played with wooden paddles and “dinking” was very uncommon.

In 2007, Marcel Lemieux and his wife, Louise Barette brought Pickleball into the province of Quebec. Two years later, in 2009, they created the Quebec Pickleball Federation. They both remained actively involved in promoting the Pickleball in Quebec with Marcel becoming the President of the Federation de Quebecoise de pickleball until 2020. 

First Organizers of Pickleball In Canada

S J Lehman – Bowser, BCBev Butt – Regina, SK
Carol Haworth – Chilliwack, BCGail Stakiw -Regina, SK
Ed Brennan – North Delta. BCEarl Hill – Regina, SK
Sharon Sinclair (Joey) – Victoria, BCTony Sequeira – Toronto, ON
Chuck LeFaive, South Surrey, BCMarcel Lemieux – Laval, QC

Pickleball Canada Origins

  • April 2009, at the Spring Okanagan tournament, the Canadian National Pickleball Association  was created to promote pickleball in Canada. It became known as  the Pickleball Canada Organization. 
  • June 2009 the first newsletter was published, and a proliferation of programs began to appear across Canada. 
  • May 2010, the first board of directors was appointed by the executive. The first board was nearly all from the Western provinces except for Marcel Lemieux from Quebec.
  • September 2010, the Pickleball Canada Organization established a Mission Statement.

The mission of the Pickleball Canada Organization is to assist and promote the growth of Pickleball as a game for all ages and to establish rules, policies and standards for the good governance of the game in Canada.”

Pickleball Canada Presidents

  • 2010 – Bill Canning, Red Deer, Alberta
  • 2011 – Colin Caldwell, Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.
  • 2012 – Colin Caldwell
  • 2013 – Dave Shepherd, Abbotsford, B.C.
  • 2014 – Shirley Shepherd, Abbotsford, B.C.
  • 2015 – Marg Ouimet,  Sturgeon County, Alberta
  • 2016 – Val Vollmin, Red Deer, Alberta
  • 2017 – Val Vollmin
  • 2018 – Doug Thomson, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 2019 – Doug Thomson
  • 2020 – Richard Chambers, Vernon, B.C.; Jim Parrott, Oshawa, Ontario
  • 2021 – Jim Parrott; Kirk Jensen, Edmonton, Alberta; Karen Rust, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 2022 – Karen Rust; Peter Milovanovic, Markham, Ontario
  • 2023 – Peter Milovanovic; Val Vollmin