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.

                                                  First Organizers of Pickleball in Canada

        SJ Lehmann — Bowser, BC
Bev Butt – Regina, SK
              Carol Haworth – Chilliwack, BC
     Gail Stakiw – Regina, SK
              Ed Brennan – North Delta, BC
Earl Hill – Regina, SK
                       Sharon Sinclair (Joey) – Victoria, BC
             Ken Biberdorf – Winnipeg MB
              Bill Franzman – Kelowna, BC 
            Tony Sequeira – Toronto, ON
                      Chuck LaFaive – South Surrey, BC
            Marcel Lemieux – Laval, QC

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 are both actively involved in promoting the Pickleball in Quebec. Marcel is still the President of the Federation de Quebecoise de pickleball which has over 2000 active players and is a Pickleball Canada Board member representing Quebec. 

At the Spring Okanagan tournament in April 2009, a group of players created the Canadian National Pickleball Association to promote pickleball in Canada which became known as  the Pickleball Canada Organization the same name as that of the web site. By June, 2009 the first newsletter was published and a proliferation of programs began to appear across Canada. The following spring (May 2010), the first board of directors was appointed by the executive. The first board of Directors was nearly all from the Western provinces except for Marcel Lemieux from Quebec.

By September 2010, the Pickleball Canada Organization had 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”