3 May 2022

Beautiful weather on the opening day saw record numbers of visitors to the event with over 120 boats gleaming in the pool and along the Grand Union and Regents Canals. As with most years, many travelled from far across the country but, encouragingly, we welcomed many boaters closer to home, with a fantastic representation of the London based boating community. 

Alongside the shining brass work and bunting, interspersed with many boats flying the Ukrainian flag in solidarity, we had a selection of events and activities. The Noyze Boyz Jazz Band burst into life as the festivities kicked off on Saturday, and soon the pool was buzzing with beautifully decorated boats parading in front of an eager audience. Elsewhere in the festival we had a variety of stalls selling their wares. Including jewellery, traditional painted boating paraphernalia, beautiful lamp shades and much more. This year we were also delighted to welcome Midland Chandlers, and Tim and Sam from Youtube Channel ‘Chugging Along’ promoting their brilliant board game ‘Argy Bargey’. As has become the tradition, the Stone Wharf offered the hub for many food and beverages, keeping the hungry visitors sustained whilst they listened to colourful live music in the festival real ale bar. 

At midday on our first day Libby Bradshaw, Ceremonial and Children’s Activities Manager, introduced the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Andrew Smith, who welcomed everyone to the City of Westminster and thanked IWA for putting on the event. Richard Parry, Chief Executive of Canal & River Trust followed with his thanks. John Edmonds, IWA London Region Vice-President welcomed everyone to the event paying special attention to the dedication from volunteers for organising the event. And finally Tom Claydon, Chair of the organising committee, thanked the volunteers, committee members and supporters. Wrapping up the presentation, Libby thanked British Land for their sponsorship and support before the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Andrew Smith rang the bell to formally open the event. This was echoed by cheers around the pool, the ringing of bells and horns, and the start of the Pageant. 

In Rembrandt Gardens children and adults alike were entertained by Punch and Judy, the Noisy Oyster, a circus workshop, and the legendary Alarum Theatre with pieces such as “I Dig Canals”. Faces were being painted and there was plenty of learning and joviality in the marquee over the weekend. Sunday saw the wonderful Teddy Bears’ picnic in the beautiful surrounds of the garden and even the sun came out to warm the crowds. Other children’s activities were led by the Floating Classroom on the Electric Barge, the Church Army and the Pirate Castle from Camden.  

On Sunday evening Craig Haslam once again excelled as Master of Ceremonies for the Procession of Illuminated Boats, where the boaters covered their boats (and themselves) with as many lights as would fit – we even had two illuminated banana costumes. Mark Saxon, Waterspace Manager, produced a spectacular display with disco lights, glitter balls and even a smoke machine! 

On Monday afternoon, the awards were presented by John Edmonds. 

Marcus Boudier Trophy

For the best decorated privately entered boat in Saturday’s themed Pageant, was awarded to Rachel, steerer Mark Saxon, and the Canal Dream Team led by Chuntian Hu, of the Royal College of Art, and Ran Yan of Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, London.                                                                              

Runner up: Thyme, steerer Elizabeth Jones

The Ray Dunford Buckby Can Trophy

For the best decorated boat entered by a waterway or community group:

Red Watch, steerer Tony Catchpole

The Cruise Electric Trophy

For the best illuminated boat in Sunday evening’s Procession:

Tros Yr Afon, steerer Phil Gaskell

Runners up: Giant Anteater, steerer Gary Howes; and Annie & Walt, owners Mike & Lorraine Newman

The Graham Capelin Award

For the best entry by a boater who has not previously taken part in either the Saturday Pageant or Illuminated Boats:

Giant Anteater, steerer Gary Howes

The Westminster Trophy

Donated by the City of Westminster for the winner of the Boat Handling Competition:

Middlesex, steerer Robin Hendley

Runner up: Tintagel, steerer Graham Smith

The Roger Squires Trophy

Presented by St Pancras Cruising Club in recognition of Roger’s ten years as their Commodore, it is awarded to the best novice competitor in the Boat Handling Competition:

Thistle Doo, steerer Charlotte Trimby

Runner up: Barossa, steerer Colin Warner

The Mike Stevens Memorial Trophy

Goes to the “Best Boat” at Canalway Cavalcade, selected from all the boat entries at the event, it is awarded in recognition of Mike’s outstanding contribution to IWA and Canalway Cavalcade during his lifetime:

Ampere, owners Malcolm & Barbara Bridge

The Idle Women Shield

Sponsored by Jan Knox, proprietor of Canal Experience Training School, the shield was awarded to the best lady entrant in the Boat Handling Competition:

Ampere, steerer Barbara Bridge

Runner up: Stella, steerer Karen Cook

A new prize, Graham’s Choice Bear (with a backpack) for helpfulness and kindness, in memory of our special Cavalcade friend, Graham Nunn, of the Church Army, was awarded to Olivia Parlett. Olivia, now in her teens, has been attending Cavalcade since she was very small and specifically wanted to help to ensure the little ones attending the Teddy Bears’ Picnic on Sunday afternoon enjoyed it as much as she had done as a little girl.

Tom Claydon, chair of the IWA Canalway Cavalcade Organising Committee said: “It’s wonderful to Welcome Back everyone to Little Venice for IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2022. A truly incredible spectacle in the heart of London’s waterways. This event would not be possible without the 10,000 hours of dedicated volunteer time, and I thank each and every person for making this such a great success.