It’s the end of an era for one of the staples of Canadian childhood.  

Many people have benefited from swim lessons through the Canadian Red Cross over the past 75 years. We all remember the coloured badges we brought home from swim lessons, but the Red Cross will end its involvement with the program at the end of this year.

According to Naomi Switzer, aquatics operations supervisor with the City of Fort Saskatchewan, those hoping to enrol their children in swim lessons this season will still be able to do so. The city has partnered with the Lifesaving Society to run upcoming classes. 

“[Red Cross] decided to pull out of water safety initiatives to kind of focus on other humanitarian efforts. So, with the pandemic, and they’re especially taking on the opioid crisis, they’ll be working more towards that,” explained Switzer. 

Switzer explained switching lesson programming to the Lifesaving Society was a natural fit as Harbour Pool’s lifeguarding courses are already run by the Society. 

Registration for September lessons and programs began Wednesday (Aug. 11), and spots are still open for classes. Details can be found here.