One of the most touching moments during Saturday's Race the River Dragon Boat regatta on the Campbell River estuary was the carnation ceremony

Ceremony of remembrance and hope

Participants in the Race the River Dargon Boat regatta participate in the Carnation Ceremony

The Carnation Ceremony has become an inportant tradition in breast cancer survivor Dragon Boat racing.

Survivor teams raft together in a place on the water where the audience on shore can be part of the ceremony. In Campbell River, they gathered near the finish line at the Tyee Spit.

The ceremony celebrates the lives of survivors, of offering hope to those still battling the disease, and of honouring those who have tragically lost their battle with breast cancer.

Campbell River singer Cat Kalyniuk sang while each paddler raised a pink flower above her head and held the hand of a fellow paddler in the next boat.  With flowers raised, the paddlers swayed to the music, as did the audience on shore, many who have relatives and friends affected by the disease.

At a signal, the paddlers and those on shore tossed the pink flowers on the water, both to celebrate survival and to remember those who did not survive.