The Dartmouth Volksmarch Club (DVC) was the first International Volkssport Federation (IVV) registered walking club in Canada. It is one of the largest clubs in Canada with various scheduled walks throughout the year. The DVC is a member of the Canadian Volkssport Federation and is affiliated with walking clubs in Europe and the United States.
In June of 1983, the first meeting was held to plan a few walks for the summer and fall. Then in the fall of 1983, a small Public Service Announcement was placed in a local newspaper informing people of the formation of a Dartmouth Walking Club, as it was called then. The announcement drew 30 people to the first meeting which was held in the Findlay Center. At that time, the Findlay Center was the headquarters of the Dartmouth Parks and Recreation Department and it was under the auspices of this office that the newly formed club (now called the Dartmouth Volksmarch Club) received seed money, secretarial assistance and encouragement.
The success of the Dartmouth Club is due, in large part, to the leadership of its first president, Ron Colpitts, whose enthusiasm sparked the interest of an ever-increasing number of metro residents. He was ably assisted during that first year of operation by a dedicated executive consisting of Harold Brogan (Vice-President), Cindy Barry (Secretary), Almut Waller (Treasurer), Robert Wright (Publicity) and Lionel Conrod as the first Trails Chairperson. The quality of succeeding executives is reflected in the steady growth of the club.
The Dartmouth Volksmarch Club obtained its IVV status in 1984 and the Canadian Volkssport Federation Charter on April 5th, 1988. The “Happy Hoofer” is recognized everywhere as the logo for the Dartmouth Volksmarch Club.
The scheduled walks evolved from humble beginnings. In 1983, there were eight walks. Each year since then, the number of walks has steadily increased to the point where walks are scheduled every weekend during the year.
The Club’s first year round walk was held in Halifax in 1991 and in that same year, the first winter walks were scheduled. The club now hosts five year round walks, two seasonal walks and one seasonal bike event.
Many of the original members are still active walkers and, even those who are not, continue to promote the club by recommending its benefits to friends and neighbors.
The Dartmouth Volksmarch Club embodies the elements of fresh air, exercise, and comradeship in a perfect blend for personal well-being.