What is Artistic Swimming?

Artistic Swimming, formerly called synchronized swimming, combines the athletic endurance of a speed athlete, the flexibility of a gymnast and the grace of a dancer.  It is one of the world’s most beautiful, disciplined and demanding sports. Artistic swimming develops self-confidence, interpretive and performance skills, teamwork, strength, endurance, and aerobic fitness. Artistic swimming began as a competitive sport in Montreal, Canada. In 1923, a group of athletes qualifying for their Royal Lifesaving Society Diploma had to execute figures to demonstrate their aquatic ability. After the examination, they decided to organize figure competitions among themselves as a fun challenge. The first Provincial Championship was held in Quebec on February 24, 1924. Rules for the Synchronized Swimming National Championships were accepted the next year in 1925 by the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association, the national governing body for swimming.  Artistic swimming is now popular around the world and made its Olympic debut in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Canada has been a leader in the sport, winning two gold medals at the 1988 Olympics, gold and silver in 1992, and then silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000. Artistic swimming is also an event at the World Aquatic Championships, and the Pan American, Pan Pacific, and Commonwealth Games. Canada won the gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, and more recently, Canada has been working to get back to the top in world competitions. In 2017, FINA (the world governing body for aquatic sports) voted to change the name of the sport from synchronized swimming to artistic swimming.

Artistic swimming has the potential to enhance our lives; it has a positive effect on our physical and mental well-being and it brings us together. Artistic swimming develops champions for life. Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is the foundation of all Canadian Sport programs – from grassroots to national team.  Through LTAD, athletes learn invaluable life skills as they progress through its seven stages.  From a young age, children learn to respect and nurture individual differences, embrace challenges, and value benefits that result from being part of a team effort.  LTAD supports life-long participation in artistic swimming (or other physical activities) and excellence at the High Performance Level.  Both participation and excellence are built on the common foundation of fundamental movement and sports skills developed during the early stages – Active Start, FUNdamentals, and Learning to Train.  Athletes may make the transition into life-long sport participation for fun and fitness at a later stage in Long Term Athlete Development. 


Canada Artistic Swimming 

The national sport governing body is the Canadian Amateur Synchronized Swimming Association (CASSA), or Canada Artistic Swimming.  There are three artistic swimming divisions in Canada: Atlantic (clubs from Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), Eastern (clubs from Quebec and Ontario), and Western (clubs from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon). All competitive athletes are registered with Canada Artistic Swimming at the beginning of each season.  Canada Artistic Swimming’s website at https://artisticswimming.ca/ includes the following resources of interest to athletes and parents: 1) CASSA Official Rules Book, 2) FINA Rules (International Aquatic Sport’s governing body), and 3) Programming.


Click the logo to review and print the Canada Artistic Swimming Parent's guide to Artistic Swimming.

Parent's Guide to Artistic Swimming




Saskatchewan Artistic Swimming

Saskatchewan Artistic Swimming (SAS) is the provincial association for artistic swimming. SAS sponsors meets, training camps and training of coaches and officials. All Saskatchewan athletes must be registered yearly with SAS and CASSA in order to compete. The contact information for Saskatchewan Artistic Swimming is:  300 - 1734 Elphinstone Street, Regina, SK, S4T 1K1  Phone: (306) 780-9227,  E-mail:  mailto:[email protected],  Web Site: https://www.saskartisticswimming.ca,  Executive Director: Kathleen Reynolds