The leaves are changing, the weather is becoming more and more brisk, and the days of summer are begin to feel far away. From the entire Canoe Museum family I hope that everyone had a lovely long weekend and perhaps got in that one last paddle of the season. Personally, fall is my favourite season and I love those last few paddles before the weather turns cold. Fall is certainly in full swing here at the Canoe Museum and we have plenty to offer the canoe enthusiast or anyone else who is beginning to miss those days of summer.
The Canadian Canoe Museum has more that 100 canoes and kayaks on display – from the great dugouts of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest to Adam van Koeverden’s Olympic kayak – you are sure to find a favourite! But did you know that we also have some re-purposed canoes? Our visitors have a great time using their percussion skills on our Canoe Kettle Drum or meditating in the “Sukkanoe” – read more about these great displays here.
Our latest re-purposed canoe was donated by Nova Craft Canoes and is an exquisite “Canoe Couch”. Visitors, volunteers and staff have all taken a turn resting their weary bones on its leather cushions.
Through out history people have had some great ideas that are canoe related. The canoe sidecar is very popular and was very prominent in our Canoes To Go exhibit. Below is a photo from the Birmingham Motorcycle Club from 1925 with their rendition.
The IE Weldon Secondary School’s canoe building class displayed a “canoe car” at the 2013 Small Craft Rendezvous that was a hit with all the visitors.
All you have to do is use your imagination and the canoe become an unique art form. The Strathcona Park Lodge has this canoe planter on display while a home owner in northern BC had the same idea but the local wild life found another use for the canoe!
But I think my favourite is the canoe pond – might be great at the entrance of our Museum!
Have you re-purposed a canoe? We would love to see your creation! Email pictures to email@example.com or post on our Facebook page here.
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of joining 35 members of our volunteer team on a road trip to the beautiful town of Kingston, ON. The bus trip is an annual outing for us and each fall we head to a new destination to explore different cities, museums and attractions. The number one goal of the trip is to provide our volunteers with a chance to meet new people, see new places and have a blast experiencing new things. While we’re at it, we also try to take advantage of opportunities for professional development and to see how other institutions run their show.
A weekend visit to The Canadian Canoe Museum will often lead to an encounter with a very talented woodworker on our team named Russ Parker. Retired from a long career with the Toronto Fire Services and an avid guitar maker, Russ has also been producing some very fine skin-on-frame kayaks in our Living Traditions Workshop as a Canadian Canoe Museum volunteer.
Fall is becoming a busy time of year here at the Canoe Museum- from lectures, school programs and the annual Beaver Club Gala just on the horizon, all hands are on deck to provide a welcoming and memorable experience for our guests.
I love interacting with the public. Greeting visitors at the door, working with children and answering questions as guests peruse the galleries are some of the highlights of a museum setting- but sometimes it’s just nice to bask in the solace of our artifact storage facilities.
No, this isn’t an early Hallowe’en post.
THIS is The Beast:
Okay, so it’s a friendly Beast, aka our Voyageur Canoe, a 33-foot, 450+lb, fiberglass-and-wood canoe designed and painted to look like the birch-bark canoes used during the fur trade. It earns its nickname not only for its weight but for the fact that any time we want to use it, we have to herd up a bunch of staff and volunteers to dismantle it into two (still beastly heavy) sections, load it onto two trailers, arrange for people with hitches to bring their cars, schlep the trailers and our staff/volunteers to the put-in, and then haul it off the trailers and reconstruct it in situ, which is always reminds why IKEA doesn’t make 500lb bookshelves. You just have to laugh, really, at how unbirchbark-ish our Voyageur Canoe actually is.
But, don’t get me wrong: I love the beast, and I’m forever grateful that its builder, Jim Holman, generously donated his craft to us after its illustrious reenactment career with the Red House Brigade. Because THIS is also the beast, in action:
Sitting at a small table at Starbucks, hoping a cappuccino will help illuminate the path, I wonder how in the world all of the stuff the Canoe Museum is working on is going to come together. We are working on a full roster of fall adult artisan workshops, new education programs, new public events, new tour packages, fundraisers, a strategic planning retreat, a new exhibit for the spring, a fall appeal, the Beaver Club Gala and on top of it all, a project bigger than any of this–a partnership with Parks Canada and the full redevelopment and moving of the Museum to the water! How do we do it?? Read the rest of this entry »
The Canadian Canoe Museum is excited to announce that you can now host your next event in the McLean/Matthews Gallery! In addition to our main event space, we are extending our policies so that you can hold your function in the main lobby of the Museum. This is very exciting because it means that your guests can enjoy cocktails and appetizers while interacting with the largest collection of canoes and kayaks in the world.
If you weren’t able to be at this year’s Small Craft Rendezvous don’t fret here are some images from the various builders’ booths!
Thanks to all the staff, volunteers, visitors and exhibitors that made this day a total success!
What do you have planned for the kids in your life this summer holiday? The Canoe Museum provides an exceptional quality day camp experience kids ages 10-14. Spending the day on the water in a canoe, swimming when its hot, making new friends and learning the art of canoeing! What could be better? We have a few spaces available so check out the camps page for more information.