Wow what a day! A new tradition at The Canadian Canoe Museum was born on Sunday, October 27, 2013 – the George Luste Lecture. This exciting inaugural event marked the kick off of the new partnership between The Canadian Canoe Museum and the Wilderness Canoe Association (WCA).
The Lecture series was organized with funding from the new George Luste Fund set up at the Museum in 2013 to honour George Luste. George Luste has organized the Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium in Toronto for the past 28 years. Taking a quote from Che-mun “You would be hard pressed to find someone with a more varied and stellar career of northern paddling.” Click here for more info on the George Luste Fund.
Sunday’s inaugural George Luste Lecture kicked off with a special behind the scenes tour of the Museum’s collection led by Curator, Jeremy Ward. This tour featured a lot of ‘ahhh moments’ as guests were treated to a unique look at the Museum’s collection that is not normally on display to the general public.
This year’s Luste Lecturer was John Lentz. Author John Lentz presented his wilderness paddling stories in a presentation entitled “Five Decades of Wilderness Paddling: People and Places”. Lentz has logged 21 major Canadian paddling expeditions, plus 2 in Siberia where canoes and catamarans were employed. He has been a member of The Explorers Club, New York City, since 1963. His river trip articles have been published in a variety of magazines, including National Geographic and The Beaver. The special presentation featured a unique blend of photos, stories, and humour from John’s paddling trips in Canada including the Dubawnt and Hood Rivers.
A piece of advice that John gave to attendees: “watch your weather”. Careful analysis needs to be taken when scouting white water. “Don’t stand at the top of a long rapid and think you know what’s present. Don’t be lazy. Walk down to the river’s edge.”
Attendees to the event were in for a special treat, as the event also marked the premiere of Lentz’s new book Tales from the Paddle: A Canoeist’s Memoirs of Wilderness Trips in Canada and Russia. For more information about Lentz’s book click here. This novel is also now available in the Museum’s Store along with many other unique gift ideas for the paddling enthusiast.
To close out the event in style, attendees were treated to a lovely cheese spread courtesy of In a Jamm Catering, wine, and premium pilsner courtesy of the Museum’s fantastic beer sponsor Steam Whistle.
Over 110 attendees took in this inaugural event. With many travelling great distances to be here. It was wonderful to see so many new faces in the Museum and to connect with many familiar friends. It was a wonderful chance for Museum members to connect with other individuals who share their mutual interest and passion for paddling; members seeking intellectual and visual stimulation, and fellowship.
Special thanks to the efforts and collaboration of Aleksandar Gusev, Bill King, James Raffan, and of course George Luste for bring this exciting new partnership into development. If you haven’t already heard of the WCA, they are a non-profit organization of individuals interested in the outdoor pursuits and in wilderness travel, mainly by canoe, kayak, backpacking, and by skis and snowshoes. Click here for more info.
Want to attend the next members’ event at the Museum? You can. It’s easy. You can become a Museum member for as little as $30 for a whole year. This gets you invited to all of the members only events and more. Click here for full benefit details. Want to bring a friend to the event? Get a family membership for just $45 for the year (good for 2 adults and up to 4 children). A Museum membership is the easiest way to show your support for a national and irreplaceable treasure, The Canadian Canoe Museum.
Stay tuned for details on the 2014 George Luste Lecture… In the meantime, we invite you to join us at the next members’ event on Saturday, November 9, 2013, for the Wipper Lecture series. Click here for more details.