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The Canadian Canoe Museum is a great place to work! We are a vibrant organization with excellent people and programs.  We’ve created a successful canoe camp for kids and we have awesome land-based programs for adults.  And now the time has come to mix it up and get us adults onto the water.  This is where you come in.  We need your input!  I’d like you to help us structure our programs to your needs and wants.  I want you to take a moment to complete the survey below. Read the rest of this entry »

We all have our systems when on trip.   We have our dish system, our shelter system, our sleeping system, and of course, our kitchen system.  I am definitely a ‘nester’ and must say that my kitchen system reflects this pretty well:)  I like canoe tripping because I can carry things that make my back country ‘nest’ more comfortable, especially my kitchen nest.   This is a sampling of the kitchen gear I like to have on hand when I head out on canoe trip with the family or my friends.

all gear shot July 24 2013

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Poster - Men Legal SizedYou are a bit of DIY’er and you like the idea of small boats, boat building, canoe building and maybe kayak building but you aren’t sure where to begin? You like looking at different kinds of boats and seeing how they are made, how they fit together and what tools are needed to make it all work.  You are keen to learn directly from the actual woodworkers, builders and artisans? Maybe you aren’t ready to build something yourself yet but you want to know more about the different companies, meet them, talk to them and find out more about the options available to you.  You might already have a boat you are proud of and are looking to connect with other people who have a boat like yours or maybe you are keen to make a paddle for your canoe or kayak? The place for you on Saturday June 22nd is the Small Craft Rendezvous at The Canadian Canoe Museum! Read the rest of this entry »

americanCraftPress01Join us SATURDAY JUNE 22nd at The Canadian Canoe Museum for the Small Craft Rendezvous, a day devoted to all things watercraft.  Take in live demonstrations of canoe canvassing (Carlisle Canoes), back-country cooking (ORCKA), tool sharpening (Lee Valley Tools) and wood bending (Michael Fortune) to name just a few.  There will be family-friendly crafts, activities and a special presentation by Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre.  A BBQ lunch will be available on-site as well as Kawartha Dairy ice cream!  See the Rendezvous‘ webpage for a more thorough listing.  It’s still not too late to register. Registration for exhibitors, vendors and participants is still open, so if you would like to bring something to display or demonstrate, please click here to register.

To make the day even better, NICK OFFERMAN will be at the Museum to take in the various demonstrations and exhibits.  Joan Barrett and Ted Moores’ of Bear Mountain Boats‘ invited Nick, their colleague, friend and Bear Mountain boat builder, to attend the day and he said YES!!  Nick Offerman currently stars as Ron Swanson on NBC’s wildly popular show, Parks and Recreation.  Nick will be hosting a special dinner at the Canoe Museum for Bear Mountain Boats and Ted Moores’ 40th anniversary. Tickets are sold out for this.

Nick Offerman Q&A posterIf you are a fan of Nick Offerman, then this is the event for you.  An informal, intimate and likely hilarious Q&A with Nick Offerman will be from 2:30pm-4:00pm in the Education Room at the Canoe Museum on Saturday June 22nd.  Appetizers and 2 drinks are provided with your ticket. Tickets are $30 and seating is limited.  To purchase a ticket, click here.

National Canoe Day?! Perhaps you are in the know about this national holiday and are wondering when it will become an official statutory holiday.  Perhaps you have never heard of this ‘Day’ and are wondering why I am taking up valuable space in your inbox for such silliness as a national day for canoeing. Well, let me elaborate.

It is not a secret in Canada that the canoe is indeed a national icon.  It became known as such and was officially declared so by over 1 million voters, in 2007.  In 2007, the CBC launched a nation-wide project to unearth what Canadians thought were the country’s Seven Wonders. After many weeks and millions of votes, the canoe was named one of the Seven Wonders of Canada.  In celebration of this, The Canadian Canoe Museum declared June 26th as National Canoe Day with the aim of increasing participation in paddlesports in Canada, engaging new paddlers and reaching across generational and cultural divides to introduce the canoe to those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience this great national heritage. Read the rest of this entry »


The Museum is opening its doors to the public this Sunday, January 13th and offering FREE admission! Yes Free!  We are open from 12pm to 5pm and we are featuring our annual show of models and miniatures.  Our friends, the Peterborough Model Railroaders and the Lindsay & District Model Railroaders will be filling the Education Room with cool model trains for the kids and the young at heart!  The Maple Leaf Telegraph club will be here as well as Steve Guthrie and his military models. There will be kids’ crafts, a snack bar, live artisan demonstrations including paddle making, kayak building and birch bark canoe repair.  The Museum Store will be open and sales are to be expected (25% off selected apparel and 40% off select giftware and jewelry)!  It is going to be a fabulous day and one that you won’t want to miss.  See you Sunday. For more information check out or call 705-748-9153.























About a year ago now, on the 2nd floor of the Museum, a unused corner of space was transformed into an interactive educational puppet theatre.  This puppet theatre is one of the many kid-inspired and family-friendly components that makes this Museum a museum that I want to bring my own kids to (and often do, like today for strike day camp)!

Cute and cuddly Folkmanis hand and finger puppets of Canadian creatures that dwell in our forests, fields, lakes, rivers and air, are the backbone of this space and provide kids and adults with their inspiration for the many shows that erupt from behind the puppet theatre’s wall.  But these creatures really needed a tapestry to fly, swim and live in…and so we turned to volunteer and artisan, Ipie Van der Veen for help.  And take a look at the magic she created–


She has a long history of helping create props for the School programs at the Museum; from creating faux seal skin hides to cover our kayaks in the Kayak Building program to sewing costumes for our Trappers and Traders program.  When we asked her to create a backdrop for the puppets in the puppet theatre she jumped on the opportunity!

A little background on Ipie; she is the uber creative force here for all things fabric and before fabric she worked in the woodshop and helped build the Museum’s 36′ birch bark canot du maitre!  Her Hudson Bay Company blanket mittens, gun cases and camp vests are on sale in the Museum Store and she co-teaches the HBC blanket coat workshop. To top this off, every Christmas she makes 100’s of HBC blanket coat tree ornaments.

You can find Ipie volunteering in the galleries at the Museum on Mondays and Thursdays




Stone: grey-rose Brazilian soapstone and caribou antler. Carver: Tuma Saumik, born 1948 in Naajuat, Nunavut. Community: Kangiqlinik, Nunavut.

What would the Museum’s second floor Kayak gallery be without a collection of Inuit carvings on display? That is exactly what we were wondering when the much-loved Hahn-Moss Collection moved home last month.  The display case in question is often the first stop for many school groups that come to the Museum to take part in our ever-popular Soapstone Carving program. Students walk around that case, and using only their faculty of sight to explore the carvings, they determine the qualities of the stone and the context of the carvings. These carvings also carry the responsibility of inspiring these students when it comes time to carve their own piece of soapstone!

Bert and Lyn Horwood of Kingston Ontario are two people that understand the importance of these sculptures and the role that they can play in educating our youth.  Bert and Lyn are long time fanciers of soapstone art that they have collected both in the north and at galleries around Canada.  As a canoeist, Bert had paddled some rivers in Nunavut and the NWT, which have taken him into the realms of Inuit carvers in a variety of northern communities.  But they have also frequented galleries in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver.  The result is a lovely family collection of soapstone from which these ten pieces were selected for display.

As a long-time, now retired, professor of education at Queen’s University (first in Science and then in Outdoor & Experiential Education) Bert’s interest was piqued when he heard that the pieces in the soapstone display case were used as part of school programming in the Kayak Gallery.  To make the display as informative and interesting as possible Bert and Lyn looked through their collection for pieces they thought were representative in terms of geographic diversity, as well as in the types of stone and the characters being depicted.  They were also conscious of selecting works of varying complexity, knowing that if these are to be a guide for novice soapstone carvers then some simpler or more naive pieces might be more inspiring than more elaborate or complex pieces.

It is integral to the quality of our programs at the Museum to have these unique and valuable Inuit carvings on display.  They help to tell the stories of the northern Canadian landscape, the people and animals, and the rich culture and art that comes from this area.  Thank you Bert and Lyn Horwood!!

Here is a glimpse of what’s now on display.

Mother and child carving

Stone: serpentine. Carver: Utye, born 1924. Community: Kimmirut and Iqaluit.

Crane-Horwood Collection

Stone: Muskox horn on caribou antler base. Artist: unknown, possibly Rex Goose, born 1965. Community: Uluhaktok, NWT.

Loon-Horwood collection

Stone: black stone. Carver: work signed “Itualuk”, possibly Itualuk Kadyulik, born 1938. Community: Sugluk, QC

Bear-Horwood Collection

Stone: green-grey stone. Carver: Novoligak, born 1921. Community: Kugluktuk, Nunavut.


Stone: Brazilian soapstone. Carver: Mary Ann Taylor, born c. 1978. Community: Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. This was the carver’s first shown piece. She was about 15 years old and learned mostly from her father and brothers.

Kneeling Woman braiding hair-Horwood collection

Stone: grey stone. Carver: Evie Tullaquaq Oumugaaluk, born 1925. Community: Sugluk, QC.

Man-Horwood collection

Stone: flinty, grey stone. Carver: Samaotik, born 1907. Community: Inukjuak, QC.

Last week I had my weather reporting skills doubted each and every day! What looked like a week of rain and poor weather turned out to be a gloriously sunny week.  Perfect weather for taking a canoeing course don’t you think?

That is just what I did.  I took part in a Big Canoe Leader course taught by Paddle Canada right here in Peterborough.  This course enabled our already safe and competent canoe leaders to gain a national certification in leading Big Canoes.  There are not a lot of these courses taking place in Ontario and so an instructor from British Columbia flew out to teach.   The Big Canoe program is definitely new with having only about 4 years under it’s belt but it is a very interesting program and certainly worth investing our time into.

What is Big Canoe you wonder? Big Canoes are those wondrously large canoes that have their historical roots in the Canada’s fur trade era.  Think 36′ Montreal canoe/canot du maitre or 26′ North Canoe/canot du nord.  Don’t have them in your mind yet? Check out the pics below.

Montreal Canoe built at The Canadian Canoe Museum

North Canoes at National Canoe Day in Peterborough

These boats are absolutely perfect vessels for carrying heavy loads of  cargo and more recently, these canoes are excellent vehicles for introducing non-paddlers (and already keen paddlers) to canoeing in a safe and accessible manner.  The Canoe Museum’s Big Canoes earn their keep at the Museum by taking out students in school groups, campers in our summer CanoeKids Paddling Camps, corporate team building groups, visitors from other countries, individuals and families with Peterborough’s New Canadians Center, as well as the general public at such outings as National Canoe Day, Ode’Min Giizis festival, re-enactment festivals, Queen Jubilee pageants and many more events to come in the future.
Interested in seeing what it is like to paddle a Big Canoe?  Contact the Canoe Museum and we’ll let you know the next time these big beautiful beasts are leaving the dock!!  All are invited, no matter what your level of experience is.

I bet there are a lot of happy parents and grandparents out there this week with the return of school and the subsequent routines that go with it!! I am one of those parents who is sighing with relief.  I do love a summer filled with camping, cottages, and family just as much as the next gal, but it is tiring.  With the return of the routines, making space for family-time on the weekends is hard.  September is a busy month, for sure, but it also likely the nicest month for canoeing in Ontario and hence is a great way to get some family-time in!  Here are some ideas to create a few more memorable canoe-related adventures for the family before the first frost.

1. Figure out which weekend works best (quickly before things get scheduled) and head into your nearby park for an easy (don’t work too hard) base camp canoe trip.  It is really nice to stay in one place for both nights so you can have a slow morning, sipping a nice cuppa, wearing your wackiest toques! Algonquin or Kawartha Highlands is our go-to place for fall trips as they are close and beautiful and pretty quiet too.

2. Encourage the kids’ teachers to bring them to the Museum for likely the most interesting and fun (and educational but don’t tell the kids) field trip going!  Be sure to offer your services as the volunteer for the trip so that you too can learn a few new things.  If you need to arm yourself with more information about our school programs check out this School programs link.

3. Come by the Museum for a day of fun that is unlike    anything else you can do in Peterborough.  The kids will love it (and I can say that honestly as my kids LOVE the place) and you will be happy to not be the ‘entertainers’ for a few hours:)  I could go into all of the neat hands-on stuff there is to do but it is becoming a long list so just trust me! Be sure to pack a picnic and eat in our Education Room.

4. Adults, want to hone your own canoeing skills?  Want to learn how to solo your canoe? Want to build on your certifications or start the process of getting certified? Wouldn’t it be cool to do that with the Canoe Museum? We can do that for you.  Email me, to find out more.  We can do private lessons and we provide all of the equipment too.

5. Not sure about a canoeing course, that’s okay.  Why not try one of the cool artisan offerings this fall?  Finger weaving, paddle carving, moccasin-making…oh my!!

6. Okay here’s a good one!  First you have to become a Canadian Canoe Museum Member (easy to do and really really reasonable with all kinds of fantastic perks).  Then you can sign up for a Members’ event on Saturday September 22nd.  On the 22nd you will get a private tour of our Collection storage area (incredible boats) and then you can hear all about canoe travel in Wabakimi Provincial Park in northwestern Ontario–Ontario’s second largest provincial park and world’s largest protected wilderness canoeing area.  This will kick-start the dreaming/planning for next summer’s big trip.  Cool no?

7. Enjoy the changing season!