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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).

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I know it seems like it’s still far away, but with Thanksgiving under our belts (no pun intended) and Halloween around the corner, the next big thing to look forward to and plan for is Christmas!! I absolutely love the holiday season and have no problem brainstorming gift ideas and thinking about decor, even in October. However, one part of Christmas that does seem to sneak up on me (and many other folks I’m sure) is the scheduling and planning of holiday parties with friends, family and co-workers. So, here is a friendly reminder that now is the perfect time to book your party or get-together, and the Canoe Museum is a fun and interactive venue for you and your guests. Read the rest of this entry »

I couldn’t be more excited to unveil our amazing workshop line-up for 2014!

There are some exciting new additions including Snowshoe Weaving (probably the most requested workshop in our feedback forms!) and three really fun Beading Workshops taught by a talented and experienced artist (and new Canoe Museum volunteer).

Thanks for supporting the Canoe Museum and our programs!


Sew a Hudson’s Bay Blanket Coat

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Many followers of this blog might be familiar with the elegant paintings of voyageurs traveling in bark canoes by British-born artist Frances Anne Hopkins. Of the few artists who have left us an eyewitness graphic account of life in the canoe brigades of the Canadian fur trade, Hopkins’ art has always stood out for its elegant composition and its precision with detail. A bonus element is the “where’s Waldo” feature that the artist, a young woman in her late-twenties accompanied by her husband, is often portrayed sitting amidst the burly paddling crew on top of kit and cargo amidships.

Shooting The Rapids

Shooting The Rapids

Married to Edward Hopkins, 20-year-old Frances accompanied her husband to Canada, settling first in Lachine near Montreal. Edward initially served as secretary to Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and Frances accompanied her husband on many of his travels. The journeys that would serve as strongest muse for the young artist however would be several tours of inspection by voyageur canoe on the Upper Great Lakes and the Mattawa and Ottawa rivers between 1864 and 1869. Read the rest of this entry »

Collection’s care is a big part of our work behind the scenes here at the Museum. For the most part its pretty un-glamorous (vacuuming and and dusting aren’t the most fun), but it is a critical part of ensuring that the our collection stays safe and stable for future generations to enjoy.

Sometimes the galleries just need a good dusting!

Sometimes the galleries just need a good dusting!

Often visitors and collectors of antique watercraft will take a look at some of the boats that we have on display and ask us “so when are you going to restore that?” Its not a crazy question in the least! but it is a common misconception about museums. Read the rest of this entry »

Over the past 6 weeks the Canoe Museum’s multi-purpose event space has been getting quite the workout! We love opening our doors for public events and private rentals, and there has been such a diverse range of uses for our Education Room recently. Of course, our beloved Ed Room accommodates the thousands of children and youth who come to the Museum on school and class trips throughout the year. The room also plays double-duty as our main event space for so many different types of occasions:

The Canoe Museum has recently played host to 2 weddings, 2 surprise parties and an anniversary party.

IMG_7627            Joseph Boyden CCM 25 Sept 2013-4            IMG_7647

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“Geez. #AskACurator has my head spinning today. Anyone who thinks that museums are static and analog should check out that hashtag!”

This excellent Tweet came from Jane Hanna out of Chicago (@JaneHannaSays) after witnessing some of the over 26,000+ Tweets that went out with the hashtag #AskACurator last Wednesday, and I think it’s a great way to sum up the day.

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On September 18, 2013, The Canadian Canoe Museum participated in #AskaCurator Day on Twitter alongside 622 museums in 37 countries. We invited our Curator, Jeremy Ward to answer some questions from the Twitterverse. Read the rest of this entry »

Who comes to the Canoe Museum?  Well, that’s a great question!

Our amazing (Young Canada Works funded) summer students surveyed 100 Canoe Museum visitors this summer in order for us to learn more about who comes here, and what they think of our Museum.

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Well, after two months of being away from the Museum, it was so nice to be back this past weekend and re-acquaint myself with all of the galleries and of course the wonderful volunteers.

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Ahhh … The Canoe Museum

We had a pretty busy weekend, some visitors with very interesting stories to tell, some with tales of adventures in the wilderness and some just wishing that the Summer was only just beginning instead of coming to an end. Read the rest of this entry »

Clinching in the Old Town's new ribsIt is a real pleasure to lead a behind-the-scenes tour amongst our impressive collection of canoes, kayaks and other bits and pieces. Sometimes, as we are wrapping things up and turn to look back across a warehouse of over 500 boats from around the world, I’ve been asked the unexpected question, “how long will it take to restore them all?Collections storage

Now I’m not intending to know how often this question might be put to other museums at a similar moment but I suspect it is rather less common. The inference here might that many of our old boats look a little rough. Indeed, most do lack the shiny, over-glossed appeal of a restored classic boat and perhaps there is something about an old wooden canoe with alligatored varnish, missing some of its paint, canvas or planking that screams for our attention. Maybe it just looks like another chore needed doing at the cottage, but ramped up several hundred times. Read the rest of this entry »