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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.

Our day began at the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum participating in a Curator’s Tour. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

karen kain paddling-36#1647What 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.

 

Summer camps? What?! I can’t believe the ice is just out now and that I just planted my peas and spinach last night.  Everything is so late this spring and as such so is my planning for the summer. This is the first year for me that one of my kids can register for the fabulous (and affordable) Paddling Camps that we offer at the Canoe Museum.  Check out the Paddling camp scene on the video below for a taste of what kids are going to be up to this coming summer (and yes, summer is coming)!  Register soon, space is limited and there are others out there who also haven’t planned their summer yet!

Greetings! My name is Noor Iqbal, and today (how time flies!) is my second-last day at the Canoe Museum! I have been working with Karen Taylor and Jen Burnard (the fabulous folks who bring the children’s education programming to you) for the past three weeks. As a student teacher from Queen’s University’s Outdoor and Experiential Education program, I couldn’t have wished for a better practicum placement! I will especially remember the obvious commitment and delight the staff, volunteers, and visitors have in learning new things.

Everyone I met—staff, animators, and volunteers—has been keenly interested and open to sharing their knowledge and learning from each other. I’ve learned a great deal by spending time with the people who make the Museum come to life. I have had valuable conversations with so many individuals: they’ve shared tidbits of historical information about fur trade artifacts, ruminated about cultural appropriation, demonstrated the process of making fire with flint and steel, highlighted considerations in program design, and described how to make artisan handcrafts. But the greatest thing I’ve experienced is the sense that this is a learning community. This museum is a place where everyone contributes their own strengths and supports each other.

Students prepare to create a web as Dave explains: You hold up the weight of everyone else, just as everyone else holds up your weight too.

Students prepare to create a web as Dave explains: You hold up the weight of everyone else, just as everyone else holds up your weight too.

TKS-web

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A gazillion times a day, this is how it goes:

“Education Coordinator, Karen Taylor speaking…”

“Yes, hello, I’m just wondering if I could bring my students (scouts, guides, youth group) for a tour.”

“No.”

Okay, I don’t really just say NO.  I do have some people skills.  But that is my answer in a nutshell, because I know that when we get your 28 grade 2s – or your 11 Guides or your 17 at-risk youth – into the Museum,  the worst move is to herd ’em up and lead the pack through our exhibits, even though there’s fascinating stuff to talk about and just about any one of us here could go on for hours about it all, passionately, adding the behind-the-scenes stories and more historical context to the wealth of information already in our displays.

Instead, when you call, I’m going to nudge you to toss that idea of a How-to-Visit-a-Museum out the window, and sign your kids up for an experience, for learning-by-doing, for one of our many education programs that aim to take kids to that the edge of their comfort zone where learning happens, and where learning lasts. “Experiential education” can take a lot of forms around here: role plays, a new hands-on skill, artistic expression, games,  but this is what it has looked like in the past couple of weeks. Doesn’t it look fun?! Read the rest of this entry »

Last month Leia showcased the creative side of our guests. We have found many a creation throughout the Museum…but they hardly ever extend passed the front doors.

Well that changed a few Saturday morning’s ago after one of January’s nasty snowstorms….

Let’s start from the beginning shall we!

Our Education Department provides amazing opportunities for kids to interact with the galleries and even, wait for it, sleepover! Every time I help with an Overnight I wish I could have slept underneath a Montreal Canoe or in a wigwam when I was seven!

Imagine you and friends sleeping toe to toe ...listening to the waterfall as you finally giggle yourself to sleep!  So very jealous!

Imagine you and friends sleeping toe to toe …listening to the waterfall as you finally giggle yourself to sleep! So very jealous!

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Let’s free-associate about March Break: palm trees, beaches, coral reefs, rolling waves, Mojitos…

Wait, let me rephrase that:

Let’s free-associate about March Break at The Canadian Canoe Museum: paddle-carving, wanigans, scavenger hunts, soapstone carving, music, hammers, spoke shaves, shave horses…

Now, THAT’S more like it. And no need to slog through airport security.

After last year’s heavily wait-listed March Break program, we’re dramatically expanding our workshop options for kids and youth at the Museum this year, all with our renowned commitment to engaging, creative, hands-on experiences for kids.

And registration starts today, right here.

Our schedule’s on our website, but here’s the full scoop:

 

Image Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know about you but I have one child who likes to make what she calls ‘mixes’.  Often these mixes involve an array of disconnected ingredients that clump together, are then microwaved, then frozen and often found buried or leaking in the freezer months later! Despite the appearance of said mix, the process and sometimes the product are rewarding and definitely worth celebrating.  We at the Museum recently made our own ‘mix’. We gathered up our stuff, our programming, our people and left 910 Monaghan Road Peterborough for the Direct Energy Center in Toronto for 10 days to be a Show Feature at the Toronto International Boat Show.  Since being back at 910 Monaghan for a few days now and am experiencing the sickness that often follows these outreach events, I am reflecting on what ingredients we used in our mix. And yes, I would say that we feel like we’ve been microwaved and frozen.  Here is a list of the items I see figuring heavily in our mix:

Ingredients:

  • one 300 lb 16′ canoe form for canoe building demonstrations
  • 1 steam box and associated equipment
  • 4 shavehorses for paddle carving demonstrations and workshops
  • 200-300 Paddle to the Sea wooden cut outs and associated equipment
  • 5 full size canoe paddle workshop participants, their paddles, and associated equipment
  • 100 Soapstone pendants and associated equipment
  • 500 paper folding canoes and associated equipment
  • 1 Oru Kayak and 1 borrowed Oru kayak (thanks Bill!) Read the rest of this entry »

What a year! Thanks to the support of members, donors, and volunteers, this 15th year of The Canadian Canoe Museum’s operation in Peterborough, Ontario, has been one of the most intense and rewarding periods in its history so far.

1206 - photo for elert option 3 Read the rest of this entry »