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The Canoe Museum was buzzing with excitement last night as over 100 people piled in to the Education Room for a very special evening! Our very own Executive Director, James Raffan, teamed up with CBC personality and Jack Matthews Fellow Shelagh Rogers for an intimate evening of conversation and film. The talk featured three of Shelagh’s favourite things: writers, writing and the North. The conversation led in to a screening of her recent documentary Northwords, which features her experience of travelling to Torngat Mountain National Park in northern Labrador with five Canadian writers (one of them being Canoe Museum Ambassador, Joseph Boyden!). The film reflects the adventures of their travels, as well as their quest for inspiration to create new works and add to the ongoing stories of the north. 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.

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very small canoe with caption

When I walked through the door of the Canadian Canoe Museum in August of 2008, I had no idea what I was getting into. OK, maybe that’s not 100% true. I knew that the CCM had an amazing collection of canoes and kayaks and I knew about the Museum’s history at Kandalore and at Monaghan Road. I had even seen the canoes in the log building at Camp Kandalore back in the mid 1980s. Those were the facts of the story. I knew a little about what the Canoe Museum was, but I didn’t have any idea who the museum was. Now I do.

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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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“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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Summer is drawing to a close and that can mean only one thing…Back to School! Whether you are a parent, student or teacher this time of year probably has special significance for you.

Here at the Museum back to school means that our exciting hands-on school programs are back up and running full force. There’s nothing we like better than a museum full of kids exploring and making lots of noise in our galleries. If you have never taken part in one of our school programs before you can check out our wide array of offerings here.  For those of you who have taken part in our school programs in the past you will be excited to learn that we have officially added two new programs to our roster this year: Full Size Paddle Carving for youth ages 15-18, and Canoes Count, a fun and interactive program for JK/SK classes.

June Paddle Carving

June Paddle Carving

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Members of the Gordon family have been building canoes in and around Lakefield, ON since the mid 1800s.  Thomas Gordon started the Thomas Gordon Canoe Co. in the 1850s and he began a family tradition that continues to this day.

When we had two Gordon watercraft, one canoe and one skiff, donated to our collection a couple years ago by John Gordon (great grandson of Thomas Gordon) we knew it wouldn’t be long before we would put them on exhibit.

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Thomas Gordon (foreground) working on a canoe.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Hooke.

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Each summer for the past 34 years, members of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association have gathered for their annual assembly. For many of those years, the Assembly has been held on the beautiful lakefront campus of Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack area of upstate New York.

Earlier this year, the WCHA and the Canoe Museum decided to work together to support canoeing heritage by offering the members of each organization a year of free membership in the other. To promote this new initiative and get to know the WCHA better, I spent three days at this year’s assembly, which was once again held at Paul Smith’s College.

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