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The Beaver Club Gala is truly one of a kind! A fine catered dine and wine affair with 165 guests dressed to impressed in black tie, buckskin, voyageur flair, and period attire. Laughter and smiles for miles! Recreating the original fur traders’ supper club in Montreal, Saturday, October 18th marked the 7th annul event in support of experiential education and public programs at The Canadian Canoe Museum. The evening was a tremendous success and raised in excess of $65,000 (net) thanks to many generous sponsors, donors, guests, and volunteers. Check out photo highlights here courtesy of photographer Myke Healy of Fusionriver Photography.
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.
No, this isn’t an early Hallowe’en post.
THIS is The Beast:
Okay, so it’s a friendly Beast, aka our Voyageur Canoe, a 33-foot, 450+lb, fiberglass-and-wood canoe designed and painted to look like the birch-bark canoes used during the fur trade. It earns its nickname not only for its weight but for the fact that any time we want to use it, we have to herd up a bunch of staff and volunteers to dismantle it into two (still beastly heavy) sections, load it onto two trailers, arrange for people with hitches to bring their cars, schlep the trailers and our staff/volunteers to the put-in, and then haul it off the trailers and reconstruct it in situ, which is always reminds why IKEA doesn’t make 500lb bookshelves. You just have to laugh, really, at how unbirchbark-ish our Voyageur Canoe actually is.
But, don’t get me wrong: I love the beast, and I’m forever grateful that its builder, Jim Holman, generously donated his craft to us after its illustrious reenactment career with the Red House Brigade. Because THIS is also the beast, in action:
We’ve had some exciting new things happening here at the Museum this spring. A few of those exciting things have been new bead-work workshops taught by local instructor Andy Bullock.
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.
Parks Canada and The Canadian Canoe Museum Consider Potential Relocation
of Museum to Peterborough Lift Lock
Collaboration would boost tourism and sustainability
April 9, 2014 – Parks Canada
Parks Canada and the Canadian Canoe Museum are exploring an innovative idea of relocating the museum to the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway as a way to boost the tourism and revenue potential for both organizations.
The construction of a new museum at this location would consolidate two significant tourism and recreation destinations in the region and offer enhanced opportunities for Canadian families, including the opportunity to better explore the canoe’s history in Canada and enjoy the diverse water-related programming and associated activities that can be offered by the museum at this historic location.
Parks Canada and the Canoe Museum will now enter into detailed negotiations to determine the terms of the potential partnership. This joint project would aim to increase visitation and offer new opportunities that would support each organization’s mandate and their financial sustainability.
This project demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to work with partners and communities to help canals be a premier tourism destination, generate revenue, foster recreation and economic development, and ultimately build strong communities and support Canadian families. For the Canoe Museum, this initiative represents the potential fulfillment of a long-cherished aspiration – the relocation to a new water-based site that will enable wider and more extensive programming. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m dedicating this blog post to all of the amazing volunteers, past and present, who have committed their time and energy to the Canoe Museum! It’s National Volunteer Week and we’re celebrating all of our volunteers all week long. Volunteers are at the heart of this Museum. They oversee front line operations, assist with special events and serve on committees and on the Board of Directors. They also volunteer in the wood shop, in the office, and in the areas of collections and archives. Talented artisans and tour guides top off our diverse volunteer team.
To give you an idea of the scope of work our volunteers take on, consider that in 2013 alone, 13,144 total hours were contributed by 124 volunteers including the Board of Directors and committees. We are incredibly lucky that this group of talented, passionate and generous people choose the Canoe Museum as one of the ways they give back to their community. THANK YOU to each and every one of our volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you!!
It’s springtime here in Peterborough, Ontario and although this may seem hard to believe right now with most of the ground still covered in large snowbanks – it’s here. Pretty soon we’ll be enjoying watching the flowers bloom, the relief of ditching the extra winter layers, and for many the joys of dipping our paddles again. Because the snow (hopefully) will be melted sooner rather than later, it’s a great time to start planning for your spring.
Here are 5 cool things to do this spring:
For weeks, the weekend Museum volunteers have had to suffer through my excited babbling about my weekend getaway and now they have many stories to look ‘forward to’ come Saturday…but till then I’ll bore our readers!
Having been at the Museum non-stop for the last few months it was very odd not to be working last weekend, having over a week without walking throughout the galleries. I didn’t know what to do with my time, but thankfully I had a pretty fun distraction…
Friends and I had been planning our winter get away for months—finally the day was here…my car was cleaned out (for the first time in forever) and the bumper was dragging with all our gear.
I put aside my schoolbooks and strapped on my snowshoes! Both thoughts of the Museum and university were pushed out of my head as soon as we got out of the city. With perfect weather, amazing company and serene views, the four of us settled in for a relaxing stay at a homestead north of Minden.
From time to time, The Canadian Canoe Museum uses one of its gallery workshops to explore or recreate the various canoe and kayak-building traditions reflected within its collection. These opportunities always make for engaging interactive experiences for our guests and have also led to very rewarding collaborations with colleagues. In the end, these projects also aspire to deepen our shared understanding of the many different traditions, techniques and stories reflected within the Museum’s own remarkable collection.