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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:

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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…


Fun in the snow, the weekend was even more fun than I anticipated! If teaching doesn’t pan out I wonder if I could make it as a mason?

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.

View of the wee cabin from the bush, across the meadow.

View of the wee cabin from the bush.

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Events! Don’t be left out of the fun, mark these items on your calendar today!

March Break Programs 

girl paddle carvingAfter 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.

If you are not interested in registering for a kids’ workshop, why not just consider a visit to the Museum for a day trip?  There’s something for everyone in your group, from toddlers to seniors including a new scavenger hunt that will keep everyone engaged and laughing!

Canoes & Romance Exhibition Opening April 23rd at 7pm 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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Dogs at Museum

Left to right: Booker, Keppler, Cookie and Zoe. Absent from this photos is Riley.
Jen Burnard is kindly handing out treats for the well-behaved!

About a week ago now the Museum’s office hallway had a different sound in it, the distinct sound (and smell?) of dogs!  Our dog-loving General Manager, John Summers suggested we initiate the ‘bring-your-dog-to-work-day’.   And so we had Cookie the Golden Retriever (John Summers), Zoe the Bernese Mountain Dog (Carolyn Hyslop), Riley the Black Lab (Stacey Reynolds), Keppler the Saint Berner (Jessica Lapp), and Booker the Northern Husky x Sheppard (Jen Burnard)!  It was funny because all of these are generally large-breed dogs and aside from Cookie who acted at times like their auntie, these ‘large’ dogs are all under 3 years-Imagine the energy!  They were rambunctious, energetic, playful and but considering their age and circumstances, surprisingly well-behaved for a pack of pups-no fights broke out thank goodness and there were no time-outs for bad behaviour.  A few highlights to the day that make me smile: Keppler has an awesome appetite and kept eating Zoe’s food, Booker needed to mark his new territory in the hallway (!),  Cookie told Keppler to ‘get lost’ when Keppler tried to follow Cookie back into his office, Riley played with many plastic water bottles which turned her office into a loud area and drove their office mates bonkers and Keppler’s drool gave Zoe’s fur a lovely glisten! Read the rest of this entry »

With the onset of actual snow this morning in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, I think its time that we start focusing our attention on the most Canadian of winter sports. No its not hockey, and its not curling either. For those of you new to the sport I present: Canoe Sledding! A great way to put your canoe to use over the winter so that it can earn its keep.


Canoe Sledding is fun for the whole family AND the dogs!
Image copyright of Rowell Photography.

canoe sledding 2

These two are really getting some air time.

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title slide

Each year, the Ontario Museum Association puts on a conference where those of us in the business, and those who would like to be in the business, gather to talk about the professional issues of the day. The theme for 2013 is “Culture: Taking Charge.” I’ve been asked to be a panelist in a session called “Paradigm Shifts: The Challenge of Doing Things Differently.” The panelists have been asked to think about a major change, issue or crisis that has confronted their institution and reflect on how they dealt with it.

Two challenges came immediately to mind for the Canadian Canoe Museum, and the more I thought about them the more they seemed to be related.

Challenge #1: Our collection of more than 600 canoes, kayaks and watercraft is national in scope and includes watercraft from every province and territory. Our ambitions are also national in scope, and we want to be engaged with Canadians and visitors across the country. One typical way to do this is through membership. But, one of the benefits of membership in a museum is often free admission. How does that work if you live 1500km away from the institution? Is there a way to deliver enough value to members to make it worthwhile to join even if they never visit in person?

5-bay without pins

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P.A. Days… or some call ’em P.D Days… aka to kids as a DAY OFF SCHOOL!  And what did a bunch of our Summer Paddling Campers choose to do with their DAY OFF SCHOOL this month? Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »