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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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Russ Parker and kayak

Russ Parker and kayak

A weekend visit to The Canadian Canoe Museum will often lead to an encounter with a very talented woodworker on our team named Russ Parker. Retired from a long career with the Toronto Fire Services and an avid guitar maker, Russ has also been producing some very fine skin-on-frame kayaks in our Living Traditions Workshop as a Canadian Canoe Museum volunteer.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

The waterfall by the entrance at the museum.

The waterfall by the entrance at the museum.

There is a lot more to The Canadian Canoe Museum then canoes. I know sounds funny, but it’s all true! In the museum we have a few things to look at that aren’t all based on canoes. For example, the Wigwam, Preserving Skills Gallery, and the Kirk Wipper Exhibit to name a few are all wonderful pieces. Even the waterfall as you walk in is a nice sight! Although, one of these pieces that I absolutely love to see every time I am in would be the wigwam. The wigwam here at the Museum was created in 2001 by two wonderful people. A staff member and volunteer worked very hard together in creating the wigwam for viewers to enjoy, and I must say it looks great! 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 »

Hi everyone! For those that aren’t familiar with me, my name is Kate Lawler and I have been volunteering around the Museum for the last month and a half. I’ve been tucked away in the Dembroski Exhibit Studio, scanning and doing data entry, so it’s not a surprise if you haven’t seen me before!

The Canadian Canoe Museum is one of the historic gems in the heart of Peterborough. Many tourists visit the Museum every summer, and many memories are made here. I myself remember when my Girl guide troop stayed the night here. The Museum is a fun destination for kids and adults, with activities such as puppet shows, soapstone carving, and even learning to bake bannock.  Not to mention the beautiful canoes on display. Read the rest of this entry »