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There’s a little village a couple of hours east of Peterborough that has a special affection for the Canadian Canoe Museum.  In fact, even though some of the residents of this village have not yet made the journey to visit the Museum, many of them have a wee sense of ‘ownership’ nonetheless.  That is because the residents of Seeley’s Bay proudly helped with the ‘sea trials’ of Canada One this year, before she went off to do us all proud on the Thames.

Well, more importantly, it is also because the Executive Director of the Museum (we call him Jim) lives here.  So when Raffan called upon his fellow local citizens to help fix up the canoe, test drive her, and christen her, we were all ‘ready aye ready’.  Heck, when we heard that CBC’s The National was sending a film crew to capture the test run, we even called out the local volunteer fire brigade, to make sure Raffan and crew could handle the fireboat sprays anticipated on the Thames.

Anyhow, all of you know about the wonderful journey of Canada One – the airlift from Trenton, the frustrated lorry driver, the lack of opportunity for the crew to practice, the pouring rain, but most of all, the immense pride of Canadians who watched that wonderful canoe in the Flotilla paddled by eight beautifully costumed voyageurs. But what you may not know is that the story did not end there for the people of Seeley’s Bay.

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Over the weekend of August 17th to 19th, The Canadian Canoe Museum became connoisseurs and critics of art at the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival. This year, the Festival’s theme was “Canadian Journeys.” Fittingly, The Canadian Canoe Museum was asked to be their beneficiary. We had a beautiful booth set up, complete with General Manager, John Summer’s orange sailing canoe named “Clementine”! With more than 80 artists displayed, the Festival drew in a large crowd of art-enthusiasts.

 

At our main booth, we sold merchandise and informed passers-by about the Museum. Our great front line volunteers, Gloria, Sue, and Nan, were great representatives, and managed to sell quite a bit of merchandise! To interact even more with visitors, we had artisans working away on their sewing; Ipie and our summer student, Linda, engaged visitors by linking their tangible sewing creations to the history of voyageurs.

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Preparations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration continue as our Executive Director, James Raffan, visits the put-in point where ‘Canada One’ will enter the water for the Thames River Pageant.  Here’s the latest news from James in his words:

The crowds here are building.  Even stuffed animals are lining up to see what’s going on in greater London as the whole city prepares for Jubilee Weekend.

Almost twice as many London neighborhoods applied for road closures for street parties as they did for the Royal Wedding.

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Our put-in point is well above the actual pageant route because even marshaling hundreds of boats to the mustering areas will be a challenge on the Thames.  We’re starting at the University of London Boat Club (ULBC), in Northwest London.  There are many ways to get around this city.  Tried one route from our team HQ near Paddington Station.  30 minutes train, 30 minutes double-decker bus, and 30 minutes on foot … not nearly as good as going home by train in another direction followed by a tube (subway) ride, 45 minutes in total.

Walking along the Thames footpath below Kew Bridge (where the window and bunting photos above were taken), I knew I was getting close to the boat club when this poster turned up on a railing …

 

 

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