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You may not remember this, but on Thursday, September 12, in the middle of the afternoon, it was raining.  A lot. You could even call it torrential. I don’t have an impressive photo of the downpour, but let’s just say it was not the kind of weather to make even this life-long, hard-core canoeist think: golly, let’s head out for a picnic and paddle this evening.

So, a hundred cheers for the two dozen intrepid new Canadians who did just that, coming out on a chilly, still damp – but surprisingly precipitation-free! – evening to meet new friends and experience a Voyageur canoe ride along the Otonabee River.

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I have to admit it: it seems just the teensiest bit as if summer is… okay, I’ll just say it… over.  It’s not the back-to-school stuff in the stores (which has been up since July anyway) or the recent crisp nights, it’s that for me summer is all about the Museum’s Paddling Camps — and we’ve just said goodbye to our last campers for the year.

Our five weeks of camp saw over 50 paddlers learning new paddling skills and earning ORCKA certifications, with 23 new paddlers earning Level 1 badges, and our returning campers achieving 12 level 2s, five level 3s and seven Tripping 1A certifications. Plus five intrepid and very dedicated campers took us up on our new camp offering this year — the Level 4 ORCKA option, achieving their solo canoe certifications in just one week — no small achievement (can YOU paddle a canoe on your own in a straight line backwards?).  But badge stats aside, that’s a whole lot of kids with water safety and paddling skills they can use to enjoy the Canadian wilderness, or just a local river, their whole lives through. Read the rest of this entry »

BCG web photo cropped

When was the last time you dressed up like a character from the grand old days of the fur trade? Was it maybe October 2012 when you came to last year’s Beaver Club Gala?

If you’ve been troubled ever since then by a persistent urge to tie on a sash or wear a top hat, then help is at hand because Beaver Club Gala tickets are now on sale. If you’ve never dressed up like a voyageur, then what are you waiting for? Read the rest of this entry »

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.

wcha 2

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Do your canoe seats look like this?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve raised children, looked after children or read to children, chances are you’ve encountered Richard Scarry’s immortal Busytown stories and met Huckle the Cat, his sister Sally, Mr. Frumble and of course, Lowly Worm. One of the stories begins something like this (it’s been a few years since I read this, so forgive me if the quotation is a little bit off!):

It’s early morning in Busytown. My, what a busy place!

That line went through my head all last week, as we were a very busy place indeed. The week began with Arts & Culture Week, part of Peterborough’s Seniors Month event, organized by indefatigable community organizer (and former Canoe Museum Board Member) Pat Hooper.

Seniors Month cropped

Monday it was photography and artisans and a wigwam drop-in. Tuesday brought the New Horizons band, square dancers and singers. Wednesday was painting, Thursday was theatre, artisans and a wigwam drop-in and Friday offered more music and journal and memoir writing. So far, so good and pretty busy. As the psalm says, there was definitely some “joyful noise,” especially when the kids from Spring Valley PS got together with members of the Fairhaven Choir.

IMG_5602 2013 June 14 Spring Valley and Fairhaven choir

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Poster - Men Legal SizedYou are a bit of DIY’er and you like the idea of small boats, boat building, canoe building and maybe kayak building but you aren’t sure where to begin? You like looking at different kinds of boats and seeing how they are made, how they fit together and what tools are needed to make it all work.  You are keen to learn directly from the actual woodworkers, builders and artisans? Maybe you aren’t ready to build something yourself yet but you want to know more about the different companies, meet them, talk to them and find out more about the options available to you.  You might already have a boat you are proud of and are looking to connect with other people who have a boat like yours or maybe you are keen to make a paddle for your canoe or kayak? The place for you on Saturday June 22nd is the Small Craft Rendezvous at The Canadian Canoe Museum! Read the rest of this entry »

Join us on May 18th to celebrate International Museum Day at The Canadian Canoe Museum!

Most of you probably know that we care for the largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft in the world – but, did you know we also use our exhibits and collection as inspiration for engaging and interactive family fun?

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Cool 3-D canoe puzzle

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promo image for feasibility town hallYou’re invited to a Town Hall Meeting at the Museum on Wednesday May 8th in the Education Room at The Canadian Canoe Museum, 910 Monaghan Road, Peterborough, from 7:00 to 9:00pm.

As you may have heard, The Canadian Canoe Museum is exploring the feasibility of moving to a new on-the-water location in downtown Peterborough. We care deeply about our audience, our community and our supporters and we want to hear your thoughts about our future.

Join us on Wednesday May 8th from 7:00 to 9:00pm to hear an update about this exciting idea and engage in a lively discussion. We need your help to reach our goal of being a locally-loved and nationally-significant cultural heritage institution on the waterfront in downtown Peterborough. Refreshments will be served. Call 705.748.9153 or email info@canoemuseum.ca to R.S.V.P.

If you can’t join us in person, you can call (705.748.9153), write (The Canadian Canoe Museum, 910 Monaghan Road, Peterborough, ON K9J 5K4) or email (info@canoemuseum.ca) to tell us what you think. We will also be setting up an online way for you to share your thoughts–stay tuned for a separate announcement. Your participation is important to us, and we look forward to hearing from you.

americanCraftPress01Join us SATURDAY JUNE 22nd at The Canadian Canoe Museum for the Small Craft Rendezvous, a day devoted to all things watercraft.  Take in live demonstrations of canoe canvassing (Carlisle Canoes), back-country cooking (ORCKA), tool sharpening (Lee Valley Tools) and wood bending (Michael Fortune) to name just a few.  There will be family-friendly crafts, activities and a special presentation by Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre.  A BBQ lunch will be available on-site as well as Kawartha Dairy ice cream!  See the Rendezvous‘ webpage for a more thorough listing.  It’s still not too late to register. Registration for exhibitors, vendors and participants is still open, so if you would like to bring something to display or demonstrate, please click here to register.

To make the day even better, NICK OFFERMAN will be at the Museum to take in the various demonstrations and exhibits.  Joan Barrett and Ted Moores’ of Bear Mountain Boats‘ invited Nick, their colleague, friend and Bear Mountain boat builder, to attend the day and he said YES!!  Nick Offerman currently stars as Ron Swanson on NBC’s wildly popular show, Parks and Recreation.  Nick will be hosting a special dinner at the Canoe Museum for Bear Mountain Boats and Ted Moores’ 40th anniversary. Tickets are sold out for this.

Nick Offerman Q&A posterIf you are a fan of Nick Offerman, then this is the event for you.  An informal, intimate and likely hilarious Q&A with Nick Offerman will be from 2:30pm-4:00pm in the Education Room at the Canoe Museum on Saturday June 22nd.  Appetizers and 2 drinks are provided with your ticket. Tickets are $30 and seating is limited.  To purchase a ticket, click here.