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No, this isn’t an early Hallowe’en post.

THIS is The Beast:

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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:

2.1.1.2.12 VOYAGEUR CANOE 2

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Paddles straight up in N.Canoe group shot

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Fun even on the grass

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father with kids in a canoe

 

Why not celebrate that incredible dad in your life with a visit to The Canadian Canoe Museum?! It is hard to find the right gift for that special guy so we have come up with 3 ways to celebrate him:

 

 

1. FREE admission to The Canadian Canoe Museum for DAD on Father’s Day.

2. Members’ Pricing (10% off) on ALL Adult Artisan Workshops

3. Members’ Pricing (10% off) in the Museum Shop Read the rest of this entry »

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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The change from summer student to staff member has meant taking on different responsibilities and spending a little less time in the galleries with the guests than I used to. The change is a welcome one, and I enjoy my place in the Museum. It is a perfect fit for me as a student and I love that I have been able to continue working with the staff and volunteers at such a fantastic place. While I may not be walking through the galleries and watching families play, I do get to see the results of it quite often. Keeping the cut out canoes stocked up and the fish in the pond can be difficult to stay on top of, and the magnetic canoe blocks seem to magically attach themselves at an unbelievable rate! This gem has to be one of my favourites though:

20130902_170833 Read the rest of this entry »

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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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What has felt like a short summer is quickly approaching its end and so is the duration of time that the summer students have spent here at The Canadian Canoe Museum.  Three other lucky ladies and I have had the opportunity to work at and within the Canoe Museum community this summer. From everyday tasks to specialized projects I must say that our time here was well spent and by far a blast!

A typical day for us at the Museum would start by checking in, turning on all the televisions which play short films, opening the gift store and tidying up any little things out of place if needed. From there on who knew what the day would through at us. Some days it would consist of helping out the education faculty. Helping set up for programs such as soap stone or paddle carving or gathering camp equipment for the summer campers.  We could be rearranging an entire room to accommodate 50 students, or 12, or be making crafts for education programs to come. Read the rest of this entry »

We all have our systems when on trip.   We have our dish system, our shelter system, our sleeping system, and of course, our kitchen system.  I am definitely a ‘nester’ and must say that my kitchen system reflects this pretty well:)  I like canoe tripping because I can carry things that make my back country ‘nest’ more comfortable, especially my kitchen nest.   This is a sampling of the kitchen gear I like to have on hand when I head out on canoe trip with the family or my friends.

all gear shot July 24 2013

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Summer – something many of us in Canada look forward to all year long and I’m no exception.JS NCD 2012 03 - 650 pixels I always love that first warm and sunny day of the season when people instantly seem to be in a better mood because of the nicer weather. For many of us, summer means vacations or weekend getaways.

packed-carPacking up the car or truck – trying to find the right combination of ‘Tetris’ pieces so that everything actually does fit into the vehicle (or on top). Hitting the road for camping or cottage weekend adventures, or to experience a never visited or much loved attraction or summer festival. I’ve noticed that during the summer months, it’s hard to drive on a highway without seeing a vehicle with a canoe or kayak strapped on top (sometimes both) or find a lake without a seeing a canoe or kayak gliding through the water. Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone who’s been here knows that visiting the Museum is a great way to spend a day, whether you bring your kids, your parents, your friends (or come on your own so you can move at your own pace!).  Part of what I do here at the Museum is booking guided tours for groups who are looking to delve a bit deeper into the story of Canada through the lens of the canoe.  The wonderful thing about taking a guided tour of The Canadian Canoe Museum is that your tour guide will point things out in our galleries that you might never notice, or read about, without having the guide there to direct you!

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Curator, Jeremy Ward, guiding a tour of Canoe Museum volunteers

If you haven’t been on a guided tour at The Canadian Canoe Museum yet – here’s some of what you might be missing…

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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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