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Canoe go fishing? You bet you can. Where? At the Canadian Canoe Museum. Let me tell you a story…

A few years ago, one of our most talented artisans, Beth Stanley, spent many hours making some amazing replicas of fish from each of our Great Lakes. These poor fish hung in humility from their little magnets on a metal pole in our Education Office waiting for a long, long, time looking for a home they could call their own.

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THEN.. the exhibit, Canoes To Go was born and they finally found their home in the calm and shallow waters of that very exhibit. Read the rest of this entry »

Every year at this time we move into high gear developing a new temporary exhibit for our McLean-Matthews Gallery. This year’s show is playfully called “Canoes to Go: The Search for a Truly Portable Boat”.

Foldable, collapsible, sectional or inflatable: these are some of the principals used in making a full-sized canoe or kayak small enough to fit into a baggage compartment or a bushplane or a backpack. While researching for this exhibit, we’ve encountered all sorts of fascinating and unexpected characters and events. I’m intending to share one or two more stories over the coming weeks and certainly hope that you are able to join us for the exhibit’s opening on the night of our Annual General Meeting, April 25th, 2012 or thereafter.

The Halkett Boat-Cloak

Several years ago our general manager John Summers acquired a reprint for a 1840s manuscript that described in illustrated detail the invention of an extraordinary, if ridiculous, waterproof raincoat.  This marvelous garment could be removed from the shoulders of an adventurous spirit and inflated by bellows conveniently located in one pocket. This quickly transformed it into a vessel ready to carry him away. How to propel you ask? Imagine then, our intrepid explorer removing from his cloak’s other pocket the blade of a paddle that could be threaded onto the tip of his walking stick. If lucky and the wind was right, a modified Englishman’s umbrella could also be used as a sail and the once-thwarted adventurer could continue in his adventuresome way. Read the rest of this entry »