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Sitting at a small table at Starbucks, hoping a cappuccino will help illuminate the path, I wonder how in the world all of the stuff the Canoe Museum is working on is going to come together.  We are working on a full roster of fall adult artisan workshops, new education programs, new public events, new tour packages, fundraisers, a strategic planning retreat, a new exhibit for the spring, a fall appeal, the Beaver Club Gala and on top of it all, a project bigger than any of this–a partnership with Parks Canada and the full redevelopment and moving of the Museum to the water!  How do we do it?? Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

A gazillion times a day, this is how it goes:

“Education Coordinator, Karen Taylor speaking…”

“Yes, hello, I’m just wondering if I could bring my students (scouts, guides, youth group) for a tour.”

“No.”

Okay, I don’t really just say NO.  I do have some people skills.  But that is my answer in a nutshell, because I know that when we get your 28 grade 2s – or your 11 Guides or your 17 at-risk youth – into the Museum,  the worst move is to herd ’em up and lead the pack through our exhibits, even though there’s fascinating stuff to talk about and just about any one of us here could go on for hours about it all, passionately, adding the behind-the-scenes stories and more historical context to the wealth of information already in our displays.

Instead, when you call, I’m going to nudge you to toss that idea of a How-to-Visit-a-Museum out the window, and sign your kids up for an experience, for learning-by-doing, for one of our many education programs that aim to take kids to that the edge of their comfort zone where learning happens, and where learning lasts. “Experiential education” can take a lot of forms around here: role plays, a new hands-on skill, artistic expression, games,  but this is what it has looked like in the past couple of weeks. Doesn’t it look fun?! Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s free-associate about March Break: palm trees, beaches, coral reefs, rolling waves, Mojitos…

Wait, let me rephrase that:

Let’s free-associate about March Break at The Canadian Canoe Museum: paddle-carving, wanigans, scavenger hunts, soapstone carving, music, hammers, spoke shaves, shave horses…

Now, THAT’S more like it. And no need to slog through airport security.

After last year’s heavily wait-listed March Break program, we’re dramatically expanding our workshop options for kids and youth at the Museum this year, all with our renowned commitment to engaging, creative, hands-on experiences for kids.

And registration starts today, right here.

Our schedule’s on our website, but here’s the full scoop:

 

Image Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know about you but I have one child who likes to make what she calls ‘mixes’.  Often these mixes involve an array of disconnected ingredients that clump together, are then microwaved, then frozen and often found buried or leaking in the freezer months later! Despite the appearance of said mix, the process and sometimes the product are rewarding and definitely worth celebrating.  We at the Museum recently made our own ‘mix’. We gathered up our stuff, our programming, our people and left 910 Monaghan Road Peterborough for the Direct Energy Center in Toronto for 10 days to be a Show Feature at the Toronto International Boat Show.  Since being back at 910 Monaghan for a few days now and am experiencing the sickness that often follows these outreach events, I am reflecting on what ingredients we used in our mix. And yes, I would say that we feel like we’ve been microwaved and frozen.  Here is a list of the items I see figuring heavily in our mix:

Ingredients:

  • one 300 lb 16′ canoe form for canoe building demonstrations
  • 1 steam box and associated equipment
  • 4 shavehorses for paddle carving demonstrations and workshops
  • 200-300 Paddle to the Sea wooden cut outs and associated equipment
  • 5 full size canoe paddle workshop participants, their paddles, and associated equipment
  • 100 Soapstone pendants and associated equipment
  • 500 paper folding canoes and associated equipment
  • 1 Oru Kayak and 1 borrowed Oru kayak (thanks Bill!) Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Summer is drawing to a close and that can mean only one thing…Back to School! Whether you are a parent, student or teacher this time of year probably has special significance for you.

Here at the Museum back to school means that our exciting hands-on school programs are back up and running full force. There’s nothing we like better than a museum full of kids exploring and making lots of noise in our galleries. If you have never taken part in one of our school programs before you can check out our wide array of offerings here.  For those of you who have taken part in our school programs in the past you will be excited to learn that we have officially added two new programs to our roster this year: Full Size Paddle Carving for youth ages 15-18, and Canoes Count, a fun and interactive program for JK/SK classes.

June Paddle Carving

June Paddle Carving

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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 »

Something had to be done.

For a long while, we’ve been offering this kind of paddle-carving program:

DSC02324 2012 Feb 15 St.Catherine PC boy

And this kind of paddle-carving program:

adult PC workshop

The first picture is from an awesome, satisfying and skill-developing program for kids aged 10 and up, in which the students take a 24-inch softwood (poplar) prepped blank to a completed mini-paddle in 3 hours.  We’ve shared this hands-on education program with thousands of grade 4+ students, Scouts, Guides and our summer paddling camp participants; we also offer a paddle-carving birthday party option.

The second photo is from one of our acclaimed weekend-long artisan-led paddle-carving workshops for adults. No softwoods in this program; this is the real deal.  Taking that hardwood cherry blank – which is only minimally prepped – to a finished paddle takes two full days of focused woodworking with specialized tools, facilitated with a 1:5 instructor to participant ratio.  And what a gorgeous paddle you end up with – a paddle that will be treasured and used for a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »