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Summer camps? What?! I can’t believe the ice is just out now and that I just planted my peas and spinach last night.  Everything is so late this spring and as such so is my planning for the summer. This is the first year for me that one of my kids can register for the fabulous (and affordable) Paddling Camps that we offer at the Canoe Museum.  Check out the Paddling camp scene on the video below for a taste of what kids are going to be up to this coming summer (and yes, summer is coming)!  Register soon, space is limited and there are others out there who also haven’t planned their summer yet!

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 »

Last month I began my VIP tour of our Education Programs with an up-close-and-personal account of The Perfect Machine, a grade K-3 science and social studies program that focuses on the First Nations canoe design, flotation, buoyancy & surface tension. Moving into Part Deux of this series, we’ll take a virtual run-through today of our Paddle Carving program for grades four+,  bearing in mind that this program gives kids an experience that is actually just about as far as it gets from virtual — an arguably much-needed balance to all that screen time!

DSC02326 2012 Feb 15 St. Catherine

Yes, that’s a rather small paddle.  I made one for my daughter when she was three (which, to be honest, didn’t see a lot of in-water action), but beyond that age, this size definitely serves as a souvenir or decorative paddle, or, in our household, as the official pinata-whacker and reacher-of-things-under-couches. Frankly, to make a full-size hardwood paddle from scratch takes adult focus and determination and a very full weekend (see our workshop info here); we also run a full-size, full-day paddle carving program for teens 15+ using prepped blanks (please contact me at education@canoemuseum.ca for info):

Read the rest of this entry »

Ever since our notable participation in the Thames Jubilee Pageant for Queen Elizabeth II, our followers have been expressing desire for the paddles and outfits worn by The Canadian Canoe Museum Voyageurs.

The attire included an authentic looking canvas shirt, colourful sash, knitted toque, and of course a hand painted paddle adorned with both the iconic museum logo and a maple leaf.Image

Get your own part of the Jubilee and let your inner voyageur free. These items are a Limited Addition so order soon! All parts of the ensemble are available for purchase on the Museum’s Online Store, in person at the Museum Store, and at the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival.

That’s right a large selection of the Museum’s Merchandise, and the actual Canada One/Un Canoe will be displayed at the Annual Art Festival in Buckhorn from August 17-19. Tickets to the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival are also available for purchase at the Museum. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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Sounds of chatting, laughter and wood carving filled the air in the museum’s Preserving Skills Gallery last weekend.

March Paddle Carving Workshop instuctors and students showing off their beautiful paddles.

March 3rd and 4th was the first Black Cherry Paddle Workshop of the year here at the museum.  With a full class of paddle-carvers our volunteer instructors Don and Russ set out to lead the participants in making a canoe paddle in just two eight-hour days.  This was a fabulous class and at the end of the day on Sunday ten beautiful paddles left the museum with their new owners wondering how long they have to wait for the snow and ice to disappear so they can put them to use! Read the rest of this entry »