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The latest report from our London Correspondent, Canoe Museum Executive Director James Raffan.

The final step in the multilayered security clearances for pageant participants is to get “accredited” to be on the water.  This can happen on the day of the pageant but organizers are urging everyone to go through this process before, if possible.

Went down to the Strand Hotel, on the Strand … where else would it be? … to pick up the Canada One/Un boarding passes this morning by bus from Paddington. This town is getting totally electric … there are flags everywhere!  And, with seriously congested traffic, there was lots of time on the upper bunk of the double decker bus to check it all out.

Along the way, I looked out and there was Canada House—The Canadian High Commission—at 1 Grosvenor Square and my heart went all a flutter with the sight of a few Canadian flags amongst all the Union Jacks.

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Our intrepid free-range Executive Director James Raffan has been busy in London, assembling his crew of voyageurs and making final preparations for the big day on Sunday, June 3rd. The Canadian High Commission in London has mounted a splendid banner in honour of the occasion.

Here’s the next chapter of the Jubilee adventure in James’ own words.

To get to the Watermen’s and Lightermen’s Guild Hall to attend one of several briefings for coxswains and skippers of craft in what they’re calling the “Man-Powered Squadron,” the original plan was to take the tube or the bus.  But, at the last minute, the Canadian Tourism Commission phoned and asked if the museum would be interested in working with a contracted film crew to do a video clip about Canada One and the wonders of canoeing in Canada.  I assured them that someone could be found.  And, instead of heading downtown on public transit, the film crew turned up and we all went to the banks of the Thames at Tower Bridge in a private London cab.

The only problem was that the Thames and its banks (we were actually shooting right outside the new city hall so that didn’t help) were crawling with police and security personnel. Read the rest of this entry »

Volunteers have been an essential part of the museum since it was first dreamt of in Peterborough – from the Metal Shop to the Board of Directors, volunteers are an integral. Since this is National Volunteer Week, I’d like to take a moment to recognize and thank the many people – past and present – who’ve given so much to make the museum the strong, fabulous organization it is today.

Whether taking your admission or teaching paddle carving, demonstrating needlework or building display racks, volunteers inform every part of the museum experience.  Many of the non-artifact parts of our exhibits were fabricated by the team, and fabulous Beaver Club Gala is coordinated by a hard-working group who pull together donations, ticket sales, venue negotiations, menu, entertainment… the list goes on!

While many of our volunteers are canoeing enthusiasts, we have many who’ve barely set foot in a canoe. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, Ipie van der Veen has done it again! She has crafted another handsome puppet.  Ipie is our resident ‘worker of magic with fabric and thread’;  she is a long-time volunteer with the CCM and if you are around the museum on a Monday or Thursday afternoon, drop in to the Artisan’s Gallery and tell her how fantastic she is!

Now for introductions: Everyone, meet Jacques or Claude or Pierre (he is not sure what he wants to be called yet)!  He is an experienced voyageur with lots of stories to tell.  He is true worker and likes the hard life of being a voyageur.  He has seen many trails, rivers and lakes.  He’s wintered over many times and is so well versed at his craft that he can be found around the Museum instilling wisdom to some of the new recruits.

As you can see Jen Burnard (foreground) is quite smitten with Jacques and if you would like to meet this fine fellow (and Jen), you can find him over March Break in our new Puppet Theatre on the 2nd floor in the mornings.  Or if you are visiting with a school group, perhaps he will come along to share a story or two!

Welcome Jacques to the Canoe Museum’s community!