Q is for Qajaq

Polar Adventurer Eric McNair-Landry Delivers Interactive Kayak Building Exhibit

© Lee Narraway / Students on Ice

© Lee Narraway / Students on Ice

Eric McNair-Landry grew up in Iqaluit, Nunavut where dog sledding, kiteskiing, and cold weather survival skills were learned at an early age. His adventures have taken him across the Northwest Passage, to the Gobi Desert, twice to the South Pole, and across the Greenland Icecap six times. Eric has been nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year Award and received the Outdoor Idol Award in 2007. Eric also took part in the 1,000 km ‘Expedition Q’ journey across Baffin Island in 2013 using 4 qajaqs built by his team with students in Iqaluit, Nunavut. 

From April 25th to May 3rd, Eric will be delivering an interactive exhibit, Q is for Qajaq, in the Living Traditions gallery at the Canadian Canoe Museum! 

Visitors can engage in this educational, interactive exhibit as Eric and a team of craftspeople build traditional Baffin-design qajaqs. Entry is included with regular museum admission. After his time at the Canadian Canoe Museum, Eric will then travel to the Museum of Nature in Ottawa where he will continue the exhibit from May 5th to 20th.

© Lee Narraway / Students on Ice

© Lee Narraway / Students on Ice

© Martin Lipman/ Students on Ice

© Martin Lipman/ Students on Ice

Q is for Qajaq is a collaborative project that aims to inspire qajaq (Inuktitut for kayak) building and paddling in Canada’s Arctic. The completed qajaqs will be taken on this summer’s Students on Ice Arctic Expedition and paddled by youth from Canada and around the world. Following the expedition, the qajaqs will continue to inspire through community workshops and outreach initiatives.

© Lee Narraway / Students on Ice

© Lee Narraway / Students on Ice

Traditional qajaq building and paddling has largely disappeared from the Canadian High Arctic. Despite this, the qajaq still appears prominently in Inuit art, folklore, oral history and as a symbol of Inuit ingenuity. Inuit people have a large vocabulary dedicated to qajaqs—their construction, their use and their maintenance. Greenland, however, has seen a recent surge in traditional qajaq building and paddling. McNair-Landry and his team hope to help integrate qajaq knowledge into school curricula in Canada’s North and to return the qajaq to its integral role in competitions, recreation, art, fishing and hunting. 

Q is for Qajaq is a Students on Ice Foundation initiative made possible through partnerships with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Canoe Museum, Nunavut Sivuniksavut and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.


Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Canoe Museum Volunteers

Happy National Volunteer Week!! In the spirit of thanking the 127 volunteers who give their time so generously here at the Canoe Museum, we thought we’d gather a list of the top 10 things you may not know about our dynamic and talented volunteer team! Here we go!

Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Canoe Museum Volunteers

  1. Volunteers warmly welcome over 26,000 visitors from all over the world through our doors each year! They do an amazing job of making visitors feel like friends.
  2. Volunteers are responsible for cataloguing a library of over 3,000 titles!
  3. Volunteers cut over 2,500 pieces of soapstone each year that are used for our school and youth programs.
  4. Volunteers are responsible for the environmental monitoring of the galleries and the collection storage facility. This includes monitoring humidity, temperature and light levels, all in an effort to protect and preserve the largest collection of canoes and kayaks in the world!
  5. Volunteers process all of our annual memberships and renewals. With 1000 members and growing, this is a monumental task!
  6. Volunteers are single-handedly responsible for planning the Museum’s largest annual fundraising event (the Beaver Club Gala), raising $86,020 in 2015!
  7. Volunteers teach 10 adult artisan workshops to roughly 80 participants each year.
  8. Volunteers were instrumental in raising over $474,000 in major gift donations in 2015!
  9. Volunteers lead nearly 500 visitors through guided tours of the Museum’s galleries each year. They do an incredible job of interpreting the collection and telling the best behind-the-scenes stories!
  10. Volunteers generously gave 11,189 hours of their time to the Canoe Museum in 2015. They are the most generous, dedicated and talented bunch of people!!

National Volunteer Week is a wonderful time to recognize, celebrate and thank our incredible community of volunteers. We’re honoured to work alongside a team of volunteers who are passionate about the collection and who help us tell the stories of Canada to all of our visitors and through each of our education and public programs. Thank you to this group of incredible volunteers for all that you do, you are truly at the heart of this Museum!

 

Are you interested in joining our volunteer team? Click here for more information!

One of a Kind, Wearable Art!

We're so lucky here at the Museum to have so many amazingly talented people in our orbit.  Today I'd like to feature one of our Artisan Workshop instructors who is teaching a Wet Felting class this spring (soon!).

Christianna Ferguson grew up surrounded by a mother and grandmothers who were sewers and quilters, giving her an early appreciation for the love and hard work that goes into something handmade. 

Although she always had an interest in textiles her first try at felting was through a workshop at her daughter’s Waldorf school more than a decade ago. She dabbled in felting and other artistic endeavours while raising her 3 children, but it was while living in Australia in 2012/2013 that her true experimentation with the art of felting took off.  

Christianna will be moving into a new studio and teaching space in Lakefield this fall and her work were recently featured in Uppercase Magazine's publication ‘The Uppercase Compendium of Craft and Creativity’ (www.uppercasemagazine.com).  

During the one-day workshop each participant will make their own inspired, unique, wearable scarf while learning from Christianna. She will share her process of using natural, raw materials and playing with colour, texture and patterns and walk you through the steps.  You'll be choosing your colours, laying out your wool, and by adding soap and friction you'll create a fabulous work of art.  

For the workshop details click here.  To see the whole list of 2016 workshops click here.

We also carry Christianna's amazing works of art in our Tumblehome Shop! 

A New Milestone Reached for The Canadian Canoe Museum - Welcoming the 1000th Member to the Museum Family

The Canadian Canoe Museum is delighted to welcome Debborah Donnelly as its 1000th member - a new milestone in its membership program, which has grown significantly from 275 members in 2011.


Debborah Donnelly, a Veteran Canadian Naval Officer, archaeologist and gemologist from Toronto became the Museum’s 1000th member. Debborah has been involved in the museum industry for over eight years as an Archaeological Site Supervisor, Surveyor and Instructor on various international excavations with the University of Toronto and Royal Ontario Museum, among others. Debborah has a keen interest in boats, and decided to join the Museum’s membership program before ever stepping foot into the building. The Museum looks forward to Debborah’s first in-person visit in the near future! 

“Growing up canoeing in British Columbia, and as a former Naval Officer, I am very interested in boats and ships in general. I am also a museum and archaeological professional, and these areas of interest intersect at the Canadian Canoe Museum. I joined the Museum’s membership program because I wanted to support such a noble heritage collection that speaks to Canadian history,” Debborah says “I am very much looking forward to visiting the museum next time I am up near Peterborough, and I would like to say thank you to the other 999 members who joined before.”

 

Building relationships with our members is a key part of the fabric of the museum. The continuing growth and loyalty of our membership and its engagement with the world’s largest collection of canoes are instrumental to the success of the Museum’s projection onto the local and national stage.  

The Museum’s members span the nation with 47% of members residing outside the city and county of Peterborough, members in 9 out of the 13 provinces and territories as well as members from as far away as the US, Germany, England, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

“Along with my board member colleagues, I would like to welcome Ms. Donnelly and also thank all our passionate and dedicated members of the Museum for their invaluable commitment and inspiration,” says Bill Morris, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Canoe Museum. “Given that only 1% of membership-to-date is businesses, we also aim to increase support and partnerships with the corporate sector and to see significant growth in local and national corporate memberships. The Museum’s goal of adding 200+ new members in 2016 will continue to foster the outstanding momentum we’re experiencing in the membership program.”  

Memberships are available in three categories, for individuals, families and corporations and can be purchased online, over the phone (866) 342-2663 (long distance) or (705) 748-9153 (local) as well as in person at the Museum (910 Monaghan Rd, Peterborough, ON)

View official news release here

National Outreach: Silver Canoe Dinners in Winnipeg and Calgary

As you may know, The Canadian Canoe Museum has, with great success, hosted the first two events in our Silver Canoe Dinner Series for 2016! The first dinner took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on February 19th and the second in Calgary, Alberta on February 27th.

The idea of the Silver Canoe Dinner Series is to gather around with good food and company in venues across the nation to engage Canadians from all walks of life with the future of the museum, explore the role of the canoe to history and culture, and imagine what role it could and should play in the future. The Museum was very fortunate to have some wonderful experiences, make some great new friends, and receive some very generous support in both Winnipeg and Calgary!

Operations Manager Carolyn Hyslop and Jeremy Ward packing up the Silver Canoe for it's trip to Calgary and Winnipeg!

Operations Manager Carolyn Hyslop and Jeremy Ward packing up the Silver Canoe for it's trip to Calgary and Winnipeg!

Jeremy carefully and skillfully packing the artifact for travel.

Jeremy carefully and skillfully packing the artifact for travel.

In partnership with Festival du Voyageur, the Winnipeg Silver Canoe Dinner was held at Fort Gibraltar with a stunning 138 people in attendance. Barbara Huck of Heartland Publishing and our own James Raffan were the hosts.

The venue! Fort Gibralter in Winnipeg, Manitoba

The venue! Fort Gibralter in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Some of our fabulous team members! (from left to right) Curator Jeremy Ward, Director of Operations, Carolyn Hyslop and Executive Director Richard Tucker.

Some of our fabulous team members! (from left to right) Curator Jeremy Ward, Director of Operations, Carolyn Hyslop and Executive Director Richard Tucker.

The highlight of the dinner was the nine aboriginal youth from Lockport Junior High School who had participated in the Tillikum Lens and Paddles Across Canada project that preceded the dinner. Workshop participant William Miller addressed the room with a wonderful speech;

“Children are the future.  They are the ones we pass our knowledge to.  If that knowledge does not get passed down, where does it go?  That is why I believe that programs that teach aboriginal youth about their culture and history are very much needed, not just in Manitoba but all over Canada...”  
“...This was a great experience for us.  Making these character paddles got us more in touch with ourselves.  The paddles were made by our own personality.  Their flaws are our flaws.  And the beauty within these paddles is the beauty within us.”

William Miller, Workshop Participant and Silver Canoe Dinner presenter

The Canadian Canoe Museum looks forward to delivering many more of these programs across the nation with help from our partners SONY Canada and the International Sustainability Education Foundation (ISEF). Many thanks go out to the team that pulled the Winnipeg Paddles Across Canada-Tillikum Lens project together: Mark Blieske, Jonathon Reynolds, Steven Greyeyes, Daryl Loeppky.

For more information and to enjoy some great media coverage on the project visit our National Outreach or Media Room pages.

The workshop participants proudly displaying their finished paddles alongside their instructor Mark Bleiske from Sunset Paddles

The workshop participants proudly displaying their finished paddles alongside their instructor Mark Bleiske from Sunset Paddles

A close-up shot of some of the student's completed paddles.

A close-up shot of some of the student's completed paddles.

Thanks to the volunteers in Winnipeg that pulled this dinner together: Cameron White, Barbara Huck, Peter St. John, Kathy Taylor-Hallick, Ian Campbell, and Karl Gompf.

Cameron White and Barbara Huck enjoying breakfast at our pre- Silver Canoe Dinner meeting

Cameron White and Barbara Huck enjoying breakfast at our pre- Silver Canoe Dinner meeting

James Raffan and Cameron White enjoying activities at Festival du Voyageur!

James Raffan and Cameron White enjoying activities at Festival du Voyageur!

A week later on February 27th the Calgary Silver Canoe Dinner was held at beautiful Fort Calgary for a sold out crowd of 118 people. Alberta Order of Excellence winner Jim Gray was a fabulous host of the dinner.

Leading up to the Silver Canoe Dinner event in Calgary, Director Emeritus of the Museum James Raffan had the opportunity to engage and speak to Calgarians at many different locations. James delivered talks to Mount Royal University, Bearspaw School and Community Centre, and also was interviewed on CBC's The Homestretch radio show. Volunteer and dinner organizer David Finch also interviewed James for a wonderful piece that was featured in the Calgary Herald (click here to read). Upon the arrival of rest of the Museum team, the group headed to the Old Bow Waters Canoe Club clubhouse for a wonderful evening sharing canoe stories the night before the event.

James Raffan speaking at Bearspaw School and Community Center

James Raffan speaking at Bearspaw School and Community Center

The Museum team spending an evening at the Old Bow Waters Canoe Club

The Museum team spending an evening at the Old Bow Waters Canoe Club

Thanks to the volunteers in Calgary that pulled this dinner together: David Finch, Howard Heffler, Jim Gray and Barbara Surplus.

Fort Calgary, a wonderful venue!

Fort Calgary, a wonderful venue!

Event host Jim Gray at the podium

Event host Jim Gray at the podium

Guests gathered around the Silver Canoe

Guests gathered around the Silver Canoe

The beautiful table setting!

The beautiful table setting!

The next dinner in the 2016 Silver Canoe Dinner series is Vancouver on Friday May 13th at Creekside Community Recreation Center tickets are available through our website, click here for more details.