Summer Reflections feat. Madawaska CCM White Water Week - a blog by Bretton Clark

Here at The Canadian Canoe Museum, we are very fortunate to work with a top notch, first class, amazing, passionate and dedicated group of volunteers and staff! We know we say this all the time, but it is just so very true!

We also know that yesterday was the first day of fall - but we want to spend just a bit more time reflecting on the wonderful summer season we had full of fun and paddling!

Our Paddling Camps are staffed by a variety of passionate and talented outdoor educators, and we couldn't be more pleased to work with each and every one of them. Two of these folks, Briagh Hoskins-Hasbury and Bretton Clark, also run an amazing business of their own, maybe you have heard of it? The Land Canadian Adventures? I you haven't you must check them out! They are doing incredible things with outdoor experiences, education, and community building.

We have been fortunate to partner with The Land in many capacities including our National Canoe Day celebration this past year (when we celebrated by filling the Lift Lock with 138 canoes and kayaks!) (Great video can be seen here by Evan Holt of Traversing)

Bretton from The Land co-guided our Whitewater Week Paddling Camp on the Madawaska River this past August and wrote a fantastic piece reflecting on his experience! 

Briagh has been instructing in the Canadian Canoe Museum’s summer ORCKA paddling camps for two seasons now, and has really enjoyed sharing her paddling love, knowledge and experience with the young folks of our community through the weeklong and day classes.  This season, I’ve been able to jump in on some of the CCM’s amazing programs as well, paddling avant in the Voyageur Canoe with the unparalleled Jen Bernard back in June and most recently co-leading the White Water Week Camp with fellow wilderness guide Kim Chamberlain, and ten intrepid canoe campers on the Lower Madawaska River.
 
Photo: Running Rapids on the Madawaska River
 
After a rendezvous and icebreaker activities at the Canoe Museum on Monday morning, we packed and bussed to Palmer Rapids to set up camp at the Paddler Co-op and commence our flatwater progression workshop.  On the way up, we discussed the various roles of the camp skills leaders, and had the canoe-campers assign themselves various duties: camp meister organizes shelter and water purification and supervises set up and takedown; navigator navigates, and gives briefings about the day’s travels; weather meister predicts the weather and ensures that campers prepare for it; and camp leader and assistant leader manage the other roles, timing of events, and write up the daily trip report.  Campers were quite surprised when they also had to sign up for which meal they would prepare, since some of them apparently don’t do much of the cooking at home!  Roles changed daily to give folks a chance to try on a variety of hats, and everyone pitched in.  

Read the rest on The Land's Gunwhale Blog! Click here

Customary, Custom Gear

If you're planning on being outside for several days in a Canadian winter you're definitely going to want the best of the best gear to keep you warm, happy and comfortable! There is no shortage of shiny new products and materials to tempt us – but are all these new synthetic fabrics and streamlined designs really more functional, warmer or durable than natural materials and crafting traditions of the earliest travellers of our northern landscapes?

Winter tripping guides and traditional crafters Dave and Kai of the Sudbury based business Lure of the North have been leading winter camping excursions since 2011, and have this to say about how they like to outfit themselves for a winter camping trip:

Equipment choices and clothing materials are heavily influenced by the earliest European travellers of this great land, who themselves borrowed heavily from and adapted the practices of indigenous travellers. Just as Europeans developed certain adaptations to indigenous methodologies (eg, steel tools and certain woven fabrics) while maintaining the same basic principles, so too does the modern traveller make material updates while striving to uphold the best time-tested traditions (for example, plastic toboggans have largely replaced wooden ones, but the shape and functionality remains nearly unchanged). Thus, while some (but not all!) materials may have been updated over the ensuing centuries, the form and function of our tools are the same as those developed and perfected over thousands of years spent living on this land.

Check out this video from Lure of the North comparing a traditional and modern snow show in action

If you are interested in taking a guided outdoor camping trip with Lure of the North check out their website here.

Interested in hand crafting a beautiful pair of winter moccasins or snowshoes of your own? The museum is fortunate enough to have Dave and Kai teach a series of workshops right here at the museum! The following is a list of what we have up-coming.

Trent Severn Symphonic Canoe

The Canadian Canoe Museum and the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra are teaming up to celebrate their respective 50th and 20th birthdays in 2017 (in the same year Canada is turning 150) with a gala concert that will take people on a musical journey around the northern hemisphere.

Christine Donkin, is writing a work inspired by the famous Quebecois folktale, La Chasse Galerie, the Flying Canoe. The word premier of this work will be happening at the gala concert on February 4th

Christine Donkin, is writing a work inspired by the famous Quebecois folktale, La Chasse Galerie, the Flying Canoe. The word premier of this work will be happening at the gala concert on February 4th

The music by Norwegian Edvard Grieg, Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius and a specially commissioned work, inspired by the Quebecois folktale La Chasse Galerie (The Flying Canoe), by Ottawa-based Composer, Christine Donkin. With the members of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra Maestro Michael Newnham will sweep us around the northern world from Norway to Sweden, Finland, Russia and back to Canada. Narrating the concert with words and images from his bestselling book, Circling the Midnight Sun, will be author and paddler, James Raffan. It promises to be a one-of-a-kind gala concert happening on Saturday, February 4th, 2017. Tickets are on sale - click here to purchase!

 

You just never know what's going to be happening in canoes at the Peterborough Lift Lock! To announce the PSO/ CCM partnership, volunteers from the Canadian Canoe Museum paddle while, under the direction of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra Musical Director Michael Newnham, members of the PSO French horn section play the Hunter's Chorus from the opera “Der Freischütz” by Carl Maria von Weber. 


It’s from an opera called “Der Freischütz”, and usually sung by a men’s chorus. In parka and beaver hat, looking ahead through binoculars, is James Raffan, .

Having negotiated a lease with Parks Canada, the Canadian Canoe Museum is hoping to relocate to this site in the future but, in the meantime, we've been doing a variety of programs in and around the Lift Lock. Visit Museum on the Move on our website for more information.

Nothing would ever happen at the Canadian Canoe Museum without our dedicated volunteers, like Russ Musgrove, who stepped away from his duties on the front desk to be the avant for this musical canoe caper at the Lift Lock.

Enjoy some more photos from the partnership launch, and we'll hope to see you at the symphony in February!

On the Water for National Canoe Day!

National Canoe Day falls on June 26th every year, and for 2016 we celebrated on-the-water!

The museum collaborated with Parks Canada and The Land Canadian Adventures on a great event called Lock n' Paddle. The Trent Severn Waterway waived the lockage fees from Lock 20 to lock 24 for all paddlers. There was also a "Learn to Lock" program delivered in lock 20.

The main part of the event happened at 1:00PM when we had all the paddlers meet at lock 21 (the Peterborough Lift Lock) to try and see how many canoes and kayaks would fit into the tubs! Our goal was to beat the previous record of 101 canoes and kayaks in the Lift Lock tub.

The event was a great success! We had a total of 154 canoes and kayaks join us for the event and we were able to beat the record by fitting 138 canoes and kayaks in one of the Peterborough Lift Lock tubs!

Enjoy the below photos and video, and be sure to stay tuned for 2017 National Canoe Day events and celebrations!

A beautiful sight! The Trent Severn Waterway at the base of The Peterborough LIft Lock filled with paddlers!

A beautiful sight! The Trent Severn Waterway at the base of The Peterborough LIft Lock filled with paddlers!

Peterborough Kawarthas MP Maryam Monsef announces 270 Million in funding for infrastructure on the Trent Severn Waterway over the next 5 years prior to joining the festivities in the Canadian Canoe Museum's Voyageur Canoe!

Peterborough Kawarthas MP Maryam Monsef announces 270 Million in funding for infrastructure on the Trent Severn Waterway over the next 5 years prior to joining the festivities in the Canadian Canoe Museum's Voyageur Canoe!

#paddlesup ! Loading the west tub of the Peterborough Lift Lock

#paddlesup ! Loading the west tub of the Peterborough Lift Lock

138 canoes and kayaks in the Peterborough Lift Lock! A new record to beat!

138 canoes and kayaks in the Peterborough Lift Lock! A new record to beat!

"Canoeguy" Mike Elliott Launches Much Needed Canoe Restoration Book

Mike Elliot, a long time friend of the museum,  began restoring canoes as a hobby in 1995. His passion eventually turned into a full time career when Mike decided to open Kettle River Canoes in Grand Forks, B.C. 

Throughout the years Mike has also provided a plethora of tips and tricks for canoe restoration on his blog which has been a valuable resource to many people looking to work on their own canoe restoration projects. Since 2003, Mike has completed over 170 canoe restoration projects!

Author and canoe restorer Mike Elliott.

Author and canoe restorer Mike Elliott.

Mike Elliot demonstrating techniques at the museum's National Canoe Day event. 

Mike Elliot demonstrating techniques at the museum's National Canoe Day event. 

Mike has compiled his experiences, knowledge and stories into a fantastic, one-of-a-kind book and resource called This Old Canoe: How to Restore Your Wood Canvas Canoe. A concise, enjoyable and informative read, This Old Canoe lets you in on the trade secrets of how to successfully return your canoe to it's former glory. Designed to simplify the challenging tasks of canoe restoration, the over 300 photos and 70+ plans and illustrations in the book guide readers through techniques for canvassing, weaving rattan seats, bending wood and much more.

Along with all of the technical information, Mike includes great stories about old wooden canoes, their people, and the stories that brought them back together again. These stories connect the reader with the people behind the boats, and inspire the realization that almost any canoe restoration can be achieved by following the books directions.

"This Old Canoe gathers a wealth of experience and technique into an inspiring manual for living with this iconic little wooden boat – whether we choose to work on them ourself or just enjoy the romance of this tradition." Jeremy Ward, Curator, The Canadian Canoe Museum

Mike Elliott will be joining us at the museum for a presentation and book signing on Thursday June the 16th 6PM to 8PM. Come by for this free public event, hear Mike talk about wooden canoes, their people and the ties that bind them back together again. Pick up your copy of This Old Canoe from the Tumblehome Shop or bring your own copy to be signed!