A sesquicentennial project of The Canadian Canoe Museum and Community Foundations of Canada in partnership with the Ottawa Community Foundation, Parks Canada & community organizations along the way

The Connected by Canoe Journey is a two-part canoe trip from Kingston to Ottawa that will carry with it a message about the on-going importance and possibilities of canoes for community building in Canada's continuing evolution as a nation and to help welcome delegates to the Community Foundation of Canada annual gathering in Ottawa. The project will take place from May 2 to 11th, 2017.

Imagine a floating conversation amongst a group of people from a variety of backgrounds as they paddle the Rideau Waterway, and at each stop along the way, the conversation will expand in different ways to include local voices and discussions of building an equitable, sustainable and inclusive future for Canada. 

The Two-Leg Journey 

The Express Leg 

May 3rd to 10th

An 8-day paddle on the Rideau waterway from Kingston, ON to Ottawa, ON in a 16 passenger Montreal canoe. 

Wednesday May 3rd – Kingston Mills to Seeley’s Bay (0 - 30 km)

Thursday May 4th – Seeley’s Bay to Westport (30–70km)

Friday May 5th – Westport to Perth (70–103km)

Saturday May 6th – Perth to Smiths Falls (90–105 km)

Sunday May 7th – Smiths Falls to Merrickville (105–128 km)

Monday May 8th –  Merrickville to Kemptville (128–151 km)

Tuesday May 9th – Kemptville to Manotick (151- 175 km)

Wednesday May 10th – Manotick to Dow’s Lake (175–204 km)

The Ceremonial Leg

May 11th

A pre-conference activity for Community Foundations of Canada delegates in iconic Canadian style paddled watercraft; from the West (an 18 passengerHaida dugout style canoe), from the North (a 16-passenger skin-on-frame Inuit Umiaq),as well as from the Center/East a Canot du Maitre, 

  • Thursday May 11th – Ceremonial Paddle from Dow’s Lake to the Westin Hotel (204–211 km)

On-the-water with words, music, and activity celebrating canoes and Canada!

Want to join us on our ceremonial paddle?

Paddlers are welcome to bring their own boat and gear and join us in the ceremonial paddle. We will leave Dow's lake at 8:30am and will wrap-up the paddle by noon at the Westin Hotel. (Paddlers will be responsible for their own risk and safety.)

Our Connected-by-Canoe Journey is but one of many initiatives using the canoe as a vessel for community-building, environmental stewardship, reconciliation, and conversations about Canada, past, present and future.

There’s lots of opportunities to get involved in ongoing projects and upcoming events, or find inspiration to start one in your own community. Click here for our list of Connected by Canoe Community Resources

Join in the conversation! #ConnectedbyCanoe

Read the official Connected by Canoe press release here

Meet the Express Leg paddlers

Stacey Arppe

Stacey Arppe is a staff member of The Canadian Canoe Museum. She joined the museum in 2012 from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, where she held the position of Program Manager. Her past roles include Outdoor Education Instructor and Wilderness Guide at Project Canoe, Nipika Mountain Resort, Camp Kandalore and Boundless Adventures. She has an instructor level membership with ORCKA, as well as professional memberships with the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association and Therapeutic Recreation Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of PhysEd (Outdoor Adventure Leadership) from Laurentian University, and both a Masters in Environmental Studies (specializing in Adventure Therapy) and an Environmental Sustainability & Education diploma from York University.

Glen Caradus

Glen Caradus teaches outdoor education in the Peterborough area. He coordinates they yearly Rotary Club of Peterborough – Kawartha “Adventure in Understanding” Canoe Trip. Glen is a puppeteer who performs shows with the “Paddling Puppeteers”. The troupe presents shows about Canadian history and ecology. Glen is currently developing several First Nations awareness programs for local camps.

Jessica Fleury

Jessica joined the staff at the museum in late 2015, following roles with IKEA Canada as a visual merchandiser, at The Gallery on the Lake, and at the helm of Fleury Design as a freelance designer and communications consultant. Jessica came to the Peterborough area from Edmonton, where she spent time working as production supervisor at The Works Art & Design Festival after earning a Design Foundations Certificate (Distinctions) and an Exhibit Presentation Diploma (Distinctions) from Grant MacEwan University. An active volunteer, Jessica is involved with the Peterborough Folk Festival, the Communications Committee of the Peterborough Dragonboat Festival, and the Marketing Advisory Committee of RT08 (Kawartha Northumberland Tourism). 

Paul Gervan

After studying Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University, Paul spent three years teaching high school for CUSO in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. He then spent a year wandering in India. Paul experienced a short engineering career with J.D. Lee Consultants, managed Kingston’s Energy Conservation Centre for EMR, and later purchased a 200-acre hobby farm. He later returned to South East Asia to establish “The Asia Company” which imports a wide range of goods. This has been done concurrent with woodlot management and environmental activism including Stop Darlington, Bowmanville, Red Squirrel Road Blockade, Temagami, Algonquin Uranium Moratorium and Sharbot Lake. In the past, Paul was a chair for the Blue Skies Music Festival. He is also the former artistic director for Live Wire Music Services, and he is a past board member for the Rideau Waterway Land Trust. Paul is currently retired, but he is active in forest management, and he enjoys tennis and snowboarding. He takes refuge in nature.

Shaelyn Hoffman-Menard Wabegijg

I am currently studying Indigenous Studies and Philosophy at Trent University. I am from the Orillia Ontario and Rama First Nations reservation area. I believe it is important to know what it means to be part Algonquin and to give back to the community. I also believe that it is my responsibility to fight for a clean environment and access to cultural knowledge on the land. I feel connected to canoeing because I have been paddling them ever since I can remember with my family. I have also spent time with my great grandfather, Frank Kuiack, who is named the last fishing guide of Algonquin Park who has been in a canoe for over seventy years. The effects of colonization have disconnected me and my family from the teachings of the canoe. However, attending Trent gave me the opportunity to receive a couple teachings and watch a birch bark canoe be built in the Bata Library.

I heard about this trip and will to attend because I received a summer position with Plenty Canada as their communications and community outreach assistant. Plenty Canada is an international and non-profit organization that utilizes and shares Indigenous knowledge for environmental protection and sustainable development (http://www.plentycanada.com/). This experience will teach me more about the canoe, its history, teachings and information which will apply to my position. The important conversations about how the canoe is an idea or a vessel to think about and experience building belonging, respect, reciprocity, and reconciliation will also be beneficial for the work I will do this summer.

Carolyn Hyslop

Carolyn is the General Manager of The Canadian Canoe Museum. She has been with the Museum since 2002 in roles including Education Co-ordinator, Public Programs Manager, Interim General Manager, and Director of Operations. Prior to joining the museum, Carolyn held positions at Camp Kawartha, Outward Bound Canada, Canada World Youth, Quetico Foundation and the Bluewater District School Board. She earned a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University’s Outdoor and Experiential Education program and a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University. She is devoted to outdoor education, and has active memberships with the Ontario College of Teachers and the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (instructor level). 

Goh Iromoto

I’m a director and cinematographer from Toronto, Ontario.  The focus of my work is to create a sense of connection, and often inspiration. I love nothing more than being able to get out and capture images that have the ability to make people feel something.

In recent years, I’ve been honoured and blessed with being awarded by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers for my nature film We Belong To It in 2016, with another nomination in 2017 for the nature film The Path of Grey Owl. My latest project, The Canoe was also recently featured by National Geographic’s short film showcase and Adventure publication.

My partner Courtney Boyd and I work together as a production team duo, and have had the opportunity to travel together on many adventures. We both look forward to being part of this journey and to further explore the power of the canoe and its ability to connect people. You can see more of our works at www.gohiromoto.com

Micaela May

Micaela is excited to be joining the Connected by Canoe journey! She had her first experience canoeing as a little girl, at her Oma’s cottage. From a young age, Micaela has had a strong appreciation for nature. She loves spending time outside, especially on the water. She has just begun a new position at the Canadian Canoe Museum, as the Marketing and Media Relations Intern. Micaela is excited to spend her summer learning what goes on behind the scenes at the museum, and she is ecstatic to spend the first few days of her internship canoeing! While on the trip, Micaela hopes to document the journey through photos and be able to share the important moments with others.

Lynn McIntyre

Lynn McIntyre graduated from the University of Guelph and has over 25 years of senior management experience in the conservation community with extensive knowledge in the charitable and not-for-profit sector, working at the local, provincial and national level.  Lynn has established and served on numerous charitable, not-for profit and for profit organizations. Lynn¹s local community engagement includes serving on the Board of Directors of the Community Food Centre where he was instrumental in transitioning the Perth and District Food Bank to the Community Food Centre. Currently, Lynn is Executive Director of the Perth and District Community Foundation. In his spare time Lynn grows hops at their farm just outside Perth.

William O. Morris

Bill Morris is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business, the University of Western Ontario. Following graduation, Bill joined KPMG in Toronto and earned his CA designation.

Bill is the primary shareholder and CEO of the Stewart Group. The Markham-based company was founded in 1896, with roots originating in the Peterborough area, is a private investment company with actively-managed interests in the telecom, floorcovering and footcare industries with facilities in Markham, North Carolina, Ireland and India.

The Stewart Group also supplies patented odour mitigation technology to the flooring, footwear, sporting goods and bedding industries. The company is a member of the National Angel Organization and has participated in the funding of a number of clean technology (air, water, energy) and other early stage ventures.

Bill is a member of the boards of directors of the Peterborough Regional Hospital Foundation, the United Way of Peterborough, the Lakefield College School Foundation and the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Bill and his wife, Betty, and their three children moved to Peterborough in 1998.

Erick Mugisha

Erick Mugisha Ihimbisibwe was born on January 1st, 1997 in Rwanda. He grew up in a refugee camp called Kakuma in the northern part of Kenya. Erick came to Canada on July 19th, 2016 and is currently a student at Fleming College pursuing academic upgrades.

Kenneth Powell

Ken has had a national and international business career as an executive with Imperial Oil, Exxon Corporation, and Esso Inter-America. Subsequently, he has been a management consultant with Coopers and Lybrand Consulting, associate director of the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, taught business and public policy part time at Seneca College and worked consulting with CESO.

He has volunteered with many organizations in Peterborough and around the country. Recently he has served as Chair of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Board of Directors and Chair of the Canadian Canoe Museum, on which board he remains. He has lived in many cities but for the past 20 years has made his home in Peterborough with his wife Penny Rush. Together they have five children and eight grandchildren.

His passions connect to his curiosity, particularly on understanding the world in which we live and Canada’s place in that context. That means he travels extensively around the world and certainly across Canada. He has chosen to paddle on many Canadian rivers and lakes. Photography is one other driving passion in his life, and you will see him with his gear on all those journeys.

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James Raffan

Connected by Canoe touches four things that make James Raffan tick: 1) organizing a canoe trip for his beloved Canadian Canoe Museum in his home watershed; 2) marking Canada 150 with a floating conversation designed to connect Canadians to each other and to the natural world through respect, reciprocity, and reconciliation; 3) building friendship and understanding through experience; and 4) active involvement in creating inspiring stories about the relationship between people and nature.

James is writer, geographer, Kickass Canadian , lifelong paddler and a long-time supporter and staff member at the Canadian Canoe Museum, where he has served as volunteer, curator, executive director and, in 2012, as Captain of Canada One, the only Canadian vessel in Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames River in London, England.  

He is the author of a number of award-winning books and documentaries as well as a Fellow and Past Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a Fellow International of the Explorers Club and was named in 2015 by Canadian Geographic as one of Canada’s Top 100 Explorers.  James lives with his wife, Gail Simmons, on Cranberry Lake, near Seeley’s Bay, one of communities along the Rideau Waterway who will be welcoming the Connected by Canoe team.  Details at jamesraffan.ca

Molly Raffan

As the offspring of a tried and true canoehead, the canoe, paddling and the outdoors has always been a fact of life, rather than a hobby. Growing up in a household with a firm zero-gas-powered-watercraft policy made all four seasons, as a kid on Cranberry Lake in Seeley’s Bay, an adventure that has shaped my path through life. After completing an undergrad and five subsequent years of working at Trent University, I brought my Canoe and B.Ed. Degree back to Kingston, where I currently work as an educator in the Queen’s residence life office. Throughout my travels, both for work and for play, water and the feeling of freedom that comes with that first dip of my paddle have always been an element of where I go and what I do. Though far from skilled, the motions, respect and appreciation for what the canoe represents is woven into the fabric of who I am. The Connected by Canoe Journey is an opportunity for me to paddle alongside my dad, connect with people, learn new things, and be a part of something bigger.

Jacob Rodenburg

Jacob is the Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, an award winning organization. The camp operates as a residential outdoor centre, a summer camp and as an innovative environmental centre. His passion is teaching children to love and protect their local environment. He holds a teaching certificate and a Master's in Education and has worked in the field of outdoor education and camping for almost thirty years. 
Jacob co-teaches part time at Trent University a course in environmental education. Jacob has published a number of articles on children, nature and the environment and has coauthored a book on nature activities throughout the seasons with Drew Monkman called the Big Book of Nature Activities. He is a frequent speaker and has been invited to present to the American Summit for Sustainability, Canadian Roundtable for Pollution prevention and at the Ontario Camping Association's annual conference. 
Jacob conceived and spearheaded the construction of one of Canada's most sustainable buildings at Trent University. This unique environment centre educates children and future teachers about sustainable living practices, alternative energy and conservation. 
Collaborating with community leaders from education, public health and local conservation groups, Jacob is working to establish an environmental framework for the Peterborough
region. Called the Pathway to Stewardship, the framework articulates key benchmarks and experiences all children should be given the opportunity to experience throughout their development in order to become environmental stewards. 

Penny Rush

Penny graduated from U of T in Phys Ed and taught high school in Peterborough, where she raised her three children. She was an active volunteer at the Arbour Theatre, the Peterborough Theatre Guild, the YMCA handicapped swim program, the Festival of Trees and the Canadian Canoe Museum’s Beaver Club Gala.

Penny was the Canadian distributor for Old Village Paints, co-owner of Trent Line Boats, a salesperson for over 20 years at Wild Rock Outfitters and is owner of Peterborough Multiple Storage. Her interests include X-country skiing, cycling, connecting with her eight grandchildren and spending summers at her cottage on Clear Lake with her husband, Ken Powell

Ronald F. Whetung

Ron Whetung was born in Peterborough, Ontario and grew up in the Mississaugas of the Curve Lake First Nation. He graduated from Lakefield College School, attended Trent University and moved to Toronto where he accepted a position as assistant to the administrator of Employment and Economic Development at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He later attended Ryerson University and completed his Real Estate License in 1985. In 1990, he started Whetung Construction and became a builder of homes and commercial properties. In 2004, he began consulting in business development and finance on various projects and political campaigns.

Ron has joined various boards and councils and recently completed a board position as a third term director for the Canadian Canoe Museum.

Ron is an active member of his community, and as a proud supporter of his First Nations Heritage, he has been a director for the Curve Lake First Nation Economic Development Corporation, a volunteer for the regional hospital and the local school board, a sponsor of local sports teams, a donor to various charities, and he regularly attends local and national events. In 2015 Ron participated in the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games as a torchbearer in the relay that ignited the largest multi-sports event ever held in Canada.

Ron is providing sponsorship in the foster child program through Plan Canada.

Together, Ron and his family have had the good fortune of travelling the world and experiencing world culture.

Coleman Williams

My name is Coleman Williams and I am a status member from Curve Lake First Nation. As an avid outdoorsman I enjoy hunting and fishing as well as being on the land. I have spent many hours paddling on the lakes and participated in the “Paddles Up” canoe journey in 2004. I am participating in the Connected By Canoe Journey to not only build new relationships but to stay connected to my heritage which is very important to me. I think this journey will be a fun and exciting experience.


Thank you to our Connected by Canoe sponsors and partners

Connected by Canoe Sponsors

Connected by Canoe Partners

Connected by Canoe Partner

  • Parks Canada
  • Camp Kawartha
  • Ontario Tourism
  • Goh Iromoto
  • Rideau Round Table
  • HMCS Carleton
  • Navy Curling
  • City of Kingston
  • Seeley’s Bay
  • Community Food Centres (Perth)
  • Perth District Community Foundations
  • Plenty Canada
  • Fulford Preparatory College
  • Rideau District High School·        
  • Royal Canadian Navy Curling Club
  • Nunavut Sivuniksavut
  • Adventure in Understanding
  • Voyageur Canoe – Millbrook 
  • Town of Smiths Falls
  • Kemptville Youth Centre
  • Ottawa River Keeper
  • Cataraqui Canoe Club
  • Village of Westport
  • Rotary Club of Peterborough-Kawartha 
  • Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation

Connected by Canoe Sponsors

  • Community Foundations of Canada
  • Community Foundations of Greater Peterborough
  • Community Foundations of Greater Kingston
  • Community Foundations of Ottawa
  • LLF Lawyers
  • Tim Hortons
  • Seeley's Bay and Area Residents Association
  • Beking Farms Kemptville
  • Kingston Rowing Club