Museum Staff

General manager

Carolyn is the Museum's General Manager and has been associated with the Museum for nearly 15 years.  Having worn many different hats over the years, from Education Animator to Education Coordinator to Public Programs Manager to Director of Operations and now, General Manager Carolyn feels very fortunate to be working with the Museum as it explores redevelopment and a new location on the water in Peterborough.

Carolyn has a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University along with a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University’s Outdoor and Experiential Education program. She is a member in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers and is an Instructor-level member of the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association. Prior to settling in with the Canoe Museum, Carolyn worked with a number of non-profit organizations in the field of outdoor education and youth including Outward Bound Canada, Canada World Youth, Camp Kawartha and the Quetico Foundation. In a home that she loves very much, Carolyn lives with her husband, two children, their Bernese Mountain dog and often a coop full of laying hens!

- Contact Carolyn

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At J.F. Ross Collegiate, in Guelph, Ontario, James majored in music and extracurricular sports. Years at Queen’s University focused largely on northern adventure and music. To his parents’ surprise and delight, degrees were eventually conferred in biology and education. In later years he earned a doctorate in cultural geography. Day jobs have included canoe guide, youth leader, high school teacher and, for 18 years, professor of outdoor and experiential education at Queen’s University. Since 1999, JR has been a full-time writer, speaker and consultant for organizations including The Canadian Canoe Museum, working from his home on Cranberry Lake, north of Kingston, Ontario. Winner of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2000 and the Camsell Medal in 2009, he is a Fellow and past Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, past Chair of The Arctic Institute of North America and a Fellow International of the Explorer’s Club. Author/editor of 15 books including Fire in the Bones, Wildwaters, Summer North of Sixty, Deep Waters, Tumblehome, Bark, Skin & Cedar, and Emperor of the North, his work has been translated into several languages and adapted for radio and television.

- Contact James -


Jeremy’s involvement with the Canadian Canoe Museum stretches back nearly two decades. Before joining the team, his experiences included coordinating a field school for Trent University in the Nunavut community of Pangnirtung, cabinetmaking, birch bark canoe building and archaeological work in Greece. A graduate of Trent University’s Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies programs, Jeremy finds many opportunities to combine a passion for Canadian heritage with his love for canoeing within the mission of this museum.

During his time working with this museum and its collection, Jeremy has led a wide range of projects and programs, which include curating or producing over ten major exhibitions, many still displayed or travelling. He has also researched for and been featured in documentaries including Discovery Channel, the BBC and most recently The Nature of Things.

One notable project was the research and construction of a 36-foot birch bark canoe. Working before for the public at the museum, and leading a dedicated team of volunteers, Jeremy built an authentic, working example of the canot du maitre, the workhorse vehicle of the 18th and early 19th century fur trade in Canada. 

- Contact Jeremy

Shirlanne Pawley-Boyd
Director of Philanthropy

Shirlanne Pawley-Boyd is an award winning, senior fundraising executive with over 25 years of philanthropic experience. Shirlanne has held a variety of leadership roles in the education, not-for-profit and health care sectors for organizations like BC’s Childrens’ Hospital, Trent University, United Way and Fleming College. A graduate of Fleming College and a certified fundraising executive, Shirlanne has a passion and commitment to community building and volunteerism. She has volunteered her time and shared her professional expertise with numerous groups including the Rotary Club of Peterborough, The Mount Project, The Community Foundation’s 2015 Philanthropy Forum, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, United Way of Peterborough and District, Strath McLean Child Care Centre and the YWCA of Peterborough.

As the Museum’s Director of Philanthropy Shirlanne manages and oversees the organization’s annual fund development plan and corresponding initiatives.

Shirlanne enjoys spending time on the water and appreciates the abundance of opportunities in the Kawartha Lakes region to explore waterways and the habitat they are surrounded by. 

Contact Shirlanne - 

Education manager

Karen joined the museum staff as an Education Animator, bringing a diverse teaching background and passion for music education to our team. Eventually she leapt over to the other side of the desk to become Coordinator of the Education Department’s museum-based and outreach programs. Karen recently received the Samuel Armour Heritage Award from the Peterborough Historical Society on behalf of the Canadian Canoe Museum Education Department. She’s delighted that studying Canadian History and Anthropology at McGill turned out to be a practical choice after all.

- Contact Karen -

finance & administration Manager

Marina has over 10 years experience in the not for profit sector and graduated on the Dean’s list from the Business Administration program at The College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, B.C. She is responsible for the financial accounting of the Museum. She enjoys working with the staff and volunteers and is delighted to be contributing to this dynamic organization.

- Contact Marina -

Development manager 

Christina Skuce is the Museum's Development Manager. Christina brings to the Museum more than 10 years experience in the not-for-profit sector, with an emphasis on fundraising, event planning, communications, social media, and volunteer and donor stewardship. She oversees the Museum's development operations, including the membership program, annual campaign, Beaver Club Gala, planned giving program, donor stewardship, major gifts initiatives, and database management, as well as plays a key role in special projects and the overall development of the Museum. Christina graduated with honours from the Sport and Event Marketing Post-Graduate Program at George Brown College, and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University. She has worked in fundraising, logistics, communications, and event coordination in the not-for-profit healthcare sector, as well as sales and promotions in the private sector. Christina came to the Museum for the unique opportunity to blend her enthusiasm for making lasting contributions to her local community with her passion for the outdoors and her Canadian pride.

Christina is on maternity leave until Spring 2017. In the interim please contact Devon Bathurst

Devon Bathurst

Devon has a passion for making a difference in the community, and brings over three years of experience in the not for profit sector to the Museum. In her role as Development Coordinator, she oversees the Museum's membership program, annual campaign, Beaver Club Gala, planned giving program, donor stewardship, adopt-a-canoe program and database management. Devon graduated from the Sport and Event Marketing Post-Graduate Program at George Brown College, and has Hospitality Management: Hotel and Restaurant Diploma from Niagara College. She has worked in partner relations, human resources and event coordination in the not-for-profit sector. Devon came to the Museum with an enthusiasm for connecting the Peterborough community to the Canoe Museum and it’s Canadian roots. 

Contact Devon -

jessica fleury
Marketing & Media Relations manager

Jessica Fleury attended Grant MacEwan University’s Design and Exhibit Presentation program in Edmonton where she graduated with distinctions. During her university career she was awarded a competitive internship with The Works Art & Design festival and spent two summers working with them in their production stream. Jessica has also worked for IKEA Canada as a visual merchandiser and most recently as the Designer and Special Events Coordinator for the Gallery on the Lake. Jessica has a keen interest in visual presentation and marketing and a great love for nature.

Contact Jessica -

Stacey arppe
volunteers & public programs manager

Stacey brings to the Museum a strong background in volunteer management and outdoor programming. She joined the Museum in 2012 and has filled the role of Paddling Camp Instructor, Volunteer & Events Coordinator, and now as the Volunteers & Public Programs Manager. 

Stacey has a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education degree from Laurentian University where she specialized in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. She also attended York University where she completed a Masters in Environmental Studies with a focus on Adventure Therapy and a diploma in Environmental Sustainability and Education. Prior to joining our team, Stacey worked as a river guide and outdoor instructor at a number of organizations including Project Canoe, Nipika Mountain Resort, Boundless Adventures and Camp Kandalore. Stacey is an instructor level member of the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association and is the Director of Finance for the Association of Managers of Volunteer Services. She is a professional member of the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association and Therapeutic Recreation Ontario. Stacey loves living in Peterborough with her husband and their bouncy Labrador Retriever.

- Contact Stacey -


Associate curator & adult programs manager

Beth received her Bachelor of Arts and Science (in Biology and History) from the University of Guelph. Her life-long interest in history and past experience at a living history site sparked her interest in hands-on activities as a way of getting people interested in the history and stories behind the crafts. One of the things Beth loves most about the Canoe Museum is the opportunity to research and learn new skills, which can then be taught to the public in the form of our Adult Artisan Workshops.

Beth is on maternity leave until Summer 2017. In the interim please contact Liz Watkins

Liz Watkins

Liz Watkins began volunteering at the museum in 2014 and since that time has been actively involved in the museum and heritage sector. Born and raised in Peterborough, she completed her education at Trent University with an Honours BA in History, and continued on to Fleming College where she received a post-graduate certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship. She has volunteered at Hutchison House Museum, completed a four month internship at the Niagara Historical Society & Museum, and acted as Project Coordinator for the Doors Open Peterborough Committee in 2016. Liz was fortunate to be introduced to camping and canoeing at a young age, having spent many summers at camp as a camper, camp counsellor and horseback riding instructor. She loves that the unique collection at the Canoe Museum blends her love of paddling, the outdoors and Canadian history together. 

- Contact Liz -


Melissa has a diverse background, from guiding adventure-based learning camps with the Boys & Girls Club on Vancouver Island to leading visual merchandise training for clothing stores from New Zealand to Oshawa, all while teaching yoga classes in between. Raised in Ontario, camping and canoeing have been a major part of Melissa’s life for as long as she can remember. She studied Recreation and Leisure at Fleming College which led her to living on Canada’s West Coast for many years. After moving back to Ontario, she found her dream home on Katchewanooka Lake, where she lives with her partner and their water-loving dog. Melissa is grateful to be part of such a passionate and diverse community at The Museum!

Contact Melissa-


Jen Burnard
Lead Animator

As a child, Jen Burnard's immigrant parents packed up the family every summer and took them camping. These camping experiences had a formative influence that led to a lifelong love of outdoor adventuring, living and learning. In her early 20s she was introduced to the ancient art of canoe travel and fell in love with the way it could draw one deep into the heart of the yet-wild spaces of a place called Canada. A teacher all her working life, Jen joined the Education Program at the Canadian Canoe Museum in 2001 as an Education Animator.  As Lead Animator, Jen remains delighted to have the opportunity to share her love of the canoe and its place in the Canadian experience with visiting school children.

Contact Jen-

kate salmon
event coordinator

Kate attended Trent University and received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Geography. Afterwards she received her Bachelor of Education with distinction at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Kate has worked in the hospitality industry since high school, working in restaurants and golf courses. During her undergraduate and post-graduate years, Kate worked as an Event Supervisor for the Trent University Conference and Hospitality Services department facilitating a variety of conferences, weddings, small and large events, as well as working in the campus pub. It was in these years that she found a love for event planning and management.

Kate grew up in Whitby, but has spent the last several years living in Peterborough. As a child she spent a lot of time in the wilderness, and continues to do so every chance she gets. Making trips up to their family property in Bancroft or exploring the great outdoors that Peterborough has to offer, her love of nature continues to grow. 

Contact Kate-

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Project Director

Richard Tucker, the Museum's Project Director will oversee the planning of the new Museum. This is a key area of expertise for Richard. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been instrumental in a number of building projects including SkyDome in Toronto and Canary Wharf in London, England.

- Contact Richard -

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The Dennis Group Inc. is headquartered in Peterborough. Chonee Dennis, President & CEO, and her team are working behind-the-scenes and in close co-operation with the Museum Board and staff members to lay the groundwork for fundraising campaigns.  


evan holt
creative projects producer

Evan has combined his love for the outdoors and passion for social media with his position at the Canoe Museum. He is connected with outdoor enthusiasts across Canada via blogging, photography, videography and social media, while still finding time to enrich himself outdoors by actively camping, canoeing and hiking.

- Contact Evan -


Evan Holt - Digital Media Manager