Gordon Lightfoot's Canoes

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We are honoured to have in our collection three of Gordon’s canoes and one from his good friend and paddling companion, Fred Gaskin.

Gordon, an avid paddler, has donated the yellow canoe featured in the song Canary Yellow Canoe. This canoe showcases the scars of an infamous mishap when Gordon and Fred paddled the Nahanni River in the 1970s.

Our collection is just as much about stories as the thousands of artifacts we care for. These stories can be about connecting with our roots and with others, or finding solitude or a link to the natural world. These stories are from famous people, ordinary people and people long forgotten.

We know that for Gordon, canoeing was a critical diversion from a very demanding career. Many who know him, know how important his canoe trips were to him. And, all the while, he was building national and international recognition. These are remarkable stories, and this museum is indeed the perfect setting for those stories to be told. We are grateful to have been entrusted with them.