Connected by Canoe - Community Resource


Pulling together


July 5-15, 2017“Recognizing the past by Pulling Together to enhance understanding between Public Service Agencies and Aboriginal Peoples by Canoeing the traditional highway, strengthening our future relations”:  Squamish First Nation, West Vancouver Police Department and Royal Canadian Navy are collaborating on the 17th annual Pulling Together Canoe Journey, building true reconciliation from a grass roots level. This year’s journey will see up to 30 canoes filled with First Nations’, Public Service Agencies and youth paddlers, traveling the traditional highways from the Sunshine Coast to the City of Vancouver. 

Westben paddles


April-July, 2017 - Westben Arts Festival Theatre has been travelling throughout Trent Hills asking the question, "What is your dream for Canada?" Using a canoe-shaped bookshelf and hundreds of paper paddles, five local schools haveparticipated in the Westben Dream Canoe Project. The Westben Dream Canoe will continue its journey this Spring, making stops at local businesses and community organizations to gather dreams from people of all ages. The more than 700  children's submissions are now being compiled and reviewed by Order of Canada recipient and composer Brian Finley, who will create new music that reflects the hopes and ideas of children.


The new music will be presented live at "Canada Dreams"at the Westben Barn on Sunday, July 2nd from 1 to 5 p.m. -- a free, family-friendly, afternoon event that includes four sets of music as well as a meadow full of food and fun activities. This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada's 150th, a collaboration between the Campbellford/Seymour Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast. 

150 for 150

June 25, 2017  - 150+ canoes will gather on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on June 25, with the stated mission to acknowledge the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the First Nations’ gift to this country and people, to inform the public as to the pivotal role the canoe played in the creation of this country and to share in the passion for the sport and how it intimately connects us to this land and country.

Join the pre-event twitter conversation on May 9. 

Project Coastline/CAGIS Canoe Build

July 1, 2017  - On Canada Day, led by Patti Phipps Walker, Ojibway elder, the “Legacy Canoe” will be launched at the National Yacht Club in Toronto.  The canoe was built over 2016-17 by girls in the Canadian Association of Girls in Science and Etobicoke School for the Arts. The Legacy Canoe has brought together non-Indigenous and newcomer girls together “to replicate a symbolic part of Canada’s heritage” that connects “people and water together in the present, just as it did in the past.” 

COmmunity canoe Gardens/butterflyway project

Summer 2017 - Since 2013, this the Homegrown National Park Project has helped create a network of pollinator-friendly canoe planters throughout the Toronto region. The  "Moccasin Identifier" on the side of each canoe, produced by program partners the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, acknowledges their traditional territory and incorporates features from other First Nations. 

For the upcoming season, the Community Canoe garden network will be part of the David Suzuki Foundation/Homegrown National Park's Butterflyway Project. "We’ve got at least a dozen new canoe gardens that will be planted this summer by our teams of volunteer Butterflyway Rangers in Toronto and Markham," says Senior Strategist, Jode Roberts.  "Our new website ( will have a DIY canoe planter guide and other content shortly. So, stay tuned."  Anyone wishing to donate a canoe to be a community planter or get involved in planting is encouraged to get in touch.

temagami canoe festival

July 15-16, 2017 - A family-friendly festival all about Canadian canoeing culture. This two-day festival includes canoe displays, demos and workshops, canoe race events, historical talks, birch bark canoes, guided old growth forest hikes, live music, food and craft vendors, and much more.


August 27–September 1, 2017 - Now entering its fourth year, AIU explores the canoe as a vehicle for reconciliation and reconnection.  A partnership between Rotary Club, Camp Kawartha, Curve Lake First Nation and The Canadian Canoe Museum, the Adventure in Understanding brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth on a six-day paddling experience by Voyageur Canoe through the Trent-Severn waterway to Curve Lake First Nation. 

Grand Woolly River Ride

September 23, 2017 - 150 canoes and 15 kayaks, dressed in donated knits, on the Grand River, paddling from Moyer’s Landing to Riverbuff’s Park. From there, the canoes will be “undressed” and the knits turned into a community-created art installation that will remain on exhibit in Dickson Park for two weeks.

“This event is designed to attract participants and spectators of all ages and abilities,” said organizer and fibre artist Sue Sturdy. “It will acknowledge the heritage of our waterways and the founding of local mills and textile factories.” 


Ongoing - As part of a project to mark the Carleton University’s 75th anniversary, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students have been constructing a birchbark canoe under the direction of Pinock, an internationally-renowned Algonquin craftsman from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation.  Upon completion, the canoe will be taken out on the water, and then put on exhibit at MacOdrum Library.

“It’s an opportunity for cross-cultural and experiential learning,” says Benny Michaud, one of CACE’s three Aboriginal Cultural Liaison Officers, “and it’s another way to acknowledge that Carleton is located upon and within unceded Algonquin territory.”  Pinock, who learned canoe-building “from the community as a whole,” sees another impact of the project: “It’s not really the canoe that’s important,” he says. “It’s learning how to build it, and learning how to communicate with each other.”



university of ottawa canoe building with Marcel labelle

January-March 2017 -  Open to all students and University of Ottawa community members, this birch-bark canoe build with renowned builder Marcel Labelle. This cooperative building project was conceived as a way for participants to "reimagine [their] relationship with Indigenous people by taking time to learn and assist in the construction of a birch-bark canoe right here on campus." 

FLying Canoe Festival Volant

February 3-4, 2017 - "In the spirit of a great winter city, the Flying Canoë Volant is a creative and interactive cultural event designed to celebrate local history and everything that is great about a long winter’s night. 

Inspired by the legend of The Flying Canoe and French Canadian, First Nations and Métis traditions, this event celebrate Edmonton's beautiful Mill Creek Ravine and the newly-established French Quarter. Come celebrate your inner voyageur with light, music, legends and dance!"

Bayside Middle School Coast Salish dugout build with quinam

2014-2015 - This traditional Coast Salish dugout carving experience, led by Quinam (Curtis Henry) from Pauquachin, was designed for the Bayside Middle School community to learn about Coast Salish cultural values and teachings. From falling the tree to taking the canoe on the ocean, the making of the canoe was “a symbol and legacy” for one of Bayside’s guiding principles: “we all pull together”. 

Welland Canoe Art.png


2014 - A community-engagement project that involved local artists creating using canoes as the canvas. The canoes are mounted throughout Welland, featuring artwork inspired by the community heritage, sporting history and contemporary culture. A partnership between Welland Recreational Canal Corporation and the Welland Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.