16 Diverse Paddlers Will Be Embarking On 10-Day Canoe Journey After Send-Off At Peterborough's Canoe Museum


On May 2nd, a diverse group of 16 paddlers will be given a send-off at The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough before heading to Kingston where they will launch a 10-day, 2-part journey through the Rideau Waterway in a 36-foot Voyageur Canoe destined for Ottawa.
 
This journey, called Connected by Canoe, is a sesquicentennial project of The Canadian Canoe Museum and Community Foundations of Canada in partnership with the Ottawa Community Foundation, Parks Canada, and other community organizations along the Rideau Waterway.

Photo courtesy Canoe Museum

Photo courtesy Canoe Museum

The 16 paddlers will consist of youth and other representatives from a variety of partner organizations including Parks Canada, Curve Lake First Nation, Nunavut Sivuniksavut, the Peterborough Kawartha Rotary Club, Fulford Preparatory School, Rideau Roundtable and Confederation of First Nation Cultural Learning Centres as well as photographers and videographers.

Photo courtesy Canoe Museum

Photo courtesy Canoe Museum

The first "Express Leg" of the journey will take place from May 3rd to May 10th when the group will paddle from Kingston to Ottawa via the Rideau Waterway, stopping each night in different communities to celebrate and engage in conversation with local people and organizations.
 
Topics of discussion along the route will revolve around the on-going importance and possibilities of canoes for community building, and ideas for building an equitable, sustainable and inclusive future for Canada. Each of the 16 paddlers will bring their own open-ended questions inspired by these topics for discussion.

The conversations and activities of the Express Leg will be captured in the form of videos, photos, songs and stories that will be shared daily through The Canadian Canoe Museum's social media and other new media channels, allowing all Canadians to follow along with the journey and conversations, and engage with the project and participants.
 
The group will arrive in Ottawa on May 11th for the "Ceremonial Leg" of the project. There, they will be joined by 3 other large watercrafts that represent canoe building culture and traditions from across Canada including an Umiaq from the North Coast, a Haida-style Spirit Canoe from the West coast and a Voyageur Canoe.
 
The four canoes will paddle together from Dow's Lake Pavilion to the Rideau Locks to celebrate and honour Canada's waterways and indigenous cultures. This ceremonial paddle will include traditional drumming, singing and a continuation of the conversations from the Express Leg of the project.

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