“From the organizing committee led by Jane Ulrich, to the local businesses who brought such incredible creativity to the table, we were amazed by the initiative and interest,” adds Anderson.
An anonymous out-of-province donor who believes in the power of the canoe to connect Canadians has invested $1.25 million to support the Canadian Canoe Museum’s move to the water’s edge as part of its $65 million capital fundraising campaign.
This generous gift is the first of its magnitude to be received from a donor outside of Ontario, demonstrating the national scope and scale of the new museum project.
The Canadian Canoe Museum is moving from its 1960s-era former factory building to an 85,000 square-foot-facility to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway—both National Historic Sites—in Peterborough.
“We are grateful for this generous gift, and the donor’s appreciation for the national nature of the new museum project,” says Bill Morris, Capital Campaign Chair. “This donor recognizes the canoe as a national icon, and sees its potential and power to connect Canadians.”
“The new museum will not only allow us to attract more visitors from across the country, it will allow us to reach out from coast to coast to coast in new and different ways—it will be our new high-profile headquarters,” adds Morris.
The new museum, which will make accessible all 600 watercraft, thousands of small artifacts and an archive, is designed by an award-winning team of heneghan peng architects (Dublin, Ireland) with Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada). The museum has partnered with world-class exhibition design firm GSM Project to create one-of-a-kind visitor experiences.
Peterborough’s Rachel Quilty was born with a partial left arm and has lived with a prosthetic for most of her life. The 19-year-old, who is affiliated with War Amps, had always wanted to become a camp counsellor at Camp Oconto—an all-girls camp where she had spent many years as a camper.
With her prosthetic, she wasn’t able to complete level D instruction with a traditional paddle which she’d need to teach canoeing as a counsellor. After seeking advice from fellow camp counsellors and getting the word out, The Canoe Museum writes in a blog post how volunteers, retail business and organizations came together to make a paddle that worked for her.
THE ORIGINAL PROTOTYPES
“Wild Rock Outfitters donated a used paddle for the first prototype, in which a hole was added to accommodate the hook at the end of her prosthetic arm,” the Canoe Museum writes. More than 10 design prototypes were made over the next year to fit with Rachel’s prosthetic.
When Five Counties Children’s Centre asked Wild Rock if there was anyone they could recommend as this project evolved to find her the perfect fitting paddle, they suggested the Canadian Canoe Museum and that’s where volunteer Rick Schuett became involved.
Rick, who has been creating custom canoe paddles for three decades, carves paddles on the second floor in the artisan exhibit area on Fridays. Rick’s first paddle for Rachel worked well, with its middle connector on the shaft for movement, but over time the constant pressure eventually broke it apart and the metal hook from her prosthetic wore down the wood on the paddle’s grip.
For the second paddle, the Canoe Museum says that “Rick re-designed the middle connector pieces with stronger materials that enabled the lower portion of the paddle to be mobile for more ease and control. In addition, he added a piece of metal to the paddle’s grip to prevent wear and tear from the hook.”
HOW RACHEL USES THE PADDLE
-> Rachel puts the hook from her prosthetic arm through the hole in the grip and uses her right arm to move the bottom of the paddle.
-> The notch in the middle acts as the wrist she doesn’t have on her left hand and then she’s able to maneuver the paddle to perform various strokes.
With Rick’s expertise and dedication, he has given Rachel the means to accomplish her goals. The Canoe Museum says that in addition to becoming a camp counsellor, Rachel is working as a certified lifeguard and swim instructor at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre where she also uses the specialized paddle to teach swimming.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is investing a whopping $7.5 million in The Canadian Canoe Museum’s new facility to be built at the water’s edge.
This lead private gift announced on Wednesday (May 16th) will support capital costs and educational program development for the new museum, to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. It is the largest known private one-time gift to a charitable organization in the City and County of Peterborough.
“From the high-profile headquarters that is the new museum, we will be inspiring Canada by canoe," says John Ronson, Chair, Board of Directors. "This investment is indeed transformational, and will not only support the construction of the new museum, it will see our programming reach more people inside the museum, outside the museum, and virtually, around the world."
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the museum dating back to 1995, two years prior to its opening, and was instrumental in its founding.
The construction of the new canoe museum is being supported by a $65 million fund raising campaign.
The addition of this beautiful new museum at the Historic Lift Lock's doorstep will make this a must see destination for even more visitors from around the world.
Over the past week, the Canadian Canoe Museum welcomed an incredible 18 international visitors from 11 countries, reflecting a trend of increasing international interest in its world-class collection.
Between October 17th and 25th, these individual international visitors from countries including Australia, Germany, Mexico, Russia and India signed the guest book and longtime museum volunteer Bernice Standen took note. “We are fortunate to have the preeminent collection of paddled craft in the world,” says Mrs. Standen, a museum volunteer who, since 2004, has been working with visitor statistics.
Here is a visual representation in red dots of where their visitors come from...
In 2016, 25 percent of those who signed the museum’s guest book were international visitors—up from 14 percent in 2015.
Visitors to the museum come from all over the world, and last year the guest book documented those from more than 30 countries. Many international visitors explore the museum more than once.
Some comments from international visitors include the following...
“I learned new things about the world and of course Canada.” (EGYPT)
“Superbe musee!” (FRANCE)
“Fantastic presentations—well interpreted and engages all (even very old and very young). RIVALS the Smithsonian!!” (U.S.A.)
In 2016, the museum welcomed 27,267 visitors overall—an increase of close to 2.5 percent over the previous year. That increase built upon the attendance figures of 2015, which were 11 percent higher than in 2014.
Early projections indicate that the new museum, to be built beside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway, will welcome more than twice the number of visitors in its opening year alone.
“Our collection, and the museum as a whole, continues to attract national and international attention,” says General Manager Carolyn Hyslop.
“This, paired with the local excitement related to the new museum project and some of our newest programs, contributes to the incredible momentum we are experiencing right now."
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.
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.
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.
Peterborough is hosting a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony this Thursday (November 13th) at the Canadian Canoe Museum where 48 people will get their Canadian citizenship!
The New Canadians Centre Peterborough (NCC) and the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration (PPCII) are hosting this special event in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the County of Peterborough, the City of Peterborough, and the Canadian Canoe Museum.
At the ceremony, 48 people from Peterborough and the surrounding area will receive their Canadian Citizenship in the event presided over by Judge Babcock.
This is the fourth time that the ceremony is being hosted in Peterborough. In previous years, new Canadians have had to travel to the Citizenship and Immigration in Oshawa for the ceremony. As part of the PPCII action plan to welcome new Canadians to Peterborough, a request was put through to CIC to host the ceremony here.
For many, this day marks the end of an uncertain past, and the start of a future filled with opportunities and a chance to pursue their dreams.