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Feb 18, 2010

Canoeing in February

Well, not exactly. But two recent trips to the Canadian Canoe Museum, in Peterborough, Ontario, have made my new, least-favourite month, February, almost bearable. One step inside the museum and one is transported to a state of mind that sighs of summers on the water, loons calling, and campfire smoke inducing leafy and rocky mirages.

My friend and neighbour, Mike 'Wood & Canvas' Ormsby, got me to re-visit the museum for the first time since it opened 13 years ago. Like many other people, Mike is my go-to-guy for all things about canoeing. He introduced me to museum General Manager, John Summers, and Curator, Jeremy Ward, who gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum's huge separate storage facility where most of the collection's approximately 600 craft are stored (see photo above).

We had such a great time, we went back two weeks later for another go-around: this time meeting Professor Kirk Wipper, who founded the collection back in the 1950s. At 85, Kirk is still a volunteer resource person at the museum and a charming gentleman (see photo below). The Canadian Canoe Museum is the largest of its in the world and brilliantly uplifting for anyone with an interest in canoes. I can't recommend it highly enough and plan to go back in May to collect the canoe I'm planning to win with a fund-raising raffle ticket I purchased at the CCM. The canoe is being built as I write this blog and you can see it underway in the Rona Building Centre, adjacent to the museum on Monaghan Street in Peterborough.
Mike Ormsby and canoe legend, Kirk Wipper

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