Adopt an Artifact

Adopting a canoe or paddle from the museum’s collection is a unique opportunity. While you won’t be able to take the canoe to the cottage (it will remain as part of the museum’s collection), as part of this program, you can create a personal connection with an artifact that resonates with you.

Simply choose from one of five annual giving levels, starting at $50, for this symbolic adoption and you will be supporting the ongoing care and preservation of these extraordinary artifacts.

About the Program
When you adopt a canoe, your name will be showcased on a label on the artifact in the museum’s galleries for all to see. Prefer to remain anonymous? You can do that too. This meaningful initiative also makes a great gift or memorial tribute. Adoption rates are for one year at a time and based on the type of canoe or paddle you choose.

Please see the following list for giving levels and an example of what is available in each category. There’s much more to choose from, so please contact Karen for further information, 705-748-9153 ext. 217, or via [email protected].

Level I – $180 | $15 per month

Balsam Bark Canoe
Length 4.45 Metres (14 feet 7 inches)
Beam 81 centimetres (2 feet 8 inches)
Accession No 977.47

Builder and date unknownThe unique bow shape  of this craft is sometimes known as the “sturgeon nose”. These canoes were used primarily by the Krunaxa on the rivers and lakes of southern British Columbia and in Northern Washington State. The hull is constructed of balsam bark. The sections of bark running underneath the gunwales are birch. Alder bark has been used in the lashings. There is speculation regarding the design of these craft. The unique shape of the end likely improves the dynamics of the craft, and compensates for the inferior properties of this type of bark.

Level II – $350 | $29 per month

Dugout Canoe
Length 11.13 metres (36 feet 6 inches)
Beam 84 centimetres (2 feet 9 inches)
Accession No 980.130
Builder and date unknown

This is a “spoon canoe” of the Bella Coola who live primarily on the tidewater at the head of the Dean Channel, B.C. Typical to these types of craft, it has an upturned pointed end, and is bluntly rounded at the waterline. These canoes are exceptionally sturdy and stable, and are suited for use on the swift interior river.

Level III –  $700 | $58 per month

Birch Bark Canoe
Length 4.06 (13 feet 4 inches)
Beam 68.5 (2 feet 3 inches)
Accession No 977.49
Builder unknown, ca. 1865

This is a slave canoe built at Fort Norman, Mackenzie River, North West Territories. The characteristic construction detail in these types of canoes is the frame, thin battens, which run longitudinally along the bottom of the canoe are held in place by the pressure of the ribs against the bark cover. Bark canoes of this northern type are often referred to as kayak-form canoes.


Level IV – $1,500 | $125 per month

Cedar-Strip Freight Canoe – Klondike model
Length: 6.15 metres (20 feet 2 inches)
Beam: 1.23 metres (4 feet 1 inch)
Accession No. 999.40.1
Lakefield Canoe Company, ca. 1920

This canoe is from the collection of the late George M. Douglas of Lakefield, Ontario. Freight canoes of all-wood construction in this size are rare. Originally equipped with steel oarlocks, sailing rig, compass, rudder and brackets for a canvas cover, the canoe displays characteristics of a craft built and used for heavy work in explorations and surveys. Later the canoe was fitted with more modern equipment including additional chrome plated oarlocks, an outboard motor bracket, and running lights. The large yellow floor-boards were also added to the craft. They are marked in contrast to the painted blue interior, which originally would have been varnished.

Level V – $3,000 | $250 per month

Dugout Canoe
Length 11.99 metres (39 feet 4 inches)
Beam 1.61 metres (5 feet 3.5 inches)
Accession No 977.187
Builder unknown, ca. 1900

This style of canoe is Nuu chah nulth from the area of Fort Rupert, Vancouver Island, B.C. it is of Kwakwaka’wakw origin and of a style used by many cultures along the West Coast. The hull is hewn from red cedar with the bow and stern attached as separate pieces. These pieces would often outlast the canoes. Sometimes, as in this case, they were taken from older canoes that were no longer serviceable and used on the newly built craft. This particular craft is an example of a canoe used to hunt finback and grey whales. Typically it would have carried 6 paddlers, a steersman and a harpooner. Often canoes of the West Coast were painted with intricate and expressive art. The painted image at the bow is that of a killer whale.

Paddles in collection storage.Adopt a Paddle

For an annual contribution of $50, you can symbolically adopt one of our many paddles that are currently on display throughout the museum galleries. Please email [email protected] or call (705) 748 9153 ext. 217 to choose your paddle.