National Canoe Day?! Perhaps you are in the know about this national holiday and are wondering when it will become an official statutory holiday. Perhaps you have never heard of this ‘Day’ and are wondering why I am taking up valuable space in your inbox for such silliness as a national day for canoeing. Well, let me elaborate.It is not a secret in Canada that the canoe is indeed a national icon. It became known as such and was officially declared so by over 1 million voters, in 2007. In 2007, the CBC launched a nation-wide project to unearth what Canadians thought were the country’s Seven Wonders. After many weeks and millions of votes, the canoe was named one of the Seven Wonders of Canada. In celebration of this, The Canadian Canoe Museum declared June 26th as National Canoe Day with the aim of increasing participation in paddlesports in Canada, engaging new paddlers and reaching across generational and cultural divides to introduce the canoe to those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience this great national heritage.
In 2007, the Museum celebrated the canoe’s status as one of the Seven Wonders of Canada by hosting a party and inviting the community to come out and fill the Peterborough Liftlocks with as many canoes and kayaks as possible. It was great fun!
In 2010 and 2011, the Museum hosted the National Canoe Day celebrations at Beavermead Park in Peterborough.
In 2012, we moved to Millennium Park and were well fed by our friends at the Silver Bean Cafe!
While all of these great events are happening in Peterborough, there were thousands of other paddlers taking to the waters across the country. National Canoe Day was also celebrated internationally by groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, South America, and beyond.
National Canoe Day is growing again this year. Rather than a stand alone day of celebration, National Canoe Day will take place within the new initiative known as National Paddling Week. It runs from Saturday June 15th to Sunday June 23rd. It is an event with the same mission as National Canoe Day: to boost awareness of our national recreational paddling sports, safety measures, skill development, and heritage! National Paddling Week wants to encourage as many Canadians to get into a canoe, kayak or onto a board and be counted during this week to show our national commitment to the fun, the benefits, and challenge of paddling!
If you are one of the thousands of paddlers from across Canada that loves and appreciates being on the water in whatever self-propelled watercraft is your choice, get yourself out on the water in and around National Paddling Week and National Canoe Day. Be sure to tell us what you are up to by registering your event at www.paddlingweek.ca
Not sure what to do if you live in the Peterborough area and want to hook up with the Canoe Museum’s official National Canoe Day/National Paddling Week celebration?
Come out to the Small Craft Rendezvous being held right at the Museum on Saturday June 22nd from 9-5! Imagine a parking lot full of cool, interesting people building, restoring, selling, and demonstrating all things to do with small watercraft! Imagine the Museum filled with workshops, demonstrations and special guests presenting all day long! Imagine fun, new family-friendly crafts and activities! Imagine yourself here for the day and all of this great stuff is free!