It’s springtime here in Peterborough, Ontario and although this may seem hard to believe right now with most of the ground still covered in large snowbanks – it’s here. Pretty soon we’ll be enjoying watching the flowers bloom, the relief of ditching the extra winter layers, and for many the joys of dipping our paddles again. Because the snow (hopefully) will be melted sooner rather than later, it’s a great time to start planning for your spring.spring

Here are 5 cool things to do this spring:

1. Can I canoe you up the river? Plan a visit to the Museum to check out the newest exhibition: Can I Canoe You Up the River? The Story of Paddling and Romance. Exhibition opening is April 23, 2014 at 7:00pm. Got a canoe romance story? Stay tuned for a contest coming soon (April)!

Canoes and Romance

From a thousand sentimental valentines, to beautifully-varnished courting canoes, to clever songs that explore just how many things can be rhymed with ‘canoe’, canoes and romance go together like, well, a horse and carriage.

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In the early years of the twentieth century, on countless summer evenings across North America, the waterways were full of young men and women chatting, courting, paddling, and sometimes canoedling as they sought a little quiet time together afloat. The Canadian Canoe Museum will explore this engaging topic in its newest exhibition.

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2. Take a fun adult workshop at the Museum! Try your hand at one of the Canoe Museum’s great line-up of hands-on workshops, including carving a kayak paddle, building a wanigan and sewing a tumpline, or making a wampum bracelet.

Happy wanigan builder

Build a wanigan! A wanigan is a wooden box that holds kitchen supplies on a canoe trip. Build this unique piece of camping equipment with the help of knowledgeable instructors. Learn the basics of harness making and sew your own tumpline. Customize your wanigan with a Checkers or Backgammon board. All materials included. This workshop is a multi-disciplinary blend of woodworking and leatherworking.


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Make a wampum bracelet! New for 2014! In this half-day workshop, you’ll make a gorgeous three row bracelet. Colours of your choice. High-quality leather and beads. All materials included. Learn from an expert instructor and go home wearing your beautiful bracelet!

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Carve your own Greenland-style kayak paddle! Create your own custom carved and sanded paddle. Learn to use traditional hand tools with the help of supportive, expert instructors.All materials included.

3. Want a GREAT discount on your workshop? Become a Museum member. As a member you have the unique opportunity to enhance your Canoe Museum experience. Members not only get unlimited FREE admission to the Museum and great discounts on adult workshops and kids camps, they also get connected and stay informed.

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Members get up-to-the-minute Museum news about exhibitions, events, programs, and special offers. Want more? Members play a key role in helping to sustain this national museum while enjoying a deeper engagement with paddling and Canadian heritage and culture.


4. Mark your calendar for June 21, 2014 from 10:00am – 5:00pm. If you build, restore, use, own, or want to learn more about small watercraft, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to be surrounded by fellow enthusiasts at the Small Craft Rendezvous.

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There will be live demonstrations, workshops, vendors, and special guest speakers. Exhibits will be set up both outside in the Museum’s parking lot and inside the Museum as well. More info: [email protected].


5. Exercise your power – donate (no situps, running, or squats required)! The Canadian Canoe Museum is the only museum in the country devoted solely to collecting and exhibiting canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft. Your support helps safeguard this rich heritage, present special exhibitions like Can I Canoe You Up the River? The Story of Paddling and Romance, and offer exciting educational and hands-on programs for both adults and children year round like a great line-up of canoe-focused day camps and an overnight tripping camp for kids. You make it all happen!

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I have no idea why. Ask Beth, who can also sign you up to be a happy wanigan-buidler or pack basket... wearer.

Dusk. Golden light. Time to turn around.

Happy Spring!