In the spring of 2014 the museum revealed its newest exhibit called “Can I Canoe You Up the River? The Story of Paddling and Romance” which as the curator Jeremy Ward explained at the opening “celebrates canoes, courtship, romance, growing independence of young women, and youth at the dawn of the 20th century.” Although he admits these themes and sentiments are not locked in time, but have evolved over the years, as shown by the #CanoeLove display. On social media, people are welcomed to share their ‘canoelove’ stories, images, or videos and are projected in the museum for all to see. Several stories were submitted, showing proposals, weddings, adventures, family bonding, and plenty of other memories built on this beautiful vessel.

While many memories are created paddling, some are also built off water in places like the Museum. Jenn and Ray McCullough, one of the winners of the #CanoeLove contest, shared that they too, just like several others, have been to the Canoe Museum for dates throughout their relationship. You can learn a lot about your partner and your shared interest as you walk through the Museum. If you’re on a first date don’t worry, our collection offers plenty of conversation starters on a range of topics such as art, adventure, crafting, fashion, history, and much more. 

I’ll also let you in on a little secret. The Museum has also created some romantic stories of its own. Many who have been involved with the Museum have their own little tales of meeting someone special during their time here. There is just something about this place—whether it is the soothing sounds of the waterfall creating that perfect moment, the way the lighting hits them just right, perhaps the way they interact with visitors makes you smile or the impulse to go adventuring on the water together. And yes, that would be my own experience. 

However, the storis and the exhibit are not over! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner why not make more memories? As much as we wish we could send you all on one of those romantic outings paddling up the river to chat with your date and perhaps do a little canoedling— simply put, we live in Canada. Its winter and the waterways are freezing over. Instead why not have “A Date Night” at the museum? On February 5th and 12th the Museum will be offering a packaged deal where you and your partner will get the chance to tour the galleries, carve a one of a kind piece of art, and walk away with a photograph keep sake. 

Spend your time perusing through the galleries learning about the history canoes and then later on try your hand at being an artisan by taking part in a traditional Inuit craft. Soapstone is a soft metamorphic rock that can be found in the North of Canada and was used traditionally to make oil lamps and small keepsakes. You too will get the chance to form something out of this stone! All the while, enjoying goodies from Black Honey Coffee House and refreshments from Publican House Brewery. So come join us for a night of fun and laughter and perhaps I’ll share more of my own tale.


Enjoyed this blog post? Let us know in the comments below! Read through past blog entries for even more informative articles from staff and volunteers at the museum.