Learning Resources

At-home printables, activities, resources and more!

The Canadian Canoe Museum is continuing to inspire connection, curiosity, and new understandings … from home!

We are working to bring the museum to you virtually through engaging content, based on our world-class collection, for adventurers and paddlers of all ages – including educational activities, lectures, stories, and more. CCM From Home is full of things to do from home, with activities and content to engage you in learning and play, from crafting your own cutout canoe to behind-the-scenes videos with our Curator. Visit this page often (or sign up for our newsletter below) as we’ll be adding more activities and resources to it on an ongoing basis!

Learn & Play

Canoe & Kayak Cut Outs

If you’ve visited the museum with children, or stopped by our booth at a trade show or outreach event, you’ve likely seen our popular Canoe (and Kayak!) Cut Outs. These printable canoe cut outs allow you and your family to colour and craft your very own miniature canoe or kayak, and are based on canoes and kayaks in our collection.

We encourage you to share your creations with us on social media (with the hashtag #CCMfromhome) as we are aiming to see just how connected by canoe we are! So far we’ve had entries from all over Canada, and around the world (Scotland, Argentina, USA, and more). 

Additional Resources

Canoe-Themed Postcards

Crack open a new box of crayons or markers, and sharpen those pencil crayons! We have two new colouring sheets based on canoe-themed postcards in our collection.These postcards come from one of our newer temporary exhibits, More Than Just Canoes, which highlights a collection of canoe-themed ephemera recently donated to the museum.

Printable Stick Puppets & DIY Shadow Puppet Theatre

Creating your own puppet and shadow theatre is a great way to spend an afternoon with the family, and so we are sharing our much-beloved puppets for you to make at home! You can choose to print out our pre-coloured puppets, or print out a blank template and colour your own. After your puppet is coloured in just the way you want it, see our instructions below for creating your own shadow puppet theatre using a variety of items you can find in your house.

Additional Resources

Discussion questions while crafting:

  • Where are these animals natural habitats? Where would I find a beaver, or a polar bear?
  • Imagine you are out on a canoe or kayak trip – what sights, sounds, and smells might you encounter on your journey? What animal friends may you pass by along the way?

Explore Shadow Puppetry Around the World!

Shadow Theatre, World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts
Learn the history of shadow theatre and the many cultures that practice this tradition all over the world.

Chinese Shadow Puppets: A Documentary
This 10-minute documentary explores the Chinese tradition of shadow puppetry.

Mouse and Cat – Chinese Shadow Puppetry
A short YouTube clip that tells the story of a mouse and cat with beautiful Chinese shadow puppets. You may be amazed by how intricate and detailed it is!


William & Mary Commanda’s Birchbark Canoes

In many Indigenous communities, the complex work of creating a new canoe was, and continues to be a powerful way to gather people together. Join Curator Jeremy Ward as he shares the stories behind William and Mary Commanda’s birchbark canoes.

Gordon Lightfoot’s Canary Yellow Canoe

In 1980, seasoned canoeist and famed Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was paddling his beloved canoe down the South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories with a small party of friends. Join Curator Jeremy Ward to hear how this canoe inspired Lightfoot’s song, Canary Yellow Canoe.

May Minto & Robert Bateman’s Canoe

The craftmanship of May Minto and the remarkable artistic expression of Robert Bateman represents a long partnership between artists and canoes. Join Curator Jeremy Ward as he shares how Minto and Bateman’s stories became intertwined through the creation of a customized canoe.

Connected by Canoe Mini-Documentary

The Connected by Canoe journey brought Canadians together to engage in a floating conversation about Canada’s future. The canoe is not only an important part of Canada’s past but our present and future as well. The canoe teaches us we are all “in the same boat” and by “pulling together,” Canadians of all backgrounds, regions and beliefs can build an equitable, sustainable and inclusive future for Canada.

A Quick Tour of the Back Building by Drone

Housed in an unassuming building in our parking lot, stacked high and in colourful, organized rows lives the majority of our collection of kayaks, canoes, and paddled watercraft (approximately 550), and small artifacts. Canoes and kayaks of every shape and size adorn the walls and rows of our collection centre, representing people, places, and cultures all over the world.

While this building is only open to the public on rare occasions, when it is, we enjoy the look of awe that washes over visitors faces when they enter this plain, industrial looking building and take in the magnitude of the collection for the first time!

Lecture: “Lands of Lost Borders: The Meaning of Exploration in a Modern, Mapped World” by author Kate Harris

Named by Canadian Geographic one of the country’s top modern-day explorers for journeys edging the limits of nations and prudence, multiple award-winning author and adventurer Kate Harris shares the story of her first book Lands of Lost Borders. Weaving adventure and deep reflection with the history of science and exploration, this national best-seller explores the nature of limits and the wildness of a world that, like the self and like the stars, can never be fully mapped. 

Kate Harris was named the 2019 Jack Matthews Fellow, as part of an ongoing partnership with The Canadian Canoe Museum, Lakefield College School, and Trent University.

National Council In Conversation With: Chuck Commanda, Birchbark Canoe Builder (Episode 1)

Around  2008, Chuck Commanda’s grandfather, William Commanda, asked if he might be interested in doing what he had done with his grandparents as a boy, back in his home community of Kitigan Zibi, north of Ottawa, and make a birchbark canoe. That was the beginning of something of a life transformation for the Canadian Canoe Museum National Councillor.

In Conversation with National Councillor: John B. Zoe, Tłįchǫ Knowledge Holder (Episode 2)

In this far-reaching conversation, we not only learn about John B. Zoe’s origins—how he evolved from being a stationary engineer looking after the boilers at Chief Jimmy Bruneau school in Rae-Edzo (Behchokǫ̀, since 2005), his hometown, to becoming the principal voice of his people in negotiations with the federal government that led to the creation of the Tłı̨chǫ Government—all the way through to how canoes were and are integrated into every aspect of Tłı̨chǫ life, politics and identity

Virtual Tour: Artisan & Industry Gallery

Why did the small town of Peterborough, Ontario become a wooden canoe building hub of world renown? What were the building techniques and innovations that drove the new leisure market for canoes? How did the factory change the canoe from its Indigenous and artisanal origins? Join Curator Jeremy Ward for a virtual tour of our Artisan and Industry gallery,


Library and Archives Canada Podcast: Canada’s Canoe Archives

“For many Canadians, paddling in a canoe serves as a refuge from our hectic day-to-day lives, and as a means of reconnecting with nature, family and friends. But thousands of years before European settlers arrived in what we now call Canada, the lakes and rivers served as vital trade routes for the Indigenous peoples here, with the canoe at the heart of that experience. In this episode, we pay a visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, and get a behind-the-scenes tour of its incredible canoe collection with curator Jeremy Ward.”

Stay Connected & Engage With Us On Social Media

Use the hashtag #CCMfromhome to share your thoughts and creations with us!