14 unique paddles and a Walter Walker cedar-strip canoe up for auction at Campfires & Cocktails – May 4

Paddles that have been painted, carved and adorned by distinguished Canadians and local artists, along with a classic cedar-strip canoe built by the renowned Walter Walker, will be part of a live auction at The Canadian Canoe Museum’s Campfires & Cocktails event on May 4.

Dr. Roberta Bondar, Peter Mansbridge and Cynthia Dale, Peer Christensen, and John Climenhage, are among those who have created paddles in support of this casual, camp-inspired event. These paddles, along with the 16-foot classic canoe, which includes a pair of hand-carved cherry paddles, will be auctioned by special guest Susan Dunkley.

Campfires & Cocktails will see guests explore the museum’s galleries as they enjoy campfire-inspired cuisine prepared by local culinary experts, and cocktails. Meanwhile, the sensational sound of the Dixie Hicks, a local country-folk-pop trio featuring Kate Brioux, Melissa Payne and Kate Suhr, will rival only the rush of the museum’s waterfall.

“This truly unique event will have many highlights, not the least of which will be the live auction. Like each of the artifacts in the museum’s world-class collection, the one-of-a-kind pieces up for auction carry incredible stories,” says Caroline Anderson, Annual Giving Co-ordinator.

“Each of the individuals who created a paddle did so with great care and consideration and they’re exquisite works of art. Dr. Bondar’s paddle features one of her photographs, while Peter Mansbridge and Cynthia Dale painted a striking sunset sky. Meanwhile, Tia Cavanagh, a multi-disciplinary Indigenous artist, painted the full paddle with a white design on a black background to represent stars in the night sky. We saw so much creativity from those we approached and some, like David Hickey and Randall Knott, even decided to do carvings on their paddles. The museum is so grateful for these incredible contributions.”

Paddles were generously created and donated by: Robert Atyeo, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Tia Cavanagh, John Climenhage, Peer Christensen, Beth Fisher, Jeannie Guillet, David Hickey, Robyn Jenkins, Jenny Kastner, Randall Knott, Peter Mansbridge and Cynthia Dale, Renee O’Connor, and Joe Stable.

The classic canoe, donated to the museum by supporter and volunteer Nan Campbell, will be featured in the live auction, but bids by proxy will also be accepted. (See canoemuseum.ca/campfires-cocktails.) Walter Walker worked for the Peterborough Canoe Company for two decades and is remembered as a master in balancing quality and efficiency in his trade. 

Guests will be encouraged to channel their flannel as part of this casual camp-inspired event, hosted by the museum and organized by a group of dedicated community volunteers led by Jane Ulrich. Funds raised will support educational and public programs offered at the museum.

Tickets are $75 per person and are available now for this new opportunity to experience the museum’s world-class collection. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis via canoemuseum.ca/campfires-cocktails.