Your Journey: Home » Stories » Impact » Local historian and avid canoeist Shelagh Grant remembered with a $250,000 gift to the new Canadian Canoe Museum

Local historian and avid canoeist Shelagh Grant remembered with a $250,000 gift to the new Canadian Canoe Museum


Shelagh and Jon Grant riding the rapids together on one of their many canoe trips.
Shelagh and Jon Grant riding the rapids together on one of their many canoe trips. (Photo by David Goslin)

The Canadian Canoe Museum’s (CCM) new museum capital campaign has received a significant boost with a $250,000 gift from a local family. The gift celebrates the legacy of the late Shelagh Grant, a 25-year volunteer and member, and the Grant family’s involvement with the Museum since its inception. The Grant family’s gift will be recognized in the Loft of the new museum, a central community gathering space on the second floor just outside the Knowledge and Research Centre in the Atrium.

Shelagh Grant, who passed away in 2020, is remembered fondly for her love of the North and passion for canoeing. Shelagh was an internationally acclaimed expert, historian and author on the Arctic, and with her husband Jon, she paddled many of Canada’s northern rivers together.

“The Grant family honours Shelagh Grant’s love of the North, its land, peoples, rivers, and rapids with this $250,000 gift. Shelagh’s vision and committee work helped to guide The Canadian Canoe Museum in its early stages,” says her husband, Jon Grant. “This gift recognizes the canoe as a unifying legacy, from the First People’s travel to today’s recreation, which is an important part of our rich and unique heritage.”

In the 1980s, through her work as an adjunct professor of Canadian Studies at Trent University, Shelagh became part of an instrumental Advisory Committee that helped establish the CCM and bring Kirk Wipper’s Kanawa canoe collection to Peterborough.

Over the years, Shelagh and her husband Jon Grant, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quaker Oats Company of Canada Ltd., continued to support the CCM, with Jon also serving on the Museum’s Board of Directors.

Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast are engaged and giving to the campaign – but to see such strong local support here in our community is heartening. Each donation, from $25 to significant gifts like the Grant family’s, is helping to build a new cultural destination on the waterfront that will house our world-class collection and award-winning educational programs all in one place. These donations allow us to continue inspiring Canada by canoe – from right here in Peterborough,” shares Kevin Malone, Campaign Chair.

The CCM has raised 93 per cent of the $40 million capital costs for the new museum, which is scheduled to open next summer. The community is invited to donate to the new museum or to support the move of more than 600 canoes and kayaks, and small artifacts. To learn more, visit

Those interested in legacy giving are encouraged to contact Kate Kennington, Development Officer, at [email protected].

For the Media

For further information and media requests

Rachelia Giardino
Marketing and Social Media Specialist
[email protected]

Press Release & Photos

A PDF of the press release is available here.

Images of the current museum and new museum renders are available in our digital Media Kit.

About The Canadian Canoe Museum

With a world-class collection as a catalyst, The Canadian Canoe Museum inspires connection, curiosity and new understanding. In partnership with individuals, groups and communities – locally, provincially and nationally – we work to experience and explore all that our collection can inspire. This sees students opening their minds in our galleries; community members connecting through artisanry; people of all ages getting on the water and learning to paddle; and exhibitions and events that spark conversation and collaboration.

About the New Museum

The Canadian Canoe Museum is creating a new cultural destination that will inspire visitors to learn about Canada’s collective history and reinforce our connections to land, water and one another – all through the unique lens of the iconic canoe. Located on a five-acre site at the Little Lake waterfront in Peterborough, the Museum’s new home is expected to open in the summer of 2023.

CCM Logo White

The Canadian Canoe Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and the traditional territory covered by the Williams Treaties First Nations. The Canadian Canoe Museum also recognizes the contributions of Indigenous Peoples including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, in shaping this community and country as a whole.

As an organization that stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks & paddled watercraft, we will honour and share the cultural histories and stories within the collection in all that we do.

Register for our Newsletter

Stay up to date on events, exhibits and other news through our monthly newsletter.

2077 Ashburnham Dr
Peterborough, ON
K9L 1P8

Phone: 705-748-9153

Email: [email protected]


Begin Your Adventure


Supported in part by:

Canadian Government logo
Weston Family Foundation logo
City of Peterborough logo
Peterborough County logo
Ontario Government logo