As you many know one of the great Canadian canoe lovers, Kirk Wipper died back on March 18th of this year.
If you never had the pleasure of meeting this great man you really missed out. He was best known for his massive 600 piece collection of canoes and kayaks which went on to form the Canadian Canoe Museum but he was also one of the original founders of Paddle Canada back in the day.
To help celebrate his life, the Canadian Canoe Museum will be hosting a public memorial on May 1. In a lead up to the memorial, friends of the Wipper family are organizing an event called the Wipper Portage.
They are planning to portage a canoe from Hart House at University of Toronto (where he taught for many years) 130 kilometres all the way to the museum in Peterborough.
The portage has been divided into 13, 10km sections and volunteers will be asked to portage the canoe smaller 500 meter chunks.
The portage starts on Thursday, April 28 with plans to arrive in Peterborough on May 1 just in time for the memorial.
If you want to get involved visit the Kirk Wipper website for more info.
The Wipper Portage is something that I would absolutely love to participate in and I'm disappointed that I'm going to be out of town for both the portage and the memorial.
Back in the mid 90's when I used to work in the head office of Paddle Canada, I enjoyed when Kirk stopped in before board meetings to say hi. He was a really interesting guy and always had a great story to tell. I will always remember the private tour he once gave me when I visited his museum around that time and I was amazed that he knew every boat in the collection including where he picked it up and why it captured his imagination.
More info: kirkwipper.ca