Canadian Canoe
Credit: Kevin Callan

Early this past spring, I had to pack-up and leave a canoe trip with a group of students-at-risk early so I could make it to a government meeting.

I had to be talked into going. The two other trip leaders were sick—one with an infected leg and the other with nasty pink eye. I also had to paddle a good chunk of open water solo in the early morning light and then drive a tad over the speed limit to get to the meeting on time.

When I arrived, I smelled of woodsmoke and sweat. Squashed mosquitoes were dried and curled up on the brim of my hat. All the other participants were wearing ties and fancy blouses. I introduced myself by telling what song I had in my head all morning while paddling out: “It’s raining men, halleluiah, it’s raining men.” Not sure why I had that particular song in my head—but mentioning it to the group sure gave me an odd introduction.

Ontario Tourism hosted the meeting at the Canadian Canoe Museum. The purpose of the assembly was for a bunch of like-minded people—mostly a who’s who in the paddling community—to come up with ideas to promote Canada’s canoe culture for our country’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017. I was honoured to be asked and I gave some suggestions. We all did.

Well, here is the first out of the gate—a series of videos celebrating Canada’s canoe culture, filmed by legendary Goh Iromoto:



Can’t wait to see what else is in store. Happy birthday Canada.