Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kirk Wipper Paddles On

The tight canoeing community here in Canada is saddened by the loss of one of this country's iconic characters - Kirk Wipper, who amongst other accomplishments in an amazing lifetime, collected hundreds of watercraft that eventually became the collection of the Canadian Canoe Museum. A touching tribute can be read on CCM's site, here.

I never met Kirk personally, but it was through his efforts that the Canoe Museum was founded and this where I learned the fun hobby of paddlemaking by taking a weekend course there back in '07. I recalled that while we were busy carving away on our shaving horses on the Saturday afternoon, Kirk swung by the museum and gazed down at us, the crowd of novice woodworkers. It was almost like a proud father watching his children learning a new skill. We all paused for a moment to listen to his words of encouragement and then he was off to tour the rest of collection with a friend.

The museum has really become of favourite place of mine and for someone who rarely likes to visit the same place twice, this says a lot about the beautiful collection they have on display. So from myself and any readers who appreciate this blog, I send a heartfelt thank you to the man who is responsible for preserving this vital part of Canadian culture.

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