Sunday, March 18, 2012

Omer Beaver Canoe Pic Ads

Roots Canada has an small album of pics taken in Algonquin park. It's obviously a staged photo shoot to market their products, but it also features what looks to be an authentic Beaver Canoe. Beaver Canoes was the short-lived business enterprise between the clothing retailer and legendary Algonquin guide & paddler, Omer Stringer. My understanding is that these wood canvas canoes were based on a modified Chestnut Chum form built to Omer's specifications. Today the brand lives on only in a few surviving canoes and a huge retail brand of sweaters, T-shirts, and other apparel.

Omer paddling one of his Beaver Canoes

Roots ad photoshoot

The cynic in me totally questions the fashion choices of the models in the pics...leather jackets and backpacks to go paddling in Algonquin? But at least it's not as bad as this pic...some type of wacky Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld monstrosity...


Mike said...

Great article as always....Beaver Canoes was a short lived eneterprise as far as the canoes went....I believe most built were used as in-store promotions....there were two models offered:

Beaver Canoe Models
Length Beam Depth
15' 32½" 14"
16' 35½" 14"

The 15 fter certainly based on Chum....the 16 fter on Pal....both Chum & Pal were Chestnut Pleasure models....

I believe Dan Gibson, Jr. (son of of Dan Gibson of 'Solitudes' fame) was the main builder for Beaver Canoes....of the actual Beaver canoes....

Sadly the company sold more clothing than canoes....the Beaver Canoe logo was apparently copyrighted in 1983. This symbol was originally produced for corporate use as well as a brand logo for Beaver Canoe Corporation products. Following the demise of the Beaver Canoe retail chain, the logo was re-acquired by Roots Canada, one of the original start-up partners. And as pointed out has been 're-introduced' by Roots recently....

Funny thing is that most folks don't know who Omer Stringer was....I've mentioned his name to folks at various shows when talking about the style of paddling he known to many as Canadian Style paddling....or 'Omering' in the USA....and I usually get a blank look when I mention Omer's name from the general public....until I ask if anyone remembers the Beaver Canoe Co. sweatshirts....that the logo stated 'built by Omer Stringer'.

Nothing feels like a cedar-strip canvas canoe - Omer Stringer, a confirmed traditionalist

Canoes don’t tip, people just fall out of them. – Omer Stringer

Lee said...

I always wear designer clothing into the bush...Never know who your gonna see! haha

That last pic is pretty sweet actually!

Anonymous said...

Its always great to see an article and reference to Omer Stringer and the Beaver Canoe. I am the proud owner of one of Omer's Beaver Canoes (and two of his paddles) which graced the Edmonton, Ab. store. The canoe has since visited many of the other great Canadian provinces and paddled in many of their associated lakes and rivers. The canoe is still our favourite watercraft and now enjoys exploring the waterways of Illinois. The Beaver Canoe is one of two cedar canvas canoes we own which have become family heirlooms and will be passed down to our children. Safe paddling. Kirk


Omer had been making canoes and paddles long before meeting up with business partners. It was by no means short-lived.

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