Giving Tuesday Peterborough


Canadian Canoe Museum

A day in the life…
As I make my way home after a “typical” day at the museum, I cannot help but reflect upon the amazing activities that took place there today.
No two days are alike at the museum, but they’re always abuzz as people of all ages connect with our collection, and with each other. Even after 16 years, I continue to be motivated by the work we do. I share with you here a few details of the day, and the incredible inspiration that comes with them.
Every day brings a new group of excited students engaged in experiential education; a new tour group in awe of the unique story that each canoe tells; and the friendly faces of the volunteers who support the work of the museum.
Small animal figurines positioned throughout the galleries greet me as I begin my morning. This can only mean that Kelly, the museum’s Program Coordinator, has been preparing for the kindergarten class that will arrive shortly to take part in our ‘Help Get Them Home’ program. Through a scavenger hunt, these students will learn about Canada’s wildlife, habitats and the needs of living things. Their role will be to return the ‘lost animals’ to their appropriate habitats. Educational programming is central to our mission, and through the lens that is the canoe, we make curriculum connections in the arts, science, mathematics, language, social studies, and Native Studies. We offer more than 30 educational opportunities and as an educator at heart, I couldn’t be more proud.
On my way out to a lunch meeting, I run into Ipie in the galleries. She is one of the museum’s talented volunteer artisans, who connects our visitors to the collection through her craft. Ipie is showing a young couple (visitors from out of town), how she makes mittens from recycled Hudson’s Bay blankets. Once a week, Ipie infuses our exhibit space with creativity and dedication not only to her “work,” but to the museum community as a whole. The mittens will make their way to our gift shop, where I have no doubt they will be a sought-after item. As I approached the Tumblehome Store and the front entrance, I join our volunteers in welcoming a tour group from Trent University.
Back in the office after lunch, I note some of our staff members looking ahead, and eagerly planning for our 2019 workshops, the upcoming summer camp season and the onboarding of new volunteers. Meanwhile, I see Liz, our Collections Assistant, working to complete our small artifact inventory. Our curatorial team is taking inventory of our artifacts – no small feat with more than 600 canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft and 400 small artifacts.
After a couple of team meetings, telephone calls and of course, time to work through an inbox brimming with e-mail, my workday winds down. I see that for our event staff, the work is just beginning. A local business had chosen to rent the museum’s space to host its client appreciation event. This is yet another way that community members connect with our world-class collection.
Reflecting on these moments, I am thankful for the Canadian Canoe Museum’s  volunteers, members, donors and visitors. It’s thanks to them (you!) that we can do what we do every day.
Between now and our move to the water’s edge in 2022, there will be many more days of engaging and educating youth, sharing the stories behind our artifacts and playing an active role in our community. Our core work continues, every day – in earnest.
Your investment in the museum this fall will ensure that the meaningful moments and the incredible inspiration that I’ve described, continue to be part of a “typical” day at The Canadian Canoe Museum.
Donate today and support the continued strength and sustainability of the museum.

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