On Sunday June 25, 2017 we were part of the committee that helped put 150 canoes in ring on Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park on the rainiest day. While we couldn’t pick the weather, I don’t think the sun would have mattered to the mood, as the excitement was building in the crowds and organizers. This was a epic and historic event, most likely for many of us something we will only experience once in our lifetimes. We were so happy to have been included in this event, to have our kids there with us and more so to have our own daughter design the paddle flag. So very proud, you can visit her site at to check out her page. http://www.wildcanoes.ca and you can see her video of the event below.
I didn’t get many pictures as my roll was to hand out swag bags and participant t shirts at the alternate parking location on Smoke Lake. When the registration crew finally headed over to join in with the event, we all could not begin to believe the sight on Canoe Lake, our event that we had worked so hard on form right before our eyes.
Canoes of all sizes, colors, models and materials gathered around the Portage Store docks. Tarps covered our speakers system while a dripping park superintendent Dave Coulas and The Happy Camper, Kevin Callan spoke. Our own David Lee led the procession and gathered everyone around the Voyageur canoe (thank you Algonquin Outfitters).
Rain, speeches, prizes, decorated canoes and people, more rain before the armada of canoes paddled out a short distance to form a ring, sing O Canada and do an official count (twice). I wish I could explain the feeling I had and probably many others experienced while floating on a lake of significance in Ontario’s oldest provincial park singing O’Canada with 150 canoes and more than 300 people, truly a priceless experience.
While the event has come and gone, there are still prizes to be won online, you can still donate to project Canoe https://canoe.org/ to help get youth out on an actual canoe trip to Algonquin Park. Keep an eye on the 150for150 facebook page for up to date info including our donation amount end tally.
Thank you friends, your support and faces in the crowd, the enthusiastic smiles and pure enjoyment of the event means so much to us. The people we met, the friends we have made along this long planning journey will not soon be forgotten. Many of you have become like family to us, we look forward to many more trips with you all in the future and the campfires we will share.
Thank you to our sponsors who generously donated, our supporters who showed up on the gloomy rainy day, our participants that eagerly snapped up tickets and believed we could pull this off and lastly our canoe crew, whom worked there butts off to make it all come together.
Paddles up! ~marian