after the last issue of Che-Mun came out, the
Canadian Canoe Museum closed its doors in Peterborough.
shocking situation continues and the famed repository of
so much of Canada’s paddling history is struggling to
get its financial house in order and re-open again. The
CCM who received millions in grant and sponsor money at
the start, have done a superb job in creating a great
looking destination but something isn’t working
the latest word in January from the Board - “Much has
been done in restructuring the Museum since it closed
last October, and in developing a plan for financial
viability. The next several weeks will see intense work
toward implementing the plan. The reopening of the
Museum will depend upon the success of this work. There
will be public announcements at significant stages along
the road. Watch the Canoe Museum website at
for further information as it is available. And thank
you for your support.”
came across a lovely little Web site on a cross country
trip by a pair of young Scots, Abigail and Duncan
Thomson from Edinburgh who, with little canoeing
experience, have made their way half way across the
continent and are overwintering before starting up again
name of their site –
www.canadabyland.org – should be familiar, it was
the phrase used by countryman Alexander Mackenzie upon
reaching the ocean near Bella Coola in 1789.
wrote in an e-mail to Che-Mun, “Before we came to
Canada we had office jobs in Edinburgh, UK. Duncan (age
31) was a mathematical programmer for a small company
making navigation software for marine vessels, and Abi
(age 30) having just finished a degree worked in a bank.
Both of us are now unemployed. We're supporting
ourselves by renting out our apartment in Edinburgh
through a letting agency. We don't know what we'll do
if/when we reach the Pacific, but for the time being,
we're happily spending winter in a small rented
apartment in La Ronge: Abi and Duncan Thomson, P.O. Box
263, La Ronge SK, S0J 1L0.
year's plans are to leave from La Ronge as soon as Lac
La Ronge's ice recedes (mid May to early June is the
locals' prediction), rejoin the Churchill and over the
Methye Portage. Then to Fort Chip, Peace River and the
Fraser.” We sent them a bunch of back issues to give
them some canoe-based winter reading.
new film, television and media development fund is
providing seven Nunavut production companies with a
total of $500,000 to kick start their film or video
projects. Ann Hanson’s Nuna Media is to receive $41,000,
money Hanson said will make it easier to find more
financing for her ambitious $7.5-million IMAX project
called “Inuit - the People.” Based on Inuit
legend, the 45-minute film will explore the traditional
Inuit view of animals and the environment.
Drumsong Communications, a joint-venture between
filmmaker John Houston and Rankin Inlet’s Natsiq
Productions, receives $100,000 for its project, “Kiviu’s
money will allow Drumsong to move ahead immediately with
research on the legendary Inuit epic hero who is called,
in various dialects, Kiviu, Kiviuk, Qiviuq, Qooqa or
plans to start gathering stories of Kiviu from elders
across the North – many of whom are very advanced in
largest film development award, for an amount of
$200,000, goes to Igloolik Isuma Productions for its
upcoming multi-million-dollar production, “The Journals
of Knud Rasmussen,” and an Igloolik man, Ava.
Rasmussen, the noted polar explorer and anthropologist,
was born in Ilulissat and grew up in Greenland, where he
learned kayaking and dogteaming. In 1910 Rasmussen and
fellow explorer Peter Freuchen established a trading
post in northern Greenland.
1921 to 1924, Rasmussen embarked on his Fifth Thule
Expedition, travelling from Greenland throughout the
eastern Arctic to collect and record Inuit songs and
legends. The full-length docu-drama on Rasmussen is due
to attract interest thanks to the success of the
come from Germany, Japan and the USA to catch lunkers,
bask in the glow of the aurora, dip a toe in the Arctic
Ocean or run the rapids at Fort Smith. In 2002, the NWT
drew 32,833 intrepid tourists.
came by plane, most drove a camper or car. They spent
almost $40 million. Business travellers spent another
$25 million. Together, they supported 822 full-time
by Raven Tours' Bill Tait, the Japanese aurora viewing
business rebounded from the slump of the previous year.
About 14,000 Japanese visited Yellowknife and the NWT
during the 2002-2003 season. The season before, the
number of Japanese tourists to Yellowknife plummeted to
about 9,000 because of fears related to the Sept. 11,
2001 terrorist attack.
According to Fort Simpson's Ted Grant, the Nahanni can
usually count on 1,300 people annually but last season
the numbers dwindled to 750. About 35 per cent of
Grant's customers are from outside of Canada and 15 per
cent are from Europe. NWT Arctic Tourism is working with
airlines which fly from Frankfurt to Whitehorse to sell
tourists on a side trip to Fort Simpson or Yellowknife.
sled mashers in Churchill, Manitoba and Arviat, Nunavut
are organizing a long-distance dog-sled race they hope
will complement the North's great sled races. The race
will follow an historic fur-trade run between the two
communities along the western coast of Hudson Bay.
Daley, who runs an outfitting company in Churchill,
calls the race "The Hudson's Bay Quest." He says he
wants to see it run from Churchill to Arviat one year,
and reversed the next. Organizers are hoping the first
race will be held in March and will join the ranks of
other great northern races, such as the Iditarod in
Alaska, or the Yukon Quest\
going to have it as a real freighter race where you have
to carry all your gear with you, like you had to in the
fur trade." Daley says the contestants will probably
follow the bombardier trail between the two communities,
a distance of more than 200 km.
least a dozen teams have already signed up.