Two Guest Blog Posts for Ontario Travel


We wrote two guest blog posts for Ontario Travel this month who's theme was "Art and the Outdoors". Check out sculptures that are carved out of dying trees and preserved for visitors to Orangeville, Ontario to see.


Read about Tom Thomson and various spots around Ontario that were historical or influential to this famous Canadian artist.

Trail Swag Reports: 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Canoeing Symposium


The host, David Bain welcomed everyone to a sold-out 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Canoeing Symposium at the Princess Twin Theatre in Waterloo.


Mike Kipp from Wilderness Paddle Works proudly displayed his handcrafted paddles.


There were lots of booths and sponsors including Treks in the Wild, Outdoor Adventures Canada, and the Friends of Killarney selling their Canoe Guides to help with trip planning.


Jeff's Map wasn't the tastiest item at the concession stand, but Jeff was more than happy to chat about his maps and canoe tripping.


The first speaker, Jeffrey McMurtrie, creator of Jeff's Map (read our interview with him), spoke to the various iterations of his map over the years. Due to frustrations with trying to follow a map to find portages and camp sites during a camping trip in Algonquin Park (Even the chief naturalist told him that their map was "A work of art, and not a map"), Jeffrey decided to create his own map. It was interesting to hear (and see) all of the changes over the years.


The second speaker was "Uncle" Phil Cotton who spoke about The Wabakimi Project who created a map and has helped with endless amounts of maintenance over the years to Wabakimi Park (Ontario's second largest Provincial Park). He mentioned how few the visitors are when recounting a recent trip where he didn't meet another canoeist until Day 45 of his trip.


He urged people to put Wabakimi on their 'bucket list' of places to visit, and enjoy the boreal forest and numerous excellent places to canoe.


Linda Besner and Leigh Kotsilidis shared details of their yearly (June 13th to 23rd this year) poetry and music tour which is done by canoe. Fish Quill Poetry Boat, paddles from small town to town to play at historic landmarks and to share in the experience of art and poetry in addition to inviting local artists to take part as well.


Abigail Lapell, one of Fish Quill Poetry Boat's past musician's played two live songs, and Linda as well as Leigh read a few lovely poems.


Mark from Mark's Algonquin Park Sampler (also known as Mark in the Park) couldn't wait to get back out to paddle in Algonquin. He's visited the park over 110 times over the course of 14 years and compiled numerous trip logs on his website. We were treated to a slideshow of some of his photos over the years. Be sure to visit his website for a wealth of information on Algonquin!


Mike Monaghan showcased his canoeing, kayaking and camping photos both downstairs in the theatre and during his presentation. 


Chris Mayne spoke about the One Kids Place Children's Treatment Centre photo book which is a Kiwanis fundraising project while sharing his own photos as well as other's that have contributed to the project.


The legend himself, Hap Wilson gave us a pictorial history of his environmentalism, and canoe trips over the years. Stories from exploring Temagami, to taking part in the 1989 blockades, to the books that he has written were all wonderfully told. Hap even mentioned that his Missinaibi book may have helped prevent further deaths from occurring in the treacherous waters in that area.


Preston, from The Portageur, who was making note of "Bucket List" suggestions from Hap.


James brought one of the canoes that was "hot off the press" from HandCrafted Canoes from Breslau, Ontario. It was quite the showpiece with lots of people admiring the handiwork that went into it.

Algonquin Outfitters: Algonquin Art Contest Winners

Algonquin Outfitters announced their Algonquin Art Contest Winners.

"In 1912 Tom Thomson stepped off the train an into Algonquin Park to start his iconic journey to capture the essence of Algonquin.  100 years later we're still inspired by the beauty of the landscape, wildlife and even textures and colours the park offers up.  In the fall of 2012 we announced our first Algonquin Art Contest.  Our plan was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tom Thomson first stepping foot in Algonquin Park to start his iconic painting journey.  By the end of the contest we had accumulated 90 entries in our contest across our Professional, Amateur and Child categories."

Congratulations to the winners, and 17 Honourable Mentions have also be announced.

Professional Category Winner:  Catherine Luce from Huntsville, Ontario
Professional Category Winner:  Catherine Luce from Huntsville, Ontario
Amateur Category Winner:  Laurie Benson from Cannington, Ontario

Amateur Category Winner:  Laurie Benson from Cannington, Ontario

Child Category Winner: Callia Silverton from Toronto, Ontario

Child Category Winner: Callia Silverton from Toronto, Ontario