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Author celebrates the canoe in Nelson Library presentation

By Contributor
April 15th, 2015

The craft that transported Canada’s earliest peoples and later carried European explorers is beloved today as a means to experience the great outdoors.

Canoe expert Sanford Osler celebrates this iconic vessel in his book Canoe Crossings: Understanding the Craft that Helped Shape British Columbia. Osler offers a colourful look at the cultural history of the canoe in a free talk and slideshow at the Nelson Library on Thursday, May 7th at 7 p.m.
Released in 2014 by Heritage House, Canoe Crossings contains a foreword by Shelagh Rogers and more than 50 colour photographs. Osler traces the influence of various types of canoes (including kayaks and dragon boats) through its uses in exploration, hunting and fishing, racing, war, and even healing.

He explores the work of innovators and designers, and celebrates the beauty of the craft and the waterways it travels.
“Canada is a nation of rivers and therefore a nation of canoes, or so the saying goes,” says Dr. James Raffan, author and Director of Development at The Canadian Canoe Museum.

“But Sanford Osler reminds us that Canada is also a coastal nation and that canoe culture is as rich, or richer, in British Columbia, particularly with the resurgence of tribal journeys, as it is anywhere else in the country.”
Nelson has a long history with the canoe, from our First Nations people to our growing legion of recreational paddling enthusiasts. Nelson’s own canoe maker, Hellman Canoe & Kayak, has a spot in Osler’s book.

Anyone who has ever dipped a paddle — or thought about it — will enjoy this presentation, which is sponsored by the Kootenay Library Federation and the Nelson Public Library.


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