Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture


Canexus CoverA group of paddlers who also taught at Queen’s University Faculty of Education were sitting around chatting about their various recent summer trips when the idea was hatched to have a conference which would explore aspects of the canoe in Canadian culture. And so was born the Canexus Conference, which happened in the fall of 1988. Some of the papers that were delivered at that conference were published in this book, which came out a year or so later, tastefully illustrated with evocative pencil sketches by Bill Mason.

Description: Resonant, reflective, a legacy of the Canadian canoeing experience — Canexus: The Canoe in Canadian Culture is a first. “This book is cause for celebration,” says Kanawa Canoe Museum founder Kirk Wipper, “because of the canoe, and because it is created by writers who are, themselves, enthusiastic paddlers.”

From “Canoe Sport” to “Canoe Irony” and finding “Motives for Mr. Canoehead,”Canexusopens doors to the primitive and explores the canoeing experience from an exciting variety of perspectives.

Travel with some of Canada’s best known canoeists to the mysterious Northwest Coast of BC, across constitutional waves on Meech Lake and into a landscape of the Canadian imagination. Hear great canoe stories, bake bannock, weather storms, ponder canoeing and gender roles. For all kinds of paddlers, and lovers of adventure and wilderness, Canexusgives the canoe its rightful place of prominence in Canadian culture.

With contributions by E.Y. Arima, Philip Chester, C.E.S. Franks, Shelagh Grant, Bob Henderson, Bruce Hodgins, Gwyneth Hoyle, William C. James, C. Fred Johnston, George Luste, Roderick A. Macdonald, Kenneth G. Roberts and Kirk Wipper.

“The writers in Canexus bring different perspectives & abilities to these essays, but all of them reinforce the idea of the canoe as an ancient, echoing symbol; one that can illuminate our place in the north like no other.”
— M.T. Kelly, Winner of the Governor General’s Award for Literature

“An intelligent person’s guide to the place of the canoe in the Canadian culture and psyche…exciting, like fast white water and spray in your face….”
–Fred Bodsworth

Read a sample and/or purchase e-book »


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