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Thread: 2018 WCHA Assembly- Ontario

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    On the Great Ouse at St Ives

    Default 2018 WCHA Assembly- Ontario

    This years Wooden Canoe Heritage Assembly (WCHA) was being held at Trent University Peterborough Ontario. The theme for the year was to be The Chestnut Canoe Company of Fredericton New Brunswick. I paddle a wood/canvas Chestnut Playmate so had a vested interest. I run the WCHA in the UK so was asked to give a a couple of presentations to the assembled masses. My theme was the story of a pair of Chestnut sister canoes in the UK ( one owned by me and the other Sam Browning), I was also presenting about paddling in the UK generally. Graham Warren (Moosehead) was also over from the UK too and was giving presentations on paddles and some of the oldest canoes found in the UK & Europe. I believe there were about 225 people present for the Assembly.

    The Assembly has various presentations going on during the day including canoe repair and re-canvassing, paddle making, paddling classes, bannock making, and naturally displays and of and talks about Chestnut canoes which were on display. Becky Mason came along and gave paddling masterclass along with an evening presentation about being Bill Masons daughter. Reid her husband gave a talk about Ken Buck who was the film maker who worked with Bill Mason for many years. There was an entertaining presentation from Hap Wilson (look him up) and the author of the latest book out about Tom Thomson "Tom Thomsons Last Bonfire" author Geoff Taylor. This looks to be a great read if you can buy it online. Makes you ask the question "Just what would you do if one of your paddling partners pegs it whilst you are out on a multi-day trip miles from anywhere? The thought was to just cut a finger off and bring it back and dispose of the rest of the body as you have enough to portage anyway!

    The Assembly started Tuesday and wound up on Saturday evening. The highlight of the Saturday afternoon was the auction. This year the star item was a newly built replica Chestnut Prospector which was finished to superb standard.

    We had a great time. I had arranged for Wendy Kimpel to make me some pack baskets which are beautiful. I also hooked up with John bell of Redtail Paddles who is an Ontario based paddle maker. We came home with three of his paddles; a black burnt ask ottertail. a black walnut ottertail and a loon engraved cherry ottertail for Angelika. Fantastic paddles. Less than £70 each.

    Here are photos of the Assembly and canoe stuff in general. Wipe the dribble off your keyboard/screen occasionally as I think we have a degree of canoe porn here!

    fullsizeoutput_2521 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2523 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Tiger maple!

    fullsizeoutput_2524 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr://

    fullsizeoutput_2525 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2526 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Not tiger maple!

    fullsizeoutput_2527 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Roger Young and his newly restored sailing canoe

    fullsizeoutput_21dd by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2529 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_252b by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_252c by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_252d by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    This canoe had some appeal to me..

    fullsizeoutput_2530 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2532 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    More Chestnuts than I have ever seen in one place

    fullsizeoutput_2533 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2534 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr


    fullsizeoutput_2438 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Graham Warren talking canoes & paddles

    fullsizeoutput_243c by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2538 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Interesting artwork

    fullsizeoutput_253b by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    People do use tractor paint on their canoes!

    fullsizeoutput_253c by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    A Chestnut Playmate needing a bit of TLC

    fullsizeoutput_2278 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Paddle making by the Canadian Canoe Museum staff/volunteers

    fullsizeoutput_244a by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_244f by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Perfect paintwork

    fullsizeoutput_253d by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Becky Mason in action

    fullsizeoutput_253f by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    She paddles a red canoe...naturally

    fullsizeoutput_2541 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2542 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2472 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    http:/fullsizeoutput_2544 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr/

    My Wendy Kimpel pack baskets and coolies

    37340885_10216502886027205_7887953888622411776_n by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    Paddles, paddles, paddles...

    fullsizeoutput_2250 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    fullsizeoutput_2322 by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    37669718_10216529171484325_592431124337131520_n by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    37607862_10216529171804333_4452843984494002176_n by Nick Dennis, on Flickr

    We had a great time meeting old friends and making new. The new Chestnut Prospector which would retail at c $6000 CAN sold at auction for $2650 to the guy behind me. When I went to pay for my bits I was presented with a bill for $2700 as they thought it was me who bid; my card was 3 his 37 and he had his card folded. I would have purchased the canoe but it was a bit more than the cabin and hold baggage allowance. A Peterborough wide board canoe sold for $25. We were pretty close to our allowance anyway with stuff we had already purchased

    Next year the Assembly moves back to Paul Smiths College in the Adirondacks for its 40th Anniversary; well worth a visit if you are in that area.
    Get Paddling!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    So glad i got up early today what a great set of pictures to start my day,superb.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    I'll get there one day...…


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Wow, you were really in your element there. Just look at those canoes!

    Really like the paddles too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Wow .love the pack baskets, and the paddles,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Journal Entries


    Lovely canoes and pack baskets. I’ve been tempted by a pack basket on occasion but like the temptation of a wood canvas canoe I’ve so far resisted due to my rough treatment of gear.

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