Canoe built by Algonquin College students donated to Shaw Woods
Célina Ip / Daily Observer - A hand-crafted cedar strip canoe, built by Algonquin College carpentry students, was donated to the Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre. This past summer, the canoe had been gifted to the college's former board of governor Fred Blackstein who decided to bestow it upon Shaw Woods. The canoe now sits in its permanent place on the wall of the shanty at Shaw Woods. On Nov. 12, representatives from Shaw Woods, Algonquin College and Algonquins of Pikwakanagan came together to recognize the generous donation. Left to right, back row: Dana Shaw, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan representative Christina Ruddy, Algonquin College Pembroke Campus dean Karen Davies, Algonquin College vice-president of academics Claude Brule. Left to right, front row: current Algonquin College board of governor Jay McLaren, outgoing Algonquin College board of governor Fred Blackstein and Algonquin College president Cheryl Jensen.
EGANVILLE – Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre was honoured to receive a hand-crafted wooden canoe built by Algonquin College carpentry students.
The cedar strip canoe had been gifted to former Algonquin College board of governor, Fred Blackstein, in recognition of his generosity of spirit and his countless contributions to the college during his extended time on the board.
Blackstein, who is the co-chair of the Shaw Woods Education Centre, decided to donate the canoe to the centre because of its historical connection to Canada and because he believes it will enhance the centre’s educational programming.
“Given that the canoe is Canada’s most cultural icon, it is most appropriate that it has found a home at the centre, where each year thousands of people, of all ages, enjoy the site,” said Blackstein.
Blackstein decided that the centre’s new "shanty" – a shelter that was built at the Shaw Woods grounds this past summer to provide visitors with an enclosed lunch area – was the perfect place for the canoe.
This fall, the canoe was permanently installed on a wall inside the wooden shanty along with a large photograph of the seven students who built the wooden watercraft.
“It’s spectacular the way it blends in with the look of the shanty. I can’t think of a better location to have it,” said Blackstein. “Now, the 4,000 young people from kindergarten to Grade 12 who come here every year on field trips will now have the opportunity to see what a real canoe looks like.”
On Nov. 12, representatives from Shaw Woods, Algonquin College and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan came together at the Shaw Woods Education Centre to recognize the generous donation and to celebrate the special relationship that the three groups have maintained for over 30 years for one another.
Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen attended the special get-together which also marked her first time visiting the education centre.
“We were honoured to present the canoe to Fred and I think it’s wonderful that it’s now found a home at Shaw Woods,” said Jensen.
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan representative Christina Ruddy expressed that having the canoe at Shaw Woods would allow students to view an iconic piece of Canada and see the wonderful work they are capable of, every time they visit the grounds.
“Now with the canoe here at Shaw Woods, students are going to see themselves every time they walk through the doors and see the canoe there,” said Ruddy.
Dana Shaw expressed his gratitude to Blackstein for the generous gift which he said was fitting for the centre.
The Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre is open year-round from dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee to visit the centre that includes a 14 kilometre network of trails that is maintained by volunteers
More information can be found at www.shawwoods.ca