Kirk Wipper Voyageur Center
400. anniversary of Samuel De Champlain and 200. anniversary of Masacre of Frederick House - 2013
Canadas 150. birthday in Ottowa, July 1, 2017
Rideau Canal Brigade 2013

You have to do what you can, do the best with what you are.
And you have to believe in wilderness. If you do that you can't go wrong.
(Kirk Wipper)


True North Voyageur Brigade 2018

Never Before - Never again

Day Paddlers


The Canadian Brigade Society invites local paddlers in participating in the True North Voyageur Brigade


Opportunity to paddle


Tuesday August 21, 2018

Matheson Black River Boat Launch to Iroquois Falls


Wednesday August 22, 2018

Irouqois Falls Meadow Creek Boat Launch to Cochrane


Saturday August 25, 2018

Mattagami dam to Timmins Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival and heading to Cedar Meadows in the afternoon


For more information please call 705-232-8355

Registration for the True North Voyageur Brigade is closed. If you are still interested in paddling the entire Brigade please call us 705-232-8355 or contact us via the contact form.


Ontario Backcountry Canoe Museum

Tim McDonagh had a booth at the Ontario Backcountry Canoe Symposium in Kitchener (University of Waterloo) on April 7, 2018 where he met Derek Specht & Sean Rowlay from Paddling Adventures Radio.

Listen to their podcast (Episode 113, April 12, 2018) about The True North Voyageur Brigade (if you want to jump to the part about The True North Voyageur Brigade start at 40:30 but we recommend to listen to all of it).
For Apple iTunes user please Click Here If you don't have Apple iTunes please use PlayerFM (Googleplay)


Kirk Wipper (December 6, 1923 – March 18, 2011)

Member of the Order of Canada as well as the Order of St. John.

Nora Ryell wrote a great article about Kirk Wipper for The Globe and Mail, which was published on May 8, 2011. We can't describe better how and who Kirk Wipper was, therefore we quote from her article.

“Kirk Wipper spent a lifetime contributing to environmental education. An early proponent of wilderness exploration, he literally paddled his way into the hearts and minds of a generation of canoeing and camping enthusiasts. Over a period of 45 years, his love for Canada was embodied in his collection of more than 500 canoes, most of which are now housed in the Canadian Canoe Museum.

For Wipper, the canoe was not only a means of travel across the Canadian wilderness. He felt it symbolized our heritage and the connection between the founding cultures of Canada. As Wipper reflected in a 1995 CBC Ideas program, "The canoe carried aboriginal people for thousands of years, followed then by the explorers and the missionaries and the engineers and the surveyors … until in modern times it gives us the gift of freedom. The canoe is a vehicle that carries you into pretty exciting places."

Kirk Wipper is the founder of the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, ON where most of his private collection are on display He was also the founder of Camp Kandalore in 1957. Kirk was a Professor at the University of Toronto, Kirk developed the syllabus for outdoor education courses in the 1970's, a program that is still required today as part of the BPHE undergraduate curriculum at U of T.

Kirk's heart was close to the "...Circle of All Nations, founded by long-time friend, Chief William Commanda, the Algonquin Elder from the Kitigan Zibi Reserve. Their friendship had begun when Wipper began to buy Commanda's birch bark canoes as part of his collection. The Circle consists of individuals committed to the environment, Canada's water resources, racial harmony and respect for indigenous wisdom. ..."

If you want to read the entire article please click here Read the full article

How Tim McDonagh met Kirk Wipper for the first time

October 2, 1994, Toronto Canoeing Dinner & Presentation hosted by the Canadian Recreation Canoeing Association ( C.R.C.A.)

Tim McDonagh: "I wanted to know more about the Canadian Recreation Canoeing Association, therefore I took in this evening in Toronto. There was an individual talking at 7.15 p.m. called Kirk Wipper, speaking of the reenactment of the footsteps of the Voyageurs."

After this gentleman's presentation his words were “There should be more expeditions like this”. Him not knowing that I have three newsletters in my pocket. There was a 10 minutes break. So I approached him and I handed him the three newsletters about my expeditions. He went aside and went through our newsletters and returned back on the stage where he wasn't really on the platform. And he gave us a plaque. We, the Iroquois Falls Canoe and Kayak Club off the beaten path, just letting you know there are more expeditions. And this was my great introduction to Kirk Wipper. We ended up being great friends as we go on many years after."

The Kirk Wipper Voyageur Center

Canoe Symposium Toronto 1998

Tim McDonagh: "Kirk was a speaker at mid morning. I was sitting down and all of a sudden, as the last speaker before lunch is speaking, I see Kirk stand up. He walks his way half way up the aisle and he points up to me and says, Tim, we're having lunch.

You've got no choice when Kirk asks you, you got to go. But for him to pick me out of 800 people and say we're having lunch what can you say. Off we go to the Cafeteria and he asked me where do you want to sit.

Well Kirk, let's go right to the back that way we won't get bothered by no one, I said. So we went to the back and as the Cafeteria filled with 800 people having their lunch.

This was my opportunity to bring across to Kirk what I have thought through for a while. I said: Kirk, my friend, what are your thoughts if we named our center the Kirk Wipper Voyageur Center. Kirk looked at me he says I'm more than honored. So from that minute forward our land was to be called the Kirk Wipper Voyageur Centre.

After 20 years of the Iroquois Falls Canoe and Kayak Club and our property being in the city of Timmins, there was no better time to change the name. So that's how our Kirk Wipper Voyageur Centre became reality."



Lupo - the mascot of the West Wind Brigade 2017

Have you read Lupo's blog about traveling with the West Wind Brigade?

Click on Lupo's picture to find out more about that amazing dog that's traveling the world.

Kirk Wipper Voyageur Center

Please contact us via Phone

+1 (705) 232-8355

or contact us via our contact form

News

Listen to Paddling Adventures Radio. We cut out the part about the True North Voyageur Brigade and added some pictures for you. Here is the modified podcast for you.
Also visit www.paddlingadventuresradio.com


Tim McDonagh had a booth at the Ontario Backcountry Canoe Symposium in Kitchener (University of Waterloo) on April 7, 2018


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Press Releases

Daily Press Timmins, October 5, 2017

3 events combined in next summers kayak fest

Daily Press Timmins, August 28, 2017

Week long brigade to Kayak Challenge 2018 in the works

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    +1 (705) 232-8355
  • Address:
    4235 Municipal Road
    Connaught Ontario
    PON 1A0
    Canada

The Voyageur Life
Learn more about the True North Voyageur Brigade and the programs included. Download the brochure now.