Voyageur Canoe Adventures:
forget your camera! Get ready for sightings of pelicans, moose,
eagles, black bears, and other indigenous wildlife throughout your
Click here for descriptions
& photos of
DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE
2007 and 2008
In the summer of 1807, David Thompson proceeded up the North Saskatchewan River to its confluence with the Howse River. Following the Howse River, he crossed what is now known as Howse Pass in the Rocky Mountains and arrived at the mouth of the Blaeberry River at its confluence with the Columbia River (just north of Golden, BC). 2008 marks the 200th anniversary of his first return from the Rocky Mountains to Fort William to report this significant achievement and describe his first attempts to map the Columbia River. This period also marks the 150th anniversary of Thompson’s death in 1857.
An event such as a period specific recreation of a brigade of North Canoes will raise the profile of David Thompson the man as well as all the Bicentennial Committee events that will take place in western Canada through 2007 to 2011. By recreating the Brigade, it brings to the forefront a real life glimpse into the way of life that existed for almost 200 years (1600-1870). Before the railway and the road, the lakes and rivers were Canada’s highways and the men who utilized them were their custodians.
The proposal is to hold an event in British Columbia in 2007 to ensure David Thompson’s achievements here are brought to light, especially his work on the Columbia River. This event will be a preliminary event to the 2008 Brigade. The canoe route will go from Canal Flats/Invermere to Golden , Revelstoke to Trail. Dates would include the start in Invermere June 28, July 1 in Golden and finish in Castlegar or Trail July 8th.
The mission is to lead a brigade of canoes in 2007 on the Columbia River from Invermere to Trail (700 KM) and from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta to Fort William (Thunder Bay),Ontario (4000 KM) in 2008. This will be done to highlight the accomplishments of David Thompson and those he lived and worked with.
The primary goals of the Brigades will be to:
1) Raise the profile of David Thompson and his many accomplishments and educate Canadians and others to better appreciate Canadian history.
2) Create a legacy that will encourage Canadians young and old to talk about our history and heritage.
3) Raise the profile of the National and Historical sites along the routes.
4) Increase awareness of Canada’s heritage rivers starting with the North Saskatchewan River.
5) Be a vehicle to reinforce our awareness that our heritage and history remains today in recreational activities such as Canadian canoeing and through action and technology, invite our youth to get involved.
The Voyageur Canoes in brigade are an awesome sight and very much Canadian. The canoes and teams will be the active part of the project and the arrivals, departures and sprints that will be part of the event will certainly entertain people and help bring to light Canadian history. As well, a traveling Heritage stage show will accompany the canoes and will be part of the celebrations in each community along the routes both in 2007 and in 2008. The show will highlight David Thompson and his wife Charlotte Small and their accomplishments that played such a big part in Canadian history. The stage to be used is completely self contained and portable. The stage show needs to be planned and produced, actors and musicians hired, equipment rented and committed. Canoe teams and communities along the route are being contacted and briefed.
All of the above needs funding. We are looking to the private sector for the sponsorships and partnerships needed for the canoeing part of the event. It is hoped that the federal and provincial governments will capitalize on the opportunity to fund the cultural, historical and heritage part of the project(s).
The event will be highly visible and will be involved with 7 major communities in 2007 and approximately 40 in 2008. The canoes will be tracked daily on a live web site responding to GPS uplinks from each canoe. The Saskatchewan Canoe Quest in 2005 included 30 Voyageur Canoes in a similar 14 day event across Northern Saskatchewan. It was not well publicized but still had 5,000 to 10,000 “Unique Page Views” per day on its live web tracking site.
It is anticipated that full time reporters for radio, TV and the print media will be “embedded” with the events in both 2007 and 2008. At the community stops along the way, young and old will be invited to “Paddle with the Voyageurs”.
If you have a group that would like a trip organized to your
needs and wants, let
us know. We can customize just about anything within reason.
in your trip:
and safety training on the Voyageur Canoe
jacket and paddle
and sleeping mat (please bring your own summer/fall
to bring and wear:
clothes that can be left with the support vehicle
and camping clothes that should include warm, cool
and wet weather clothing.
- 30 litre pack
shoes or secure sandals you dont mind getting
and film: a waterproof case is advisable