Fresh off the Ferry and excited about her new move to Gibsons is Kendra Fehr, the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives new Curatorial Assistant. Kendra just finished her Masters in Museum Education at the University of British Columbia, and before that she was a visual arts teacher for nine years in Beijing, China. A fun fact about Kendra is that she loves to travel and has now visited forty-three different countries. Actually, it was these travels that first piqued her interest in museums. She realized that she loved visiting museums as she explored new places because they were an accessible way to get an overview of culture and history of place. When she chose to move back to the motherland of Canada the museum world offered the exciting career change she was looking for. She hopes to play a key role in making the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives an engaging and accessible repository of artifact, image and story.
Imagine a life where your vehicle of choice, be it car, bus, motorcycle, or road-bike, was traded in for a boat. That is what some local boat-crafters have been doing and the fruits of their labour were on full display on Sunday, July 27 in Holland Park as part of the 2014 Sea Cavalcade.
Certain boat-crafters went after very traditional styles that mimic what handliners looked like during the early twentieth century on the Sunshine Coast. Others chose more modern-styled kayaks. Either way, their crafts were a delight for participants and visitors of the Sea Cavalcade.
Larry Westlake, a designer and builder with several boats on display, had two coloured canoes at the show. He shared their stories which are relevant to history, acting as a portal to the past. When I spoke to Mr. Westlake about his Green Rat Canoe, he explained how the boat is modeled after boats that were used for hunting small animals in the North, hence the “Rat” in its name. The design reflects its use; in narrow Northern waterways, a boat had to be thin enough to fit through passages to scoop up muskrats and other such critters. Since the canoes are fairly light, boaters/hunters could portage and move on to their next site.
Pender Harbour’s Rick Crook shared his boat, hollow-ended and fast, made of cedar strip and glue. Like rowing machines at the gym, the seat slides back and forth so the rower’s legs can contribute. This particular design helped Crook workout following an injury, taking it on cruises throughout the waters of Pender Harbour.
Thomas McPherson shared his boats Fast Eddie and Dimok. These boats took 200 and 150 hours, respectively, to make. McPherson’s interest in the boatbuilding craft began with his father.
Creating small wooden boats may be a niche interest, but it combines beauty, practicality, and historical authenticity all at once. At the museum, what could be better?