After more than 30 years of paddling, hiking, camping and general exploring and over a decade of building cedar-strip canoes, I had grown my canoe building Youtube channel into a 20,000 view per month success. Sharing my knowledge about paddling and canoe building through film was developing from a hobby into a deep interest in photography and film making.
The Youtube channel was going great, and I was having a lot of fun making all kinds of paddling and canoe-related videos, but when I realized that my audience was growing I decided that I should set out and create a film that was really worth watching.
After assembling a small team I established a film crew who would travel with me to interview some of Canada’s leading experts of canoe culture and create a story which would showcase why the canoe is such an important part of their lives.
The film was Canoe: Icon of the North, and featured interviews with Kevin Callan, John Jennings, Becky Mason, Ted Moores, Mark Oldershaw, Hugh Stewart, Adam vanKoeverden, and Jeremy Ward, different people from different aspects of the paddling community. There were educators, historians, artists, canoe builders, wilderness trippers, and elite Olympic athletes, all united in one story, sharing their passion for the canoe.
I knew it would be an amazing trip, meeting and speaking with the people I would consider my idols of the canoeing world, but I never anticipated how much I would learn on both a personal and a professional level.
With help from great companies like Bending Branches, Bureau, Canoeroots Magazine, The Canadian Canoe Foundation, Eureka!, Fox 40, inReach, Jetboil, KEEN, and Salus Marine who supported the project through social media support and product sponsorship producing the film became an incredible journey, a dream come true.
After travelling through two Canadian provinces and exploring new wilderness areas to create a visually beautify work, Canoe: Icon of the North was my first film and offered the viewer an opportunity to connect with the people who are continuing to shape the role of the canoe in our northern culture and to discover how they are a part of this unique community.