The host, David Bain welcomed everyone to a sold-out 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Canoeing Symposium at the Princess Twin Theatre in Waterloo.


Mike Kipp from Wilderness Paddle Works proudly displayed his handcrafted paddles.


There were lots of booths and sponsors including Treks in the Wild, Outdoor Adventures Canada, and the Friends of Killarney selling their Canoe Guides to help with trip planning.


Jeff's Map wasn't the tastiest item at the concession stand, but Jeff was more than happy to chat about his maps and canoe tripping.


The first speaker, Jeffrey McMurtrie, creator of Jeff's Map (read our interview with him), spoke to the various iterations of his map over the years. Due to frustrations with trying to follow a map to find portages and camp sites during a camping trip in Algonquin Park (Even the chief naturalist told him that their map was "A work of art, and not a map"), Jeffrey decided to create his own map. It was interesting to hear (and see) all of the changes over the years.


The second speaker was "Uncle" Phil Cotton who spoke about The Wabakimi Project who created a map and has helped with endless amounts of maintenance over the years to Wabakimi Park (Ontario's second largest Provincial Park). He mentioned how few the visitors are when recounting a recent trip where he didn't meet another canoeist until Day 45 of his trip.


He urged people to put Wabakimi on their 'bucket list' of places to visit, and enjoy the boreal forest and numerous excellent places to canoe.


Linda Besner and Leigh Kotsilidis shared details of their yearly (June 13th to 23rd this year) poetry and music tour which is done by canoe. Fish Quill Poetry Boat, paddles from small town to town to play at historic landmarks and to share in the experience of art and poetry in addition to inviting local artists to take part as well.


Abigail Lapell, one of Fish Quill Poetry Boat's past musician's played two live songs, and Linda as well as Leigh read a few lovely poems.


Mark from Mark's Algonquin Park Sampler (also known as Mark in the Park) couldn't wait to get back out to paddle in Algonquin. He's visited the park over 110 times over the course of 14 years and compiled numerous trip logs on his website. We were treated to a slideshow of some of his photos over the years. Be sure to visit his website for a wealth of information on Algonquin!


Mike Monaghan showcased his canoeing, kayaking and camping photos both downstairs in the theatre and during his presentation. 


Chris Mayne spoke about the One Kids Place Children's Treatment Centre photo book which is a Kiwanis fundraising project while sharing his own photos as well as other's that have contributed to the project.


The legend himself, Hap Wilson gave us a pictorial history of his environmentalism, and canoe trips over the years. Stories from exploring Temagami, to taking part in the 1989 blockades, to the books that he has written were all wonderfully told. Hap even mentioned that his Missinaibi book may have helped prevent further deaths from occurring in the treacherous waters in that area.


Preston, from The Portageur, who was making note of "Bucket List" suggestions from Hap.


James brought one of the canoes that was "hot off the press" from HandCrafted Canoes from Breslau, Ontario. It was quite the showpiece with lots of people admiring the handiwork that went into it.