Book Reviews

Sanford Osler injects the canoe back into BC history, while explaining how this simple water craft still plays a crucial role in the life of the province.”

Daniel Francis, author of Far West: The Story of British Columbia

“Brimming with Canada’s history, Canoe Crossings is a well-written and well-researched ‘must read’ for anyone who enjoys paddling the waters of British Columbia. From the original birchbark canoe to today’s dragon boats and outriggers, the canoe is a symbol of our cultural connections, of teamwork and friendship, and of our passion for nature.”

Jane Frost, President, International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission

“Sanford Osler’s Canoe Crossings is a fascinating discovery of past to present for the utilization of one of the most recognized sinews threading Canadians, their history and development – the canoe, in all its forms. Blending brilliant storytelling with colourful description of its influence on British Columbia and First Nations cultural rebirth provides every reader with the sense of pride and tradition these boats have played and continue to play within our provincial and Canadian mosaic.”

Mike Gilbert, Regional Director, BC, Paddle Canada

Canoe Crossings is not just about the canoe but about the many people throughout history to modern day whose existence and livelihood depended on this noble craft.  Sanford Osler brings their passion for paddling to life. If you have ever held a paddle in your hand you should read this book.”

Bob Putnam, General Manager and Co-Owner, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak Centre

Canada is a nation of rivers and therefore a nation of canoes, or so the saying goes. But Sanford Osler reminds us that Canada is also a coastal nation and that canoe culture is as rich, or richer, in British Columbia, particularly with the resurgence of tribal journeys, as it is anywhere else in the country.  Carefully researched yet conversational, this handsome new book hums with colourful characters who have made distinctive contributions to canoeing. Canoe Crossings is an authentic and engaging contribution to canoelit and must reading for anyone interested in pondering Canada’s canoe past, present and future from sea to sea to sea.”

Dr. James Raffan, author and Director of Development at The Canadian Canoe Museum.

“Nobody has done a better job of connecting the ‘canoe dots’ on the Northwest Coast and BC’s interior waterways than Sanford Osler. His lifelong interest in canoe travel, canoe design, and canoe personalities enthuses Canoe Crossings with both wisdom and generosity of spirit. His book is a ‘j-stroke’ in prose.”

Michael Robinson, Director of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Canoe Crossings is an important and substantial contribution to canoe literature and to the significance of this watercraft in BC. The blend of history, present-day, and personal accounts is sensitively and fascinatingly presented. A highly informative and captivating read.”

Käri-Ann Thor, President and Master Canoe Instructor, Recreational Canoeing Association of British Columbia

“A devoted canoeist, Sanford Osler has used his wide experience with many forms of paddle-craft to write a comprehensive and well-informed review of canoeing and kayaking in British Columbia. His up-to-date and very readable presentation includes competitive and recreational canoeing and kayaking, dragon boat racing, Coast Salish canoe racing, contemporary First Nations canoe voyaging, lesser paddle sports using outrigger and marathon-style canoes and kayaks, and a discussion of how canoe and kayak manufacturing in British Columbia adapted to new materials and technologies.”

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Alan Hoover, former Manager of Anthropology Department at the Royal British Columbia Museum, in an upcoming issue of BC Studies

“This is a fascinating historical exploration of the innovative development and impact of the canoe, Canada’s cultural symbol of healing and community. Osler eloquently explores how the canoe helped define Canada as a county and shaped our people…Osler skillfully reveals the canoe’s influence on creating sustainable native economies and Native/European partnerships.”

Association of Book Publishers of BC’s Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools, selected and evaluated by school-librarians, 2014-2015

“Sanford’s work will find a place in the heart of people involved in the paddling community in BC”

John Kimantas, Editor, Coast & Kayak Magazine

“Canoe Crossings provides a fascinating lens for us to appreciate our collective history, the story of this ancient boat, and the precious rivers, lakes and oceans we will continue to paddle.”

Janet Nicol, British Columbia History, Summer, 2015