For a listing of upcoming talks, please visit Upcoming Events.
I have given many talks on the subject of canoes in British Columbia to groups ranging from a canoe club, adventure company and provincial association to a church, gallery and rotary club. I can give a talk covering highlights of the book suitable for a general audience.
I can do a reading from the book and then an illustrated talk, largely using some of the book’s many colour images to introduce stories about canoes in the province. The talk could range from 20 to over 60 minutes, depending on what time is available. It can be adjusted to factor in local canoe stories, interests and personalities.
Comments on Sanford Osler’s talks about his book Canoe Crossings
What an informative presentation!
For 30 minutes, water-sport enthusiast Sanford Osler entertained with stories collected during the writing of his book “Canoe Crossings.”
His tales made be me aware, for the first time, of how BC truly is the crossroads of paddling vessels from our water-linked country and its Pacific neighbours.
Sanford engaged us. He talked about paddling in BC. It was all about us. He infused familiar scenes with meaning. He explained how a teenager and a jeweler helped spawn an aboriginal cultural revival all along the West Coast; or how a cancer recovery group and an alcohol treatment program became two of our most spectacular and enduring events. He showed us what makes our place in the world unique, and how all our paddling stories fit together. As a paddler in BC, I felt special.
I would recommend spending time with Sanford Osler. He offers amazing insight into a vessel—the canoe– that has remained unchanged over thousands of years and continues to unite our province through waterway travels.
I thought I knew about how the canoe shaped Canadian history, but Sanford’s warm and friendly presentation to members of the Beaver Canoe Club taught me much more. In 50 minutes, through his images and stories, he connected the dots between all types of paddle craft. I particularly enjoyed the story of how the grand war canoe of yesterday has re-emerged in large numbers as a strong symbol of identity among First Nations people of BC. His account of how the dragon boat helped breast cancer survivors and then ignited many other survivor groups to take up the paddle also resonated. Nor did he leave out the Inuit kayak or Alaskan baidarka, with many beautiful pictures and history of these noble boats. Sanford expertly wove his own experiences with those of countless others who love the feeling of pulling a paddle through our boundless waterways. I can’t wait to read the book.