Mike Elliott has been restoring canoes for 20 years and just released a new book

Author of "This Old Canoe" gives talk in Rossland

New Edition Caf‚ and Books hosted a talk and book signing on Saturday, featuring the author of "This Old Canoe."

Rossland’s book store hosted a talk and book signing on Saturday, featuring the author of a book about how to restore wood-canvas canoes.

Mike Elliott, who lives in Grand Forks, recently released This Old Canoe: How to Restore Your Wood-Canvas Canoe and gave a talk at New Edition Café and Books about canoes and the Canadian identity before signing a few copies.

Elliott has been restoring old canoes for the past 20 years, and opened a small business restoring them for others in 2003. Since then he has restored 180 canoes.

The first canoe he ever restored was the same make and model that his dad first taught him to canoe in.

“It was quite a coincidence,” said Elliott. “I was restoring this thing it was about 40 years old and these memories came flooding back to me of paddling these canoes when I was six years old and it turns out that it was exactly the same make and model of canoe.”

He ended up in possession of that first canoe because he was working as an outreach worker with youth and did a project with a group of boys where they built canoes before heading off on a canoe trip. After that he became known as “the canoe guy” and a man in town gave him an old wood-canvas canoe in need of repair. It has since become Elliott’s family canoe.

He said that he doesn’t restore canoes, but rather the relationship people have with them.

“People who own these canoes will not part with these canoes; they’re part of the family. They’d sooner part with their kids than part with the canoe, and that’s what really drives the business, this family connection, the stories, the memories all wrapped up in the canoe,” he said.

The book features not only how to’s, but also some of the stories behind the canoes that Elliott has worked on, like the canoe he restored so the client’s daughter could paddle it on her wedding day. He will be continuing to tour the book later this month, traveling to upstate New York for a wooden canoe festival and making stops along the way.

 

Just Posted

Snow hosts available to help you explore the Rossland Range

Safe and responsible way to learn about Rossland Recreation Site

Trail cannabis shop gets green light from province

The Higher Path hopes to open doors in next couple of weeks

Man spotted with shotgun in East Trail leads to weapons discovery

RCMP recover numerous weapons and stolen items after search on Fifth Ave.

Butterflies for Rossland brother and sister duo heading to world ski championships

Remi and Jasmine Drolet will represent Canada in Finland

High property taxes are the price of great service, says Rossland mayor

Analysis by city shows residential property tax rate among highest in province

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Most Read