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More than one canoe builder per Assembly?

Discussion in 'Annual Assembly' started by Mike Heines, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Mike Heines

    Mike Heines Upstate Canoe Sailor

    Stop me if you've already thought of this and discussed it: it seems to be that we might do a little better on attendance at assembly if we feature more than one builder per year. When we featured Old Town, attendance was up because of the number of people who own them etc.; when we featured new builders, we had several attend, and it seemed there were a lot of attendees. I really like the lesser know builders like those featured this year and next, but they don't have the draw of major builders or of multiple builders. Your thoughts?
  2. VallierOutdoors

    VallierOutdoors Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Mike,

    The Assembly always has a theme (builder or construction method), but Assembly is really about fellowship, learning and fun activities. That said, I really appreciate the thought behind your post, but let me suggest something a bit different that maintains the focus on a particular builder. I understand what you're saying, but on a large scale Old Town is probably the only builder that's nearly so readily recognized. All others (including modern builders) will likely have not nearly as great a following. And many of those lesser-known builders are absolutely fascinating... as long as you know of them. Morris, for example, built truly excellent canoes, and has been the subject of a lot of press in Wooden Canoe and other venues. So among wooden canoe folks, Morris is fairly well known but it will never attract as much attention among the larger masses.

    Suggestion - an education campaign. Instead of simply saying "The featured canoe will be Kennebec" (next year) and showing a cool t-shirt design, promotional materials on the web, in the journal and elsewhere can have a short description of the exciting things about that builder's products and history, or great photos of their canoes in action. These teasers could vary over the year leading up to Assembly so that people get more enthused as time gets closer.

    Just a thought, for what it's worth. - Jim
  3. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Whatever the focus of the Annual Assembly, the canoe of ANY builder-- including YOU-- can be what you take to the assembly and share with everyone. The featured canoe isn't necessarily what most people have in their garage, but what that particular builder contributed. It would be sad if folks only attended the assembly if they had one of the featured canoes. How many people have a Gerrish--- yet he supposedly was the first to market wood/canvas. Can't do Old Town every year! Will do Paddles and Accessories in 2017... Got a paddle? Made a paddle? What does a paddle do for canoeing...? (you can't be up sh*t creek without one!).
  4. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    As Kathy said, there are always more builders' boats present than the featured builder's boats. The "feature" aspect is as much about the presentations (speakers, walking tours) as the canoes themselves. You don't even need to own a wooden canoe to attend!

    The one time I made it to Assembly, there were many informal discussions going on out on the green, about many, many builders' boats. The limits are up to individuals' imaginations! Just go -- you won't be disappointed...

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