Thursday, October 26, 2006

Winter Events at Algonquin Outftters

Canoe season is winding down and we are thinking about winter. Here's a sample of what is coming up:

AO presents Warren Miller's Off the Grid
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006

Go "Off the Grid" with Algonquin Outfitters on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8 pm, at the Algonquin Theatre. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students. Tickets are available at the Algonquin Theatre box office at 37 Main St. E., on-line or by calling the box office at (705) 789-4975 or 1-888-696-4255, ext. 2352.

Algonquin Outfitters presents the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Tuesday, Jan. 23 & Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007

Yes, you read it right. This year we are showing the popular Banff Mountain Film Festival on two nights! After selling out again last year, we concluded that since we could not find a bigger venue we should offer two showings. Each show will feature a different selection of films. More on that later...

Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students. Folks buying tickets for both shows can exchange their two ticket stubs for a coupon offering a 15% discount on their next purchase at Algonquin Outfitters.

Tickets will be available soon at the
Algonquin Theatre box office at 37 Main St. E., on-line, or by calling the theatre box office at (705) 789-4975, or 1-888-696-4255, ext. 2352.

For more information on the Banff Mountain Film Festival, visit

Algonquin Outfitters presents the 13th Annual Winter Assembly
Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007

Winter fun in the great outdoors is once again the theme of the Annual Winter Assembly, hosted by Algonquin Outfitters, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007. This free, family-oriented, event takes place at the Oxtongue Lake location, just west of Algonquin Park, on Hwy. 60, about 30 km east of Huntsville. The Winter Assembly is designed to introduce people to self-propelled (or at least non-motorized) winter activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, kick-sledding, winter camping, ice-climbing and dog sledding, as well as provide a host of opportunities to have fun in the snow. Stay tuned for more details!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Map crisis update

On Sunday I sent (by e-mail) the letter below to my local MP, Tony Clement, as well as similar ones to the MP for the Haliburton area riding, Barry Devolin, in which our Oxtongue Lake store is located and Gary Lunn, the Federal Minister of Natural Resources. On Tuesday morning I received the reply in quotes from Mr. Clement's assistant. While there is no specific information about the continuation of map publishing, it does indicate to me that the powers-that-be are aware of and taking a look at the issue. Keep those cards and letters flowing to the Minister and your local representative!

My letter to the Hon. Tony Clement, MP for Muskoka-Parry Sound, Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

From: Algonquin Outfitters []
Sent: October 2, 2006 2:10 PM
To: Clement, Tony - M.P.
Subject: maps

Dear Mr. Clement:

As a the manager of a major canoe trip outfitting and outdoor adventure operation, outdoor enthusiast and resident of Huntsville, I was shocked to learn that the printing of topographic maps will be discontinued and that the Canada Map Office will be closed.

Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism are particularly important draws for the tourism economy in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area and having a good map is a key factor to having a safe, enjoyable outdoor experience. For many reasons, the digital alternative is not a satisfactory option for outdoor use. For a tourism operator trying to offer maps to visitors and clients, the digital option presents even more problems.

Please urge your colleagues to reconsider this decision.

More information on this issue can be found at:


Gordon Baker

The prompt reply:

Dear Mr. Baker,

I have been in touch with the office of the Minister of Natural Resources regarding your map issue. I am advised that the previous Liberal Government decided in 2001 to close down the Canada Map Office and that the Office has been working toward that Liberal goal ever since, with a final date of March 31, 2007.

Your new Conservative Government is looking seriously at this closure and all though it is still awaiting information on which to base a final decision, the Ministry does not think a March 31, 2007 closure is very likely at all. A more firm answer should be available to me in a few weeks but in the meantime, I would not be too concerned about the closure occurring any time soon.


David J. Lowe
Chief Parliamentary Assistant to Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Trip report from Germany

I received this e-mail from Julia Weidenbach, a German journalist. She and her partner Joachim went on a guided canoe trip with us last year and now the story is on-line. I can't read German so I ran the link through the Google translator. Try it yourself, though be prepared to read a rather stilted version the story. For those of you who know our guide Pete, the translated version is especially entertaining! The story includes some really nice pictures of Algonquin Park in the early fall.

Hello Gordon,

last year my partner and I went on a canou trip with Algonquin
Outfitters: Pete was our guide. We enjoyed the trip very much although
we weren't lucky and hardly saw any animals.

The arcticle I wrote is published on the website of a large women's
magazine here in Germany. Although you can't read any German I thought it
might be interesting for you to know. Please say hello to Pete - he is
in the pictures of the arcitcle:

Greetings from Hamburg

Julia Weidenbach

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Map Supply in Danger!

If you've ever bought a Canadian topographic map to use on a wilderness trip, you will be interested (and probably shocked) to learn that our government has decided to stop printing them. Maps will still be available in digital format but think about how awkward it will be to use such a map. Think about those of us still on dial-up, with old black and white printers, etc.

Find out more at the Maps for Canadians website. This site contain much more information on the issue and samples of letters you can write to your MP and/or the Federal Minister of Natural Resources

Here is a sample e-mail from the site:

Have you ever used a topographic map for exploration, teaching, or just for fun?

Effective January 2007, Natural Resources Canada will close the Canada Map Office and discontinue the printing of paper topographic maps. Maps will be available in digital format through the Internet. The new policy, however, will not meet Canadians’ needs. Canadians will effectively lose access to their maps.

Canada has a distinguished history in map making. Indeed, Canada was the second country in the world to develop a national atlas in 1906. Our country is currently world renowned for its innovation in mapping grounded in the country's original occupation: land exploration. National topographic maps and the Atlas of Canada promote our country’s sovereignty and educate Canadians by developing geographic literacy.

The Government of Canada’s policies of fiscal responsibility and accountability are important. However, organizations such as yours still need service from their government. Your organization may place a priority on the paper map service the Government currently provides. Natural Resources Canada’s promotion of self-printing from a website is ahead of its time. The Canadian public, especially those located outside of urban centres without access to technological support, will no longer be served.

For more information, and to send a letter to your Member of Parliament and to the Minister of Natural Resources, please see the website that has been set up by other concerned organizations such as yours. Please also send this message to your members and to other affected associations.

Maps are important. They are not only an integral part of our heritage but also of our economy, recreation and way of life. Who we are as Canadians is a product of where we are. If we all speak up, we can make a difference.

Canoe Trippers Unite!