Many thanks to all who participated in our 50th Anniversary Photo Contest, by submitting entries and by casting votes in the later phase of the contest.
n a year when the in-person celebration events we had planned were cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, to connect with our community virtually meant a lot. It was a joy to hear from so many of you about the memories you’ve made in our canoes, and to see all the wonderful places that your Nova Craft Canoe has taken you to.
Of the hundreds of submissions we received, our staff narrowed it down to a selection of 10 finalists whose images are shown below. Along with their submission photo the entrant was asked “What makes this photo meaningful to you or others”, their responses are listed along with each photo. In the last week of the contest we opened voting on the “Top 10”, and received over 23,000 votes! Thank you!
On September 30th, we announced the 3 winners of the contest based on which photos received the most votes: 1st prize winner Ian Walker of Newfoundland & Labrador, 2nd prize winner Cameron Hollands of Ontario, and 3rd prize winner Jennifer Pulvermacher of Wisconsin. Congratulations to the winners!
Ian Walker – 1st Prize Winner
“This photo was taken in King’s Point, Newfloundland and Labrador and is meaningful to me because this iceberg is actually right outside my girlfriends parents home. I took my Nova Craft 15′ prospector out and was able to go out for a closer look. I was also able to get a few “bergy bits” as we like to call them to cool our drinks off for the rest of the summer. It was a great day and the berg actually split in two and rolled over later that day. I don’t think you can get much more Canadian than that!”
Cameron Hollands – 2nd Prize Winner
“This photo was taken on the Lady Evelyn River in the Temagami region of Ontario. With its rugged hills, large cascades and open cliff faces, the Lady Evelyn River truly epitomizes rugged northern Ontario canoe travel. This photo is meaningful to me because to reach the remote headwaters of the river, my group and I spent days portaging, dragging, and roughing our way through the pinetorch conservation reserve, some of Temagami’s most seldom travelled and unforgiving regions. With close to 40 portages over 2.5 days, unmaintained/absent portage trails, late-June mosquitoes, 250m of elevation gain, and dusk campsite arrivals, the challenge took us to our limits. We considered turning back more than once. We could not be happier that we pushed on, as one of our rewards were the scenic cascades of the Lady Evelyn River (pictured). One of the most under appreciated aspects of canoe travel is how hard one has to work for the rewards. To me, this photo is collecting the rewards after days of pushing myself harder than I ever thought possible. My fiberglass 16ft Prospector (Leigh) was the perfect partner for this adventure. Tough enough to withstand the downriver travel and the portaging, light enough to take on some pretty serious lengthy uphill climbs, and with the capacity to hold much more gear than I ever dare portage. I look forward to many more adventures with her.”
Jennifer Pulvermacher – 3rd Prize Winner
“This is the first time all three of our boys rode in the canoe. It was our youngest son, Dell’s, first paddle.”
“I frequently look back on this picture from a trip my closest friends and I took in early May 2019. To me it captures the grit and determination tripping requires. With a boat fully loaded, and rushing water in the foreground; it’s all too easy to get caught in your head and get overwhelmed by the isolation and harshness of the elements. That’s where teh strength in fellowship is crucial. I couldn’t manage canoe tripping if it weren’t for the friend in my bow, or the laughs around teh fires. It’s the bonds formed through the trials that are strongest, and what makes trudging through mud and paddling through rain not only bearable, but joyously addictive.”
“This shot was in November on Vancouver Island. Everyone had stopped paddling, so we didn’t see another soul for three days. We had all sorts of weather: snow, sleet, hail and rain with the odd patch off sun, but we had an amazing time. The water level was super low this year as the summer was very dry, so we ended up having to portage where there would normally be streams and rivers to paddle. We had borrowed this Tuffstuff prospector and have wanted one ever since!”
“After unfortunately giving my Nova Craft Prospector a 5 year break because of life/schedules she took me to this beautiful spot in Georgian Bay near the French River. A spot I had camped on many years earlier and it did not disappoint us, again. Mother nature gave incredible weather, skies and solitude. I paddled with a buddy who hadn’t paddled in 27 years and now is my new canoe partner after this trip. In this particular photo I was in awe of natures constantly changing canvas each one so different and unique yet just as stunning as the last.”
Ben Van Bastelaere
“This photo was of my first ever whitewater trip. It was the best 3 weeks of my life along with the most physically challenging days of my life. Everyone on that trip pushed themselves to the limits but the payoff was immense. Going over this wave in this photo, I remember going to paddle but not realizing how high the now of the canoe was: I didn’t even touch the water. This was the biggest and best set I’ve run yet and this picture inspires me to get back out there and keep paddling.”
“It was a nice foggy morning on a little lake in September. If I can, I often use a canoe as a subject in my compositions. The fluid lines and the bright color of the canoe bring contrast to the image. I found that the canoe also tells a story about adventure and exploration: What did they see on their journey? Where are they going next?”
“This is a photo of me and my Grandmother paddling the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg on a beautiful summer evening. My grandfather had passed away only a few months prior to this and the feelings of loss were still fresh. When they were younger, my grandparents were avid canoe campers and continued camping into their adulthood after having kids. As time went by, their old canoe got used less and less, until it fell apart in their back yard. This photo documents the first time my grandmother had been in a canoe in decades, and the first time it wasn’t her husband in the stern. It was a quiet paddle, we spent the time listening to the birds chirping and flying above us. We both knew the significance of what was happening, but we let ourselves experience it in our own ways. For me, it was a very powerful and emotional moment. Instead of focusing on the sadness of missing my grandfather, I chose to be happy about being on the water with my amazing grandmother. I’m sure she enjoyed herself as well. I’ll never forget the minutes spent in my Prospector with my grandmother on that beautiful evening. No matter how many trips it’s been on already or how many more it will go on, this will forever be my favourite moment.”
“Our photos of our Nova Craft Prospector 17 are important because they tell the story of how my husband and I met, fell in love, and got engaged. On September 19, 2020, we will be married after hundreds of kilometres of rivers paddled in our canoe. Our canoe is an integral part of our love story. COVID-19 cancelled our April 2020 wedding. We decided to postpone our wedding and get married later using our Nova Craft canoe as an archway, near the banks of the first river we paddled together in our Nova Craft, the North Saskatchewan River.
The Story: Michael had been planning a trip to the Nahanni River National Park Reserve his entire adult life. However, Michael had never been on a Nahanni trip, and there was nowhere on earth; he wanted to go more. Michael spent years learning to paddle whitewater in canoes and kayaks. By his late 20’s he became a whitewater rescue tech on the fire department. Michael only had one problem; he did not have a partner he wanted to take to Nahanni. Then, on September 19, 2018, Michael met Emylene. There was something about Emylene from the minute he met her. It was like he had always known her like she was his other half. They constantly challenged each other to new adventures. Michael resolved to take Emylene down Nahanni River and, in preparation, purchased a brand new Nova Craft Prospector 17 canoe. Michael spent the spring and summer of 2019 on whitewater rivers with Emylene. Michael and Emylene were almost inseparable. In August of 2019, Emylene and Michael loaded up the Nova Craft Prospector 17. A solo trip on the Nahanni River was either going to end or cement their relationship. After weeks of no one but each other for company, Michael and Emylene were closer than ever. Michael decided he was going to marry Emylene. In a mountain valley, in October 2019, Michael proposed, and Emylene accepted.”