PETERBOROUGH, Thursday, March, 30 2023 – The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) is thrilled to announce a transformative gift of $1,775,000 to create a vibrant, community-oriented waterfront campus along the shores of the Museum’s future home at 2077 Ashburnham Drive. The Lakefront Campus and Gathering Circle, made possible by the philanthropic efforts of former CFL player and businessman Stuart (Stu) Lang and his wife, Kim, will offer visitors the chance to learn and build connections with the land, water, and community through immersive, authentic outdoor experiences that will create a new generation of paddlers.
The CCM’s future home features a beautiful 5.3-acre Lakefront Campus that will extend and enhance the museum experience, offering visitors a variety of outdoor activities both on and off the water. The 1,200 feet of shoreline, docks, boardwalk, restored and naturalized spaces, and wetland will act as a multi-purpose outdoor classroom for learners of all ages and be an active community space.
“We are incredibly grateful and fortunate for the passion, vision, and generosity of the Langs. Stu has taken great pride in helping craft an active waterfront that can complement the Museum, with many of the ideas for the Lakefront Campus coming from Stu himself. This gift, confirmed in the fall of 2022, has grown to the transformative gift it is today because of the Langs’ commitment to excellence and elevating the CCM to a national level,” shares Carolyn Hyslop, executive director.
A Gathering Circle outside the Museum’s main entrance will greet visitors arriving by car, bus, bicycle, or on foot. Inspired by Canadian canoe routes and the water’s impact on the landscape, the Gathering Circle will feature natural elements, emphasizing the relationship between land and water. A water infiltration garden, wood slat benches, and a small amphitheatre surrounded by large granite boulders and white pine trees will offer visitors a space for reflection and education before or after their adventures.
The redevelopment of the waterfront will also include an accessible, year-round boardwalk connecting the CCM to the Trans Canada Trail and the shoreline. There will be many opportunities to get out on the water with a walk-in canoe launch, two expansive seasonal canoe docks, and an adaptive canoe and kayak launch station. The docks and Canoe House will allow the CCM to host voyageur canoe tours, adult and youth paddling programs, certification courses, regattas, and canoe and kayak rentals for the public.
The Lakefront Campus is an entirely new offering for the CCM, one where visitors can take their newly acquired skills and understandings outside and put them into practice immediately, creating a fully integrated visitor experience. Visitors can go from learning about the canoe to stepping out of the Museum and, within only a minute’s walk, enjoy paddling around Little Lake.
“The Lakefront Campus will make our museum come alive! Participants in a paddle carving or canoe restoration workshop will experience the excitement of testing their freshly honed skills on the water. School children and campers will get their hands dirty while exploring the biodiversity of the wetland or learning to build a campfire. Seating and signage throughout the site will encourage visitors and trail users to take in the expansive views of Little Lake before or after visiting the galleries. And the docks, canoe racks and a connection to the Trans Canada Trail will encourage community connectivity and active, accessible transportation,” describes Hyslop.
Stu and Kim Lang are highly respected members of the Guelph community, contributing to the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), the Guelph Humane Society, and Guelph General Hospital. They are well-known champions of Queen’s University, their alma mater, and the University of Guelph, where the Lang School of Business and Economics is named after Stu’s father. Stu had a successful eight-year professional football career with the Edmonton Elks in the Canadian Football League (CFL), winning five Grey Cups. He later joined the family business, CCL Industries, and worked there for 25 years before becoming a director of the company.
Stu and Kim also have a passion for camping and canoe tripping, having attended The Taylor Statten Camps in Algonquin Park. At these camps, they both developed a lifelong passion and interest in canoeing, the outdoors, and educating youth about Canadian history.
“The Canadian Canoe Museum’s world-class collection deserves an outstanding home. A fully realized Lakefront Campus and Gathering Circle are essential. They will showcase the canoe’s incredible history and cultural significance and connect people to the land and water in a way that only hands-on experiences can. The new museum will be a place where people can come together, learn by doing, and be inspired by the stories and traditions of the canoe. It’s an investment in our past, present, and future, and we are proud to be a part of it,” says Stu Lang.
“We are so grateful to Stu and Kim Lang for their transformational donation that has led to the creation of the Lakefront Campus and Gathering Circle. The CCM and community will feel the impact of this donation for years to come,” concludes Hyslop. The Langs join a generous group of donors and funders across the country contributing to the Inspiring Canada by Canoe campaign, which has raised 95% of the $40-million cost for the project.
The new museum is made possible, in part, by the CCM’s lead donor and government partners, including the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Weston Family Foundation, the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County, and the Province of Ontario. The new museum and waterfront campus are under construction, with an anticipated grand opening in late summer or early fall. For more information or to sign-up for updates, visit the CCM’s website: canoemuseum.ca.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN CANOE MUSEUM
Located on the Traditional Territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations in Peterborough, Ontario, The Canadian Canoe Museum stewards the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. More than 600 in number, the watercraft and their stories have a pivotal role to play in understanding our past—and our collective future.
As part of the Museum’s responsibility for this cultural asset of national significance (Senate of Canada, 2013), it is building a new 65,000-square-foot home that aspires to be as innovative as the canoe itself. A purpose-built facility on the water, with an array of indoor and outdoor spaces, will allow the Museum to deliver on its mission in ways that, right now, it can only imagine. It will inspire visitors to learn about Canada’s collective history and reinforce our connections to land, water and one another—all through the unique lens of the iconic canoe.
Learn more at anoemuseum.ca/new-museum.
ABOUT STU & KIM LANG
Stuart (Stu) and Kim Lang are highly esteemed members of the Guelph community and well-known champions of both Queen’s University (their alma mater; Stu, Sc’74 and Kim, Artsci’75) and the University of Guelph. Stu is also a graduate (’70) and supporter of Upper Canada College.
Stu’s professional football career spanned eight years in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played for the Edmonton Eskimos (now the Edmonton Elks) and contributed to five Grey Cup victories. Later, he would go on to be the head coach of the University of Guelph’s football team from 2009 to 2015.
Following his football career, Stu joined the family business CCL Industries Inc., founded by his father, Gordon Lang, and was the president of CCL Label International before his retirement in 2006. He currently sits on the board of directors.
Kim Lang was formerly the artistic director of the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and currently sits on the Ontario Veterinary College’s (OVC) Pet Trust board of directors.
The Langs’ philanthropic efforts have been widespread. They have donated more than $70 million to Queen’s University and the University of Guelph, supporting student-athletes and the general student populations. The University of Guelph’s S. Lang School of Business and Economics was named after Stu’s father following a $21-million gift, the largest ever in the school’s history. They have also contributed to the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), the Guelph Humane Society, and Guelph General Hospital.
Together they established the Angel Gabriel Foundation, a registered charity, and have donated millions of dollars to numerous causes related to athletics, academics, and animal welfare.
Stu and Kim also have a passion for camping and canoe tripping, having both attended The Taylor Statten Camps in Algonquin Park (with Stu attending Camp Ahmek and Kim attending Camp Wapomeo). They also support Campfire Circle, which offers overnight camp and in-city programs, including canoeing, as part of its programming.