It is an historic event! For the first time in over a century, a York boat will be navigating the Peace River!
Our river was a major route for Canada’s fur trade from the late 1700s to the late 1800s. Trade goods, furs and people plied the water of the Peace in canoes and flat bottomed scows until the arrival of the York boat. The design was commonly associated with the fur trade empire of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). It came with the rugged Scottish men of the Orkney Islands who brought their seafaring hardiness, along with the boat design, to the HBC. At 3000 pounds and 33 feet long, the freighting capacity of the Hudson’s Bay Company was greatly improved, thus providing a competitive edge to their intense rivalry with the North West Company.
GeoTourism comissioned this historic watercraft to be rebuilt and with Flow North Paddling is recreating a trip from Ft. Dunvegan to Ft. Vermilion. To see photographs of the building of the boat, please visit the GeoTourism website. The York boat was blessed by Dave Cummings of Fairview and given a grand send off from Fort Dunvegan Park on June 1st. To follow its progress, visit the GeoTourism facebook page.
The boat is scheduled to overnight at Strong Creek Campground June 3rd and to arrive at Riverfront Park at midday June 4th.
There will be a pancake breakfast at Strong Creek Campground at 9 am, June 4th. Everyone is welcome to enjoy some delicious pancakes by Grimshaw High School and witness the launch of the York boat.
At around 1 pm, the Town of Peace River will give a hearty welcome to the boat and the crew at Riverfront Park. Enjoy the performances that will highlight the cultures of the First Nations, Métis Scottish and Francophone people who inhabited the land along the river one hundred years ago. Dress in your best Twelve Foot Davis outfit or your best trapper gear for prizes to summer events like Peacefest and the North Peace Stampede!
Following the departure of the York boat, the band C.Alice will take to the stage to launch the first of the summer Concert in the Park Series, sponsored by the Town of Peace River and Northern Sunrise County.
We would also like to let our community know that it is a weekend full of events and we hope you will be out taking in as much as you can. Along with the York boat's arrival, the Peace River Art Club and The Social are hosting the "Arts in the Hall" event all weekend with art, concert and workshops.