‘Make like a Canadian’ in Lanark County

Are you looking to take your vacation to the next level, and find that one-of-a-kind experience that encourages you to try something different, learn a new skill, or walk away with new knowledge or memories that will stick around for years to come? Or better yet, something you can physically hold onto and say “I made that!”

If this sounds like something you could get excited about, you’ve come to the right place.

In Lanark County, there’s tourism opportunities to ‘Make Like a Canadian,’ and true to its name, it invites visitors to create and discover true Canadian arts and experiences. There is no better time to explore Canadian skills and knowledge! And as a heritage-trade centre with a long history reaching back to Canada’s Confederation, Lanark County is the perfect place to Make Like a Canadian.

A world heritage destination, Lanark County is home to the most quintessential Canadian landscapes in Eastern Ontario, and to an inspiring collection of artists including potters, writers, musicians, textile and culinary artists, tradespeople and outdoor enthusiasts. In Lanark County, the skills of our ancestors like heritage homebuilding, felting, horticulture, and apiculture are alive and well.

Here you’ll find tourism offerings that give visitors a chance to get involved, and learn to make a canoe, build a log home, raise honeybees, and weave a basket, that takes the day from field to table, and more!

Take your travel experience to the next level and come to Lanark County to ‘Make Like a Canadian’ while discovering the arts of Canada’s cultural, culinary and woodworking history, with a Lanark County twist! Here’s a snapshot of how local operators are appealing to visitors looking for a beyond the norm experience for their next getaway:

  • Craft a Canoe

Imagine the thrill of making your own canoe from start to finish!  In Lanark County, visitors can learn to do just that from canoe builder, Brent Kirkham, whose ultra-lightweight canoes are as much works of art as watercraft. A lifelong paddler and carpenter, Kirkham creates unique, hand-crafted cedar strip and fiberglass epoxy canoes, and has been featured by local and regional print and international television media. Sign up for Kirkham’s course and learn how to make your own cedar strip and epoxy canoe through a three-or-five-day workshop. Three-day workshops are $250 per person; five-day workshops are $425 per person (prices subject to change without notice). www.kirkscanoes.com


  • Build a Log Home

Have you ever thought of building your own log home? Learn the trade of log home construction with experts Brian and Stuart Morrison. The Pat Wolfe Log Building School offers a introductory one-week course and an intermediate 4-week course and a full 10-week to learn the trade in a hands-on experience.  Courses are designed to expand knowledge – both of log building techniques and tools, their correct use and maintenance. All students become familiar with the basic notches of the European chinkless style of logbuilding. Set in a quiet rural location with nearby lakes and rivers that encourage fishing, swimming, canoeing and hiking.   www.logbuildingschool.net


  • Tend to the Bees

The world is all a-buzz about bees these days and Carleton Place veteran beekeeper, Paul Lacelle, is doing his part to help others learn to care for the world’s tiniest livestock, honeybees. Lacelle offers beekeeping workshops that teach aspiring beekeepers the basics like how to find a queen in a colony of honeybees, winterize a hive, or open a hive for spring. Lacelle’s Summer Field Day sees more than 100 beekeepers gather for a day of intensive honeybee hive management workshops and programming. Workshop costs are $50 per person. www.lacellesapiary.com 



  • Craft a Puppet

Make your own puppet from professional puppeteer, Noreen Young, a professional puppeteer and producer for CBC, TVO and the Family Channel. Young offers puppet-making workshops for small groups, giving participants a truly unique take-away. Young’s full day workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and teaches participants how to make a foam hand puppet. Cost is $30 per person, including all materials. Maximum 20 persons. The three-day workshop will product a latex head puppet and costs $85 per person, including all materials. Maximum eight persons. nyp@sympatico.ca



  • Create a Flower Arrangement

Nothing brightens a room more than a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers, but creating stunning arrangements takes time, knowledge and experience. Learn the art of flower arrangement and tap into more than 20 years spent growing and arranging flowers with instruction from the ‘flower lady,’ Sylvia van Oort, of Sylvia’s 4th Line Florals. Course participants will learn to cut and arrange flowers, make wreaths, work with dried flowers or create seasonal centerpieces. Courses cost $20 to $30 per person, with a minimum of five people in a course (subject to change without notice). https://www.sylvias4thlineflorals.ca/ 


  • Knitting and Felting 101

Explore the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers in Carleton Place and learn all about how wool is collected, graded and sold in Canada.  The Wool Growers offers courses in knitting and felting, where experts in the crafts can work with you as you learn textile skills that can keep you warm! Plan to take the course during the annual Lambs Down Park Festival in June and you can dive head first into everything sheep-related. Workshops run between two and three hours; and require a minimum of five people, with a maximum of 15. Cost is $30 to $40 per person. www.realwoolshop.ca


  • Learn the Art of Storytelling

From Stuart MacLean to Robert Munsch, Canadians are known as excellent story-tellers! Experience the art of story-telling from veteran story-teller and local historian, Susan Code McDougall. A teacher and author of local history, McDougall offers ghost walks each Halloween for the Perth Museum, and guided tours year-round. Cost for a 60 to 90-minute guided tour is $10 per adult, $5 per child (subject to change without notice). Group rates available, minimum of four people or $40. scode@storm.ca