On 4/16/2017 7:33 PM, Norm Crerar wrote:

Hello All!

You are on one of these lists as you are a Captain of a team, looking for a team, part of our organizing crew or someone involved with some part of our Fort to Fort event and need to know what is happening.

I had a series of meetings in Prince George and Fort St James a week ago.  The meetings were very productive and many questions have been answered with a few new ones to work on.  Here is what we know at this time:

  • The Fort to Fort Brigade is simply a Voyageur Canoe Brigade from Fort St James to Prince George over a three day period being organized by a group of people with the aim to bring interested parties together to paddle a historic fur trade route, enjoy each other’s company, look out for each other and learn from those knowledgeable about the waterway and the history of the area. 
  • Each team will have a Captain that will be responsible for his/her team and the team members in turn will be expected to be responsible to his/her Captain.
  • There will be a lead canoe and a trail canoe throughout the journey and as stated above, everyone will be expected to act responsibly and look to the welfare of the Brigade and fellow paddlers.
  • This is a simple Brigade with each team being responsible for their own transportation, food and water where and when needed, camping gear, etc.  There will be no obligation to purchase Brigade t-shirts, decals, crests, special flags, etc. but we will be celebrating Canada 150 and the place Voyageur Canoes played in Canada’s history – in fact all canoes!
  • It is customary for Voyageur’s to exchange gifts with hosts and guests.  In the past this has been as simple as a pouch of tobacco to and embroidered blanket.  This will be up to each team to set their own policy.  We will be meeting First Nations folks along the way, civic officials at Fort St James and Prince George, Parks Canada Officials, camping without charge on private land June 6 and 7, etc.  As well, there will be new friendships made along this journey and you may want to solidify this by exchanging paddles, shirts and your old socks!!
  • There will be some costs outlined below and by the end of this month, we should have a good handle on what each paddling member will have to contribute and where to send the cheque or by e-transfer.  This no-frills Brigade will not be expensive.

The Brigade timetable and details:

June 4, arrival of some teams.  Please let me know when you plan to arrive.  There is room at the Historic Fort for about 50 tents and room in the paved parking lot for 20 or so campers and vans.  Trucks and big trailers, trucks/SUVs with canoe trailers should plan to park in Cottonwoods civic camp ground.  I do not believe there are facilities for electricity and sewer at either site but there are toilets and potable water.  To book at the Historic Fort, contact Rene Leidle and for Cottonwoods, Teri-Ann (both on the Cc line).  There is a small charge for camping at either spot.  My information at this time is that there is a per unit cost of $20 per night at the Fort and $15 per night at Cottonwoods.  Note:  The canoes will be leaving Cottonwoods park for the trip to the Fort for the arrival ceremony July 5.  To walk or paddle from Cottonwoods to the Fort is five to ten minutes.

June 5, local morning event at Cottonwoods beach for whomever can take advantage of the canoes and paddlers being present, children/youth/civic leaders/etc.  Noon to 2 PM, registration and handing out of team info packages, Cottonwood campground.  3 PM Captains meeting Cottonwoods campground.  Safety, travel, camping and ceremonies to be explained.  Each Captain will be required to send in team registration and team member list when funds are requested end of this month.  Changes and additions/deletions will be dealt with at the registration. Voyageurs in voyageur garb (minimum, Voyageur Sash and some form of team ID plus flag of your choice for stern of each canoe) in canoes and ready to paddle to Fort for arrival ceremony 4:50 PM with arrival at Fort 5 PM sharp.  Arrival ceremony and dinner.  Speeches and presentation with some local spiritual entertainment. Cost for dinner, $20 per person.  We are working on finding a sponsor for this but worst case scenario would be $20/PP.

 June 6, leave Cottonwood park 0800 sharp for paddle down Stuart River to camping spot at Stuart River Bison Ranch.  Expected paddle time five to six hours.  This is private land and there is a road right to the camping area.  Our local organizers have a quote from a First nations caterer for dinner and the cost is $20 per person.  Our thoughts regarding this are simply this:  we are on private land and having a caterer will minimize the amount of “stuff” hauled in and garbage hauled out.  (The issue of potable water will be answered in the next update but plan on bringing your own or a good filter). Word is these caterers are very good. 

June 7, on the water 0800.  Stop at confluence of Stuart River and Nechako River to be met by a contingent of First Nations folks.  This is a very historic place with a bit of a dark history but an important part of our journey.  Camp at a private campground with easy access on mostly paved roads.  We are looking for a caterer for dinner here as well but figure on $20/PP.

 Note:  we have a price for portable toilets and based on 100 paddlers, the cost would be about $20/PP and 150 paddlers, $13/PP

 June 8, on the water time to be determined as we need to plan our arrival in PG for 2 PM at the Exploration Place.  Details for some kind of civic celebration are in the planning stages.  Disperse after hugs and kisses.

This is all for the moment.  We are only six weeks or so away from our event so lots to do and organize but everything is in motion.  I will be in touch in a week or so.  Please let me know if I have forgotten anything or left something or someone out.



On 1/29/2017 12:12 PM, Norm Crerar wrote:

Hello all! 

You may get this note twice as I have put all the committee names and Voyageur Canoe Team contacts on the To; address bar.  I have had a number of requests from folks on the list for someone else’s contact info.  If you know of someone who is not on the list but should be, please let me know.

Plans are moving forward for our event and the timetable has not changes from the last update.  I do plan on another trip to Prince George and Ft St James to speak with the folks helping out with the many parts of the Brigade.  I plan on being in Ft St James at the time of a big dog sled event end of Feb, this not because I am a big dog racing fan but more to visit my sister and to witness FSJ under a bit of stress with an influx of heaps of people.  I will finalize my plans in a couple of weeks and set up times to meet the PG and FSJ folks at a convenient time and place for everyone.

I have been asked by a couple of the team contacts for an opinion of the difficulty of the water on the Stuart and Nechako Rivers.  Perhaps one or more of the recipients of this note that can help us with a “reply to all” I am sure it would be appreciated.



On 12/7/2016 12:48 PM, Norm Crerar wrote:

Hello all!

You are on this update list as you have either contacted me and asked to be on the update or your name has been forwarded to me as a possible interested party.  As well, on the Cc..line are the members of the organizing group working in the area of Prince George to Fort St. James.

Here is the first update:

  • The Fort to Fort Brigade (F2F) will run from Fort St. James (FSJ) to Prince George (PG) June 6/7/8, 2017
  • Teams should plan on being at FSJ no later than noon June 5.  A private camping area has been booked near the HBC Historical Fort and there is room to camp at the Historical Fort so most of the teams can be accommodated and this will be at no charge.  As well, there is a small municipal camp ground very near the Historical Fort that has a nightly charge for those bringing campers/motor homes, Etc.
  • There will be a Captains meeting early afternoon June 5th to go over timetables, safety, camping, etc. and the ceremonial/historical activities
  • This Brigade will be a simple as we can make it.  There will be no outside agencies to join, no t-shirts to buy and no decals or flags to purchase.  The Captains of each team and the teams themselves need to be prepared to look after themselves as a self-contained unit, be prepared to help out for the benefit of the whole and pitch in to make the trip a success. 
  • Teams are encouraged to produce their own t-shirts for the F2F Brigade, bring their own flags, Canadian/BC/Alberta/Sask/Man/NWCo/ etc. as we will need them for the ceremonial arrival at the FSJ Fort 5 PM or so June 5th and at The Exploration Place in PG June 8.  Most teams have their own logo decals in place or will have.
  • Camping areas for the nights of June 6 and 7 have been arranged for by some very active and well connected folks in our organizing group.  These camping spots will be at no charge and have good vehicle access.  As well, look forward to some very knowledgeable folks on the F2F Brigade that will introduce us to the local HBC Fort history, history of the Stuart/Nechako/Fraser waterways and  lots of other bits and pieces.
  • Portable toilets are being arranged for and everyone will be expected to contribute to the cost.
  • Transportation is the responsibility of each person or team to arrange.

Here is a preliminary timetable:

June 4, Sunday – Arrival of advance crews

June 5, Monday – morning, local introduction of Voyageur Canoes to possible school groups, First Nations groups, FSJ Town dignitaries.

                              Afternoon, Captains meeting 1400 hrs. (a good time for individuals to visit HBC Fort)

                              5 PM, ceremonial arrival at HBC Fort, welcome (by FN, FSJ, politicians), dinner (hopefully a sponsored dinner)

June 6, Tuesday-On water 0800, depart Fort with some small ceremonial send-off.

                              Paddle Stuart River to camp spot at Stuart River Bison Ranch.

June 7, Wednesday-On water 0800, Paddle Stuart/Nechako Rivers to Camp spot near old Isle Pierre Ferry crossing.

June 8- Paddle Nechako to Fraser River at PG and land at The Exploration Place.  Start time will depend on Ceremonial arrival time necessary at The Exploration Place (probably mid-afternoon)

June8/9 – PG.  Arrange for dispersal or own accommodation if staying overnight(s).

Please pass this note on to teams or individuals connected with teams that you know are interested or may be interested in the F2F Brigade.  I will act as a clearing house for teams signifying interest in participating and will attempt to answer questions or concerns or direct same to others.  I would like to have the Team names and Team contact person so I can start compiling a list.  I would hope by mid-March that we will have a good handle on team numbers but the sooner the better.

For additional information please contact Norm Crerar <norm.crerar@gmail.com>