The association of the canoe with Canada has a long, if not necessarily exclusive, history. Basic reference guides, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, tell us that there are ‘two main forms of canoe: that open from end to end (the modem recreational or sport Canadian canoe), propelled with a paddle having a single blade; and the kayak’ (2: 807). The sport of canoeing was popularised throughout Europe and North America during the mid-nineteenth century, primarily by a British lawyer named John MacGregor, who founded the Royal Canoe Club in London in 1865. Canoeing became an Olympic sport in 1936. Canoe racing is now designated into two categories: the Canadian canoe (nominated as Cl or C2 depending on the number of paddlers) and the kayak (K1 or K2), both of which are raced over a variety of distances.2
Knabe, Susan and Pearson, Wendy, Unpacking the Canoe: Alternative Perspectives on the Canoe as a National Symbol, Kunapipi, 23(1), 2001.