june, 2024

12jun7:00 pm9:00 pmFire Canoe - How the West was Won!Speaker Series - Hosted at Haliburton fish Hatchery


Event Details

Tickets: $15/person

Canadians often ask how did we manage to secure so much territory?

At the middle of the 19th century, as fathers of a Canadian Confederation attempted to cobble together a nation of four English- and French-speaking settlements in the eastern half of North America, the rest of what would eventually become the Canadian West sat apparently untamed and available. What defence was there against Fenian incursions? How could Hudson’s Bay Co. trading posts deflect American expansionism? What force could hope to out-flank U.S. Civil War armies just across the undefended border?

Steamboats, that’s what! Or, as aboriginal people called them “fire canoes.” In his book, Fire Canoe, historian Ted Barris brings the first-hand accounts of captains, stevedores, engineers, firemen, immigrants, soldiers and carpetbaggers who travelled the inland waterways of the prairies between 1859 and the turn of the century. The tales of their sudden arrival, the exploits of the people they carried, the impact of their regularly scheduled trips on waterways across the prairies, all come alive in this book.

Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. He regularly writes in the national media (National PostAir Force magazine, Zoomer among many), and has hosted many CBC Radio network programs and shows on TV Ontario. His weekly blog The Barris Beat features commentary and narrative from his travels/experience. He has now published 20 non-fiction books, half of them wartime histories. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 Libris Award as Best Non-Fiction Book in Canada. His book Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany received the 2019 NORAD Trophy from the RCAF Association. And his book Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire was listed for the 2020 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction in Canada. Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory is Ted’s 20th published non-fiction book. Meanwhile, as 2022 ended, Ted received news that he’d been appointed Member of the Order of Canada.


(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Haliburton Fish Hatchery

6712 Gelert Rd.