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Canoecraft on the Water Video Contest


UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced by the end of January 2018.


Learning about what our customers are up to in the workshop is an inspiration to all of us on the Bear Mountain team. We share pictures and swap building tips daily, and it’s always a pleasure to see a work in progress reach completion. With new projects underway all the time, though, we sometimes lose track of the obvious – paddling a wooden canoe or kayak made with your own hands is extremely satisfying. 

The Canoecraft On the Water video contest is our attempt to give this side of the experience its due. We want to see your canoes and kayaks in their element, being paddled in your favourite places. Short videos of up to five minutes should focus on what made you want to build your own craft, and what putting that hard work on the water means to you.

This is about connecting through a shared love of the outdoors, not a videographer’s showdown, so don’t worry if you don’t have access to professional-grade camera equipment. Shooting and editing on a smartphone is just fine if the final product conveys your love of wooden boats and wild spaces. We've put together some great prizes and a few simple rules to make it worth your while.


What You Need to Know



  • Start Date: May 20, 2017
  • End Date: 12:00PM EST, October 31, 2017
  • Extended Deadline: 12:00PM EST, December 31, 2017
  • Winners will be announced in January 2018




  • All entrants receive a Bear Mountain Boats t-shirt
  • Top 10 Honorable Mentions: One-year subscription to Canoeroots or Adventure Kayak Magazine (your choice)
  • 3rd prize: model canoe kit (retail value: $125) and a signed copy of Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman
  • 2nd prize: Signed copies of all Ted’s books (Kayaks You Can Build, Kayakcraft, The Canoe, Canoecraft) plus a subscription to Canoeroots, a signed copy of Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman, and a set of plans of your choice
  • 1st prize: $500 gift certificate to Lee Valley Tools Ltd and a set of plans of your choice


The Rules

  1. Your video must show a finished boat on the water. This is really the point of difference from our previous contests, so don’t forget to feature your craft on the rivers, lakes, and waterways closest to you.
  2. Submissions must be no longer than five minutes. We’ve made enough videos to know choosing the right footage can be tough. In order to make sure all these clips are easily sharable, please keep it short. The extra editing will pay off in the number of people who are able to see and enjoy your work.
  3. On camera, say something about what canoe building means to you. We want to see your boat on the water, but we’d also love to hear about what made your project unique, what made you want to embark on it, challenges you faced, lessons learned, etc. Anything you’d like to share on the subject of canoe or kayak building is fair game.
  4. Mention the specific model of boat you’re using. New builders are often curious about the respective virtues of a Ranger versus a Freedom, for example, and this is a chance to compare experiences and preferences.
  5. Please wear a life jacket. We realize not all adults choose to keep their life jacket on all the time. However, some of our followers have strong feelings about seeing people on the water without a floatation device. Let’s put an emphasis on safely and make sure these videos send the right message.
  6. If you decide to include music or other additional content, make sure you have all the appropriate permissions. Using copyrighted music in an Internet video can land you in trouble. If you’re including any content you didn’t create yourself, please ensure you own the rights or that the work is released under a Creative Commons license. It’s easy to find free high-quality music – see here for more.
  7. You agree to have your video featured on Bear Mountain Boats’ website, social media, and promotional materials. This should be obvious – we assume that by submitting, you’re happy to share your story with the world! Anyone who appears in the video should be comfortable having their image online, too.


How to Submit

We accept entries via Submittable, an online submissions manager. Click the button below to upload your entry.

That’s it! Thanks in advance to everyone who submits, and here’s to fair weather this summer so you can get great footage. Best of luck and happy paddling!



Looking for Inspiration? Watch a Sample

We happened to have a drone operator on hand (thanks, Amir Abedi!), so we put together a sample of how you might approach the contest. This isn't a required format, of course, just a demo to get you thinking about the possibilities.



Thanks to Denis Gagne and Peter Vandendort for appearing in this film. Music by Doctor Turtle.