/Algonquin Outfitters raises thousands for arts
Just a few of the many inspired paddles in the first ever Tom Thomson Paddle Art Auction. The fundraiser ended up raising more than $20000 for art in Huntsville and Oxtongue area. /Photo by Randy Mitson

Algonquin Outfitters raises thousands for arts

By Times Staff

Published Oct. 5 2017

This summer’s paddle art contest ended up far surpassing anything organizers at Alqonguin Outfitters could have imagined.

The contest distributed blank paddles to participants and asked them to make them into artworks. Those paddles were then collected by Algonquin Outfitters and auctioned off at a special event in Huntsville on Sept. 29. Bids were accepted online right up until midnight on the 29th.

Participants could use any medium or method but needed to maintain the paddle’s shape.

According to Algonquin Outfitters the results ranged from a knitted Hudson Bay inspired cover to carving and painting. One can make music.

“We received a lot more interest than expected in our very first Tom Thomson Paddle Art Auction” said marketing director Randy Mitson in an email.

“We had hoped to receive 100 paddles and we ended up having 206 paddles submitted. We were hoping to raise $10000 for our charities … and we ended up raising $20094 through the nearly 3000 bids we received online.”

The money will be given to Oxtongue Lake for Arts and Culture as well as the Town of Huntsville’s reserve fund for public art acquisition.

Creators of the paddles that received the highest bids were eligible to win a Badger paddle canoe trip for two Algonquin Outfitters shopping spree weekend getaway and art classes.