Ross Phillips - A Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey

Steph and Shane, Lake Superior

In A Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey (38 min) join four women, two men, and three canoes as they canoe from the Pacific Ocean, across Canada, to the Atlantic Ocean. The film follows crew members through laughter, illness, frustration, and perseverance as they paddle and portage 7,600 kilometers beneath mountain peaks, across the Great Plains, and through vast expanses of boreal forest.

The trip begins in Vancouver at the mouth of the Fraser River. Through British Columbia’s mountain ranges the crew paddled along mountain lakes and cycled, hiked, and snowshoed through mountain passes with canoes overhead or in tow. The expedition crossed the Rocky Mountain continental divide via the historic Howse Pass. Once over the divide the crew descended into the North Saskatchewan River and across the Great Plains. Throughout the summer months, the Odyssey proceeded east amid record flooding in Manitoba, through small Canadian Shield sheltered lakes separated by countless portages, and past the cliffs and islands the Great Lakes. With the onset of fall, the crew rode the tides of the St. Lawrence, portaged into the St. John River basin, and coasted to the Bay of Fundy.
They overcome grueling portages, clouds of mosquitoes, food shortages, persistent wind and waves, freighter traffic, poison ivy, and having six independent people being interdependent, continuously for six months. They are quick to delight in the beauty of the scenery surrounding them and the simplicity of travelling with everything needed in their boats for survival and creating a home at every campsite.

The Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey was born out of a love of fresh water and fueled by a lust for adventure. As the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s 2011 Expedition of the Year, the Odyssey strove to advocate for the importance of freshwater to Canada and partnered with organizations that are working hard to benefit Canadian waterways: the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

Experience a fresh view of Canada from the water, an absolutely important aspect of the Canadian environment, heritage and cultural identity.


Ross French River