Canada C3: Coast to Coast to Coast with Students on Ice
Did you know that Canada has the largest coastline in the world? This summer Canadians are invited aboard an expedition to explore the edges of Canada with Coast to Coast to Coast (C3), a Signature Project of Canada 150. Led by Students on ice (SOI), C3 is a 150-day sailing voyage around the Canadian coastline from Toronto through the Northwest Passage to Victoria, B.C. With over 300 participants, the C3 ship crew is comprised of remarkable individuals representing the breadth of diversity and innovation in our country, from scientists, artists and business leaders to youth, newcomers and Indigenous elders.
Stopping a different location every day, C3 will visit 50 coastal communities, 36 Indigenous communities, 13 National Parks and 20 Migratory Bird sanctuaries. At each stop the crew will join community events, work with local artists and scientists and connect with Canadians across the country. You can join the adventure as a virtual expeditioner, tracking the voyage online via website updates and museum hubs. SOI Foundation Founder and Expedition Leader Geoff Green tells us more.
- Students on Ice has completed around 200 expeditions—has a sailing voyage of this scale around Canada's coastline been attempted before?
It’s a journey from the Great Lakes all the way out through the St. Lawrence, up the east coast, through the Northwest Passage, around Alaska and all the way down Canada's West Coast to Victoria. I don't think it’s been done before, certainly not the way we’re doing it, stopping for community events, exploring national parks, conducting science experiments and research. We’ve divided it into 15 ten-day legs, and on each of those legs we'll have a cross-section of Canadian society onboard, they are the voices of the country and they're onboard to share their stories and perspectives with the rest of Canada. It’s much like the fabric of Canada, we're a very diverse and inclusive nation and we're hoping to mirror that on the vessel.
- How can Canadians connect with the C3 voyage virtually?
We’ll have daily website updates, blogs, photos, videos, virtual reality footage, and interactive museum hubs across the country connecting to the voyage. I think it will capture the imaginations of Canadians, the fact that it’s a journey, there's going to be some surprises, some adventures, and tons of amazing imagery and stories to share about the journey around the country.
- Many parts of our country are difficult to travel to, are you hoping broadcasting this voyage will deepen the sense of connection Canadians feel for our landscape?
We’re celebrating the longest coastline in the world, and the fact that we are both an ocean nation and a polar nation. A lot of people don't know that Canada is a country as high as it is wide, they don't know that we have three oceans, or 40 per cent of our landmass is the Arctic—the list goes on and on! The nature of the journey has really touched a chord, it's something very Canadian that we're going to try to do here.
- The voyage has daily stops, how will the crew engage with the communities?
A large part of the trip is raising awareness about what makes those communities special. For example, when we pull into Conne River, Newfoundland on July 8, we're part of a big annual pow-wow they have, and in Torngat National Park we'll be a part of the quiet concert that day. In big cities there will be receptions, presentations, and events at the universities or media interviews. Our art team might go off with local art groups, the science team will go explore, and there'll be hikes and scientific works in the national parks on our route.
- You mentioned this is a very Canadian project, what are you hoping people take from C3 after the coastline tour is done?
How lucky we are to call Canada our home, I'm hoping it will be part of a catalyst for the country along with the other Canada 150 events as we move forward to make Canada better. I think 1967 had a big role in that for the last 50 years, I was one year old when I went to Expo in Montreal, and I know that my generation kind of surfed on the momentum from ’67. We were an innocent nation back then, things are more complex now, the challenges are greater, but I hope it'll inspire all kinds of things.
To find out more about the voyage, the C3 Digital Classroom, or the Virtual Expeditioner Museum Hubs visit their website. Follow C3 on:
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