Dry Spell is a place for my reflections on canoeing, especially during the off season. I canoe every week I can, and I want to talk about it, study some wildlife, count kilometers paddled and plan for next season. If you have paddling stories of your own, I would love to hear them. Subscribe to get a monthly letter in your inbox.

I’m a writer based in Hamilton, Ontario. My work has appeared in Shameless, Broken Pencil, The Antigonish Review and Hamilton Arts and Letters. I’m currently at work on my MFA at the University of British Columbia.

I'm working to develop an ethical canoeing practice. This is a work-in-progress to-do list:

  • Reconciliation: Recognize and acknowledge my presence as a canoeist on the traditional Indigenous territories across Ontario. Read the treaties and learn about the nations. Learn about the canoe through Indigenous creation, development, and resilience. As a tool of colonialism in Canada. Disrupt the use of the canoe as a romantic symbol for purposes of commercialism, consumerism, and blind patriotism. Support projects that enable Indigenous nations and people to revitalize their relationships to the canoe and the land.

  • Land + water: Learn about the land, water and wildlife where I canoe. Put some of my dollars towards organizations that protect it. Read environmental coverage. Engage with my representatives.

  • Safety: Take responsibility for my own safety and the safety of others in my canoe. Wear a PFD. Be prepared for accidents. Read the weather report. Follow Transport Canada's requirements for human-powered watercraft.

  • Leave no trace: Collect litter and dispose of waste properly. Minimize campfire impacts. Respect wildlife. Be considerate of other people. Leave what you find. Leave no trace.

I'm still learning.

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Grace Evans

Writer, canoeist, MFA student, dog lover, old house aficionado