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Copyright © 1997
WILDS of Manitoba

2024 05 05



Paddle Canada Certified Canoe Courses
Available on Request

Clinics, courses, workshops or forays are offered on
Mushrooms, Ethnomycology
Medicinal Plants, Ethnobotany
Canoeing, Camping, Leading

Canoeing, Leading Instruction

Fungi, Mushroom, Plant, Foraging, Workshops

Instructor Information




Winnipeg is located within Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, and is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland. Winnipeg's water comes from the territory of Shoal Lake First Nation.




Canoeing and Trip Leadership workshops, courses and clinics are taught by a Paddle Canada certified instructor.

To arrange a personalized or group workshop, course or clinic, email courses AT wilds.mb.ca.

All workshops, courses or clinics are tailored to participants' needs, abilities and availability, at reasonable rates, within the national standards set out by Paddle Canada.

Specific course dates will be posted here soon.

Paddle Safely, refer to the Wilds Of Manitoba Safety Page.

Courses are taught in Riverbend Pond, Winnipeg as well as on the Seine River, Red River, LaSalle River, Cooks Creek, Brokenhead River, lakes or rivers in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Mantario Wilderness Zone and other locations in Manitoba and North West Ontario.

Paddle Canada Instructors in Manitoba have to be current members of Paddle Canada as well as Paddle Manitoba. Even if you are not a Paddle Canada instructor, consider joining either or both organizations to support them and contribute to safe paddling in Canada. Also consider making a charitable tax donation to the Paddle Canada Bill Mason Scholarship Fund.





Entry into a course, clinic or workshop is at the instructor's discretion. Assessments can be done by the instructor at a mutually agreeable time and are free of charge.
Get more information at email courses AT wilds.mb.ca

Note: Courses, clinics or workshops are taught with a variety of canoes (ultralight kevlar to heavier Royalex or Grumman aluminium canoes), paddles (bentshaft, ottertails, squareblades, etc.), Personal Flotation Devices and rescue equipment so that the student can learn the advantages of differences and is even able to learn to lift and carry and transport canoes without injury. Donna adjusts her teaching styles to meet the needs of students' skills, abilities and interests. Beware of various internet web pages that promote inappropriate and dangerous canoe lifting techniques and portaging methods.

Canoe instruction begins in May and ends in October each year.

Intro Lake Water Tandem Canoe Skills Course, evenings in May, June, July.

Intro Lake Water Solo Canoe Skills Course, evenings in May, June, July.

Intermediate Lake Water Tandem Canoe Skills Course, evenings in May, June, July, August.

Intermediate Lake Water Solo Canoe Skills Course, evenings in May, June, July, August.
Register at email courses AT wilds.mb.ca

NEW: Mycelium Canoeing Trip Course
2024 August 2 to 4

Paddle Canada Intro Lake Water Tandem Skills Course and Basic Camping Course
and Mushroom Workshop and Foraging in the Canadian Shield
Learn canoeing and camping skills and wilds mushrooms and plants at the same time.
Register before 2024 July 13 at email courses AT wilds.mb.ca








Mushroom Discovery Workshop
by Donna Kurt
The Leaf, Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg
2024 June 4

Email fungal AT wilds.mb.ca to learn more.


NEW: Mycelium Canoeing Trip Course
2024 August 2 to 4

Intro Lake Water Tandem Skills Course and/or Basic Camping Course
and Mushroom Workshop and Foraging in the Canadian Shield
Learn canoeing and camping skills and wilds mushrooms and plants at the same time.
Register before 2024 July 13 at email courses AT wilds.mb.ca


Mushroom and Plants Mantario Specialty Week
2024 August 14 to 18

Learn more about the Mushrooms and Plants Mantario canoe trip.


Donna Kurt has lead trips foraging for plants and mushrooms since 2004 and has lead canoe and camping trips since 1986 for non-profit volunteer organizations including RACCC, Paddle Manitoba (Manitoba Recreational Canoeing Association) and Nature Manitoba (Manitoba Naturalists Society).

Since 2008 Donna has provided workshops on mushrooms, medicinal plants, courses or clinics for Nature Manitoba, Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Northern Food Initiative, Thunderbird House, Living Prairie Museum, and McNally Robinson.

A unique experience is to learn canoeing skills and learn about mushrooms or plants while on a canoe trip.

All workshops or forays are customized to the participants' knowledge, skill levels and interests. Paddle Canada Lake Water skill certification provided as part of the trip, if a participant wants to work towards this on the trip.

Donna leads an annual Mushroom and Plants Specialty Program Week to the Mantario Wilderness Cabin operated by Nature Manitoba on a volunteer non-profit basis. Visit her Mantario youtube videos such as Mantario Thanksgiving Canoe 2006 and visit the Mycelium Canoeing page to see an overview of the Mantario Mushroom program weeks held in 2015 and 2023.





Donna Kurt
email: courses at wilds.mb.ca

Donna Kurt teaches canoe and wilderness trip leadership and camping workshops and clinics in North Winnipeg or in other locations as required on a custom or individual basis.

Paddle Canada Certifications:
Lake Water Canoe Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced Solo or Tandem Instructor Trainer
Lake Water Canoe Waterfront, Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced Solo or Tandem Instructor
Moving Water Canoe Intermediate Tandem Skills and Intro Solo Skills
Wilderness Leader Camping Instructor
Paddle Canada Board Member representing Manitoba

Other canoeing Certifications include:
Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association Lake Water Level 2
Paddle Canada Moving Water Canoe Tandem Intermediate
Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED

Other Current Certifications:
Certified Engineering Technologist (Electronics)
Sirius MedEx Wilderness Emergency First Aid/CPR/AED
Red Cross Basic Life Support
Manitoba Certified Food Handler Level 1
Manitoba Smart Choices Responsible Service Certification
Crisis Prevention Institute Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
Licenced Manitoba Security Guard
Winnipeg Folk Festival Trained Security Guard
Child Abuse Registry Check and previous Adult Abuse Registry Check
Criminal Record Check
International Permaculture Design Certificate

Work History:

Retired since 2014, Donna worked for 37 years as a Certified Engineering Technologist for MTS Communications Inc., testing, evaluating, designing, planning, and/or implementing network and internet synchronization and timing, fiber optic systems, various digital microwave and analog radio systems, multiplex and cross-connect systems, various antenna technologies, electromagnetic interference, business and operational computer systems, digital and analog television systems/platforms, data systems, and analog audio and telephone systems. Donna continues to volunteer on the Steering Committee for the annual international IEEE/ATIS Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems.

Donna Kurt paddling Bill Mason's cedar canvas prospector canoe on Meech Lake.
This is the canoe featured in Bill Mason's Waterwalker film
and books Path of the Paddle and Song of the Paddle
and now on display in the Peterborough Canoe Museum.
Photo by Becky Mason, 1986.

Donna Kurt has taught Paddle Canada canoe courses in Manitoba since 1995. She has been learning canoe and instruction skills since 1986 from distinguished paddlers such as Becky Mason, Paul Mason (children of legendary canoeist Bill Mason), Mark Molina (American Canoeing Association), as well as expert Paddle Canada (CRCA) certified canoe instructor trainers such as Glenn Buckmaster, Dean McLeod, Doug Gifford, Jarem Sawatsky, Peter Dowd, Brian Johnston and Steven Fletcher.

In addition to instructing many hundreds of beginner, intermediate and advanced lake water canoeists, Donna also coordinated and assisted instructing Paddle Canada Moving Water courses with Brian Johnston for over 10 years.

Donna Kurt running Old Woman Falls, Manigotagan River.

Donna has led hundreds of flat water and white water canoe camping trips as a volunteer for the Ottawa YM/YWCA Canoe Camping Club (OYCCC, now RACCC), Paddle Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Recreational Canoeing Association), Nature Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Naturalists Society) as well as private groups, averaging 1000 tripping km per year. She has paddled in most Canadian provinces, and on US and Australian coastal and inland waters. Donna has coordinated and lead over 25 Thanksgiving weekend canoe trips to Nature Manitoba's Mantario Wilderness Education Centre in Whiteshell Provincial Park, and lead numerous other canoe trips there for program weeks and work parties at other times of the year.

Not shy to volunteering, Donna served on the Paddle Canada (formerly CRCA) National Program Development Committee to update and implement the former Paddle Canada Canoeing Program and has been trained in instructing paddlers with disabilities. She has extended this training to such endeavours as taking persons of all abilities on canoeing trips such as her nonagenarian mother (see link below), Clarence Tillenius, and friends with vision impairments.

Donna has been involved in the Paddle Canada Adaptive Paddling Committee since 2021 as Secretary of the committee. From 2024 to 2025 Donna is serving on the Paddle Canada Board of Directors representing Manitoba.

Donna also served 13 years on the board and executive of Paddle Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Recreational Canoeing Association) since 1988 as President, Past-President, Vice-President, Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Social Convenor, Waterwalker Film Festival organizer, Instruction Chair and Course Coordinator, and Tuesday (now Wednesday) Night Paddle Leader and Coordinator.

She also served on the board of Nature Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Naturalists Society) for several years in the 1990s. Both Paddle Manitoba and Nature Manitoba presented numerous awards to Donna for volunteer efforts.

Donna has been studying mushrooms, lichens, trees, plants, water, earth, air, environment, animals and Indigenous ways of life since she began canoeing in 1986. She shared her knowledge and photographs at Mushroom workshops for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Zoo for over 10 years and developed the tutorial Mushroom Discovery shared on her website (password provided to her Mushroom Workshop attendees is available on request).

Over the past few years Donna has completed University courses in Biology, Aquatic Ecology and Experimental Limnology, Algae Fungi and Mosses, Forest Ecosystems Field Course, Forestry Skills Field Course, Plants of Manitoba Field Course, International Permaculture Design Certificate Course and Indigenous Studies courses in Indigenous Ethnobotany (Use of Plants) and Indigenous Food Systems.

Donna shares her passion for Mushrooms and Fungi as a non-profit volunteer at the Nature Manitoba Mantario Wilderness Program and Workshop Program. Refer to Mycelium Canoeing for a report of her 2015 Mantario program trip. She has offered this trip in subsequent years as well.

Donna is open to collaborative exploration or forays for mushrooms, lichens, mosses, ferns, trees and other plants and to lead trips on forest bathing; contact Donna at paddler at mymts.net for more information.






Donna's YouTube Channel


Other Paddling Connections

Paddle Manitoba formerly Manitoba Recreational Canoeing Association
Paddle Canada formerly Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association
Manitoba Pioneer Camp
Nature Manitoba formerly Manitoba Naturalists Society
Mycelium Canoeing 2015 Mantario Mushroom Program Week
Ottawa's Canoe Camping Club formerly OYCCC


Links of Interest

Nonagenerian Canoeist
wo man i got agan
Wilds of Manitoba - Canoeing Trip Reports
Wilds of Manitoba - Safe Paddling
Wilds of Manitoba - Related Links
Canoe School 2015 Slalom Course Video on Youtube
Charles Burchill, a fine canoeist
Environment Canada - Water Level and Flow
Kayak Manitoba Facebook page
Paddle Manitoba Newsletter Archive
wo man i got agan, a solo canoe trip on the Manigotagan River in 2010.


Equipment Rental Contacts

Mountain Equipment Company (MEC formally Mountain Equipment Coop)
Wilderness Supply Company