WCHA Annual Assembly

An annual event bringing together WCHA members from around the world.

2021 WCHA Assembly - July at Paul Smith's College, Paul Smiths, New York

It is my sad duty to report that the 2020 Annual Assembly has been cancelled. After a great deal of consideration and consultation, the Board of Directors ultimately decided to cancel Assembly 2020 out of concern for the heath of our members and guests, the likely continuing disruption of international travel, the current ban on large gatherings in the State of New York, and the likelihood of very low turnout even if such a gathering could be held. This decision also prevents possibly serious financial losses for our organization. Everyone was very dismayed with the obvious decision that had to be made, but it is important to make the earliest possible announcement of what was almost certainly a foregone conclusion.

The good news is that we are already looking forward to Assembly 2021. We are already booked with Paul Smith’s College and hope that much of the programming planned for this year will be provided next year.

Stay safe, and use this time to meet with fellow WCHA members electronically, hone your canoe building and restoration skills, learn more about canoe history, and plan future paddling adventures. And by all means and whenever possible, practice social distancing from a wooden canoe – for us there may be no better way to de-stress and remember the truly wonderful things in life.

Michael Grace


Wooden Canoe Heritage Association 41st  Annual Assembly, July, 2021

Location: Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks, Paul Smith’s, New York


Located in the St. Regis Canoe Area: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/70572.html

& Adirondack High Peaks: https://www.adirondack.net/hiking/high-peaks/


Theme: Solo Canoes & Remembering Tom MacKenzie


Featured program presentations include:


Solo Canoes and Remembering Tom MacKenzie by Charlie Wilson

Alaskan Mission Hospital by Geoffrey Burke

Fifty Day Youth Canoe Trips by Kate Barrett

My Beautiful Cedar Rib Canoe by Nick Dennis, UK Chapter Head

Five Week Arctic Canoe Trip by Rolf Kraiker

Solo Canoes of Rushton and Contemporaries by Dan Miller

Rushton’s Bucktail in Florida by Michael Grace, WCHA President


As usual, the 2021 Annual Assembly will also include perennial favorites:

Tour of of notable canoes on the Green, construction workshops and demonstrations, children’s program, annual membership meeting, WCHA Store, annual fundraising Raffle & Auction, and the Paddle-by and Salute.


Again this year, our event will be overlapped by the Adirondack Canoe Symposium, so we will be able to enjoy workshops, demonstrations and an exhibition of “Freestyle” canoeing (canoe ballet, often choreographed to music!)


There will be lots of fabulous paddling opportunities and local attractions in the beautiful Adirondack Region of New York State.

Registration opens on April 20, 2021!

Find the program of events and registration forms on the WCHA website,  wcha.org/annual-assembly, beginning on April 20th.

The program and registration form will also be included in the Spring 2021 issue of Wooden Canoe, which will be mailed in mid-May.


For more information, contact Rob Stevens, Annual Assembly Program Coordinator, robstevens7777@gmail.com

or Annie Burke, Executive Director,  annie@wcha.org , 603-323-8992



See photos of the 2019 Assembly here:


Assembly overviews




Annual Paddle-by & Salute:




Photo Credits; Jim & Betsy Wilson and Mike Livdahl


Assembly Programs

Here are the 2019 Assembly Program Descriptions and Schedule.

A Glimpse of Assembly


The Jules and Dorothy Wiebel Award

The Jules and Dorothy Wiebel Award is made possible through a generous donation by Julie Wiebel Agar in memory of Jules and Dorothy Wiebel, longtime members of the WCHA and regular attendees at the Assembly. This award honors a volunteer who has participated in Assembly over the years, and who, through efforts above and beyond the call of duty, has made the Assembly experience a very special event for others.

Award winners must have been an Assembly volunteer for at least five years; must have provided a unique contribution that enhanced the quality of Assemblies through contributions of services, knowledge, volunteerism, or leadership that furthers the mission of WCHA; cannot have been a member of the Board of Directors for at least three previous years; and must be nominated by five WCHA members.

The award is not necessarily given annually, but only in those years when a nominee is put forward. Nominations should be sent to Executive Director Annie Burke (P.O. Box 117, Tamworth, NH 03886; annie@wcha.org).

Past Winners

  • Karen MacKenzie (2008)
  • Hugh Clark (2008)
  • Jay Boyer (2009)
  • Janet Isabelle (2012)
  • Dick Christie (2013)
  • Tom MacKenzie (2014)
  • Steve Lapey (2015)