Our Nautical Nights Speaker Series, in partnership with Kingston Yacht Club (KYC), has become an annual tradition at the Marine Museum. It’s one other way to keep us connected and warm during the cold winter (and spring) months!
We feature a wide variety of speakers who draw on the unique power of storytelling to share their perspectives and research. Speakers cover a range of topics surrounding environmental, social and military histories, as well as current issues or phenomenon. These unique evenings are now offered in a hybrid format (in-person at the Kingston Yacht Club and virtually via YouTube live-stream) with $7 tickets to help cover speaker honorariums and future events.
NEW SERIES ANNOUNCED! Scroll down to register.
Winter 2023 Speaker Series
Our 6th annual Nautical Nights Winter Speaker Series in partnership with Kingston Yacht Club begins Wednesday 11 January 2023 in a hybrid format - in-person at Kingston Yacht Club or virtual via YouTube live-stream. This year we are featuring a number of local and regional historians, environmentalists and maritime experts. Full speaker details are below.
Tickets are $7.00 (tax incl.) per presentation.
Seaway Queens: the Style and Grace of Legendary Lakers
11 January 2023
Seaway Queens, The Style & Grace of Legendary Lakers tells the story of the iconic freshwater fleet praised and respected for the essential role its played across the wider Great Lakes region, and beloved in the individual towns and communities on the lakes and rivers where the ships are fixtures. The book spans the earliest days of marine through to the modern era with 10 themed chapters discussing major changes and developments in areas such as technology, fleet renewal and the environment.
Order your own copy for the author to sign at seawayqueens.com -it's a great holiday gift!
Bateaux and Whaleboats: Bradstreet's Bateaux Service and the Fall of Fort Frontenac 1758
25 January 2023
NOW VIRTUAL due to inclement weather.
John Bradstreet's Raid of 1758 resulted in the capture and destruction of Fort Frontenac. It heralded the end of the French regime on the Lake and in Canada.
Bradstreet's Battoe Service was a new capability that made it all possible, allowing for the movement of armies with cannon through the wilderness effectively for the first time at Cataraqui. The successful raid on Kingston saw the British army use their new capability again the following year in the capture of Fort Niagara and the subsequent year when they descended the St Lawrence River to capture Montreal.
Lake Superior Our Helper: Stories from Batchewanaung Anishinabek Fisheries
Dr Kristen Lowitt
8 February 2023
This talk will share insights from a collaborative film research project to support Batchewana First Nation’s traditional fisheries. Batchewana First Nation is located on the eastern shore of Lake Superior (Gichigami in Anishinaabemowin). Despite the ongoing impacts of European colonization on the community’s ways of life, they continue to fish and assert their inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights. This talk will discuss the methodologies underlying this project and share some of the social, political, and ecological relationships surrounding Batchewana First Nation’s fisheries as expressed in the documentary film. Film website: https://www.batchewanaungfish.ca/.
HMS Speedy: the Tragedy and the Mystery
8 March 2023
The loss of HMS Speedy was a terrible disaster when it happened on October 8, 1804. The new book “The Wreck of HMS Speedy: The Tragedy that Shook Upper Canada” presents the events around the loss of the Speedy in detail and with an objective eye on the conflicts of the day between the government, the new settlers and the indigenous people who occupied the land. The author gained access to Ed Burtt’s never-published personal documents after he passed away in 2017. He was the diver in Belleville who believed he had found the remains of the Speedy during survey work on Lake Ontario in the early 1990s. A lot of controversy developed around the survey work and Ed Burtt’s documents shed light on the reasons why no archaeology work was done on the site after the survey work ended. The presentation will show some of the currently available images of items found during the survey work along with some explanation for what the items might be.
Pierre's Song: the Beauprés of Portsmouth
Dr David More and Marie Edwards
22 March 2023
The patriarch of the Beaupré family arrived in Kingston during the War of 1812 to assist the British as a shipbuilder, working on HMS St. Lawrence in the Royal Dockyard there. The family settled in Portsmouth Village, where they continued shipbuilding for many years, constructing such iconic Lake schooners as the Oliver Mowat and Queen of the Lakes. Edouard Beaupré also was instrumental in the civic founding of the community as a member of its first town council, and constructed what has remained an icon of the Village, the Portsmouth Tavern, which the family owned until 1974. This is a sketch of their history going back to the earliest days of New France.
Fixing Niagara Falls: Manipulating the World’s Most Famous Waterfall
Dr Daniel Macfarlane
29 March 2023
In this presentation I will detail how engineers, bureaucrats, and politicians manipulated the world's most famous waterfall particularly during the early Cold War. During the first half of the twentieth century, the United States and Canada explored various ways to maximize hydropower from the Niagara River while "preserving" the falls. Decades of environmental diplomacy and transborder studies led to a 1950 treaty that allowed new hydroelectric stations to funnel most of the river's water to generate power. To facilitate these diversions and lessen the visual impact of redirecting so much water, the two nations cooperated to install a range of control works while reshaping and shrinking the Horseshoe Falls.
Winter 2022 Speaker Series
Our 5th annual Nautical Nights Winter Speaker Series in partnership with Kingston Yacht Club was a great success - catch-up on the what you missed by clicking on one of the presentations below!
Kingston's Royal Naval Dockyard, 1874-1815
Dr. David More
12 January 2022
Before and during the War of 1812, the Naval Dockyard in Kingston where RMC now stands created wooden sailing warships, some as large and powerful as any to be found in Britain’s blue water Royal Navy. HMS St. Lawrence was a 100+ gun ship of the line, the largest sailing warship ever to sail the Great Lakes. The bones of several of these vessels still lie in Kingston waters, and are now officially National Heritage Sites. This presentation will acquaint participants with the interesting history of a major naval dockyard that once employed more than 1,500 men and women and built a fresh water navy, at a time when the entire civilian population of Kingston was only about the same. It was an enormous accomplishment that was important to the survival of Upper Canada under British rule.
Sisters of the Ice
26 January 2022
In this presentation the author will discuss a brief history of Canadian Arctic sovereignty by looking back at some of the ships and sailors who worked in the Arctic when it was still seen as a terra incognita, unclaimed by any country. This is a linked series of true Canadian Arctic sea stories illustrated with many never before seen in public photographs as well as a short historical video. Definitely an evening for sailors as given by a sailor. Order the book here!
Ferry Tales from Wolfe Island - the Picture Show
9 February 2022
Almost twenty-five years in the making, this is a collection of stories involving getting to and from the biggest island in the Thousand Islands over a period of 300 years, from 1673 to 2008. While the book might be classed as historical fiction, it is based on actual facts with actual people, based on historical essays, ferry logbooks, family diaries and scrapbooks, newspaper articles and recollections.
Brian was the founding president of the Wolfe Island Historical Society in 2006. He continues to serve as a director on the WIHS board contributing to Windword, the annual journal of the WIHS. He was also a relief captain for the St. Lawrence Cruise Line’s Canadian Empress visiting various historic ports from Kingston to Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River and Kingston to Ottawa on the Ottawa River.
La Vérendrye and the Search for the Western Sea
Dr. Scott Berthelette
9 March 2022
In the 1730s, the Governor of New France tasked sieur de La Vérendrye with establishing les postes de la Mer de l'Ouest in the territory of northwest Lake Superior. These posts were meant to challenge the Hudson's Bay Company for fur trade dominance. Canadian voyageurs and coureurs de bois were at the heart of the operations to discover the so-called Western Sea. Working for French colonial authorities; increasingly, they found themselves between two worlds as they built relationships with Indigenous communities, sometime joining them through adoption or marriage. The result was an ambivalent empire guided by ambiguous or imperfect information, built upon a contested Indigenous borderland, fragmented by local interests, periodically neglected; and yet, still perceived as immensely valuable by French ministers and bureacrats.
Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield, RN: Master Chartmaker of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River and Gulf
23 March 2022
Admiral H. W. Bayfield, RN was one of the most extraordinary British naval officers of the 19th-century. A veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812, Bayfield charted Canada's most well travelled waterways from Duluth, Minnesota to Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Labrador coast. Charting Canada's vast coastline under some of the most trying conditions make Bayfield's sea saga one of the most fascinating stories in Canadian naval history. During Bayfield's half century on Canadian waters, he encountered such legendary figures as explorer, Captain Sir John Franklin, mapmaker David Thompson and artist and naturalist John James Audubon. When he retired to Charlottetown, PEI in 1867, of the 215 Admiralty charts issued for Canadian waters, Bayfield had drafted 114 of them. Bayfield justly deserves his title 'The Father of Canadian Hydrography".
6 April 2022
Royal Canadian Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Jill Heinerth joins for a visual journey along Canada's coasts, exploring hidden caves, shipwrecks and icebergs.
Jill leads expeditions into extreme environments to advance scientific and geographic knowledge. Her projects have been broadcast on the CBC, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, and television networks worldwide. Jill was recently announced as the recipient of the William Beebe Award from the Explorer’s Club and will be inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame in fall 2020.