Kingston / Ottawa / Perth / Rideau Canal / Smiths Falls / The Wedge / Tourism

Thunderous ! VIPs join Smiths Falls in le boat celebration

le boat Managing Director, Cheryl Brown, spoke passionately about Canadians and Smiths Falls. Mayor Shawn Pankow applauds. Ontario, Canada PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

By MAGGIE M, Wedgee-in-Chief, Editor, thewedge.LIVE 🖤 TO SHARE click buttons at story’s end

It was December 2016 when we first wrote about the imminent arrival of le boat. Leases were not yet signed; but, all was on-track.

On June 13, 2018, le boat gathered VIPs from the region to celebrate a partnership with business and community leaders. All guests are sparks for tourism to the Rideau River–from Ottawa to Kingston.

Guests from Kingston To Ottawa : Kingston Town Crier, Chris Whyman, Manager of Visitor Experience Kingston and Ottawa leading beekeeper, Marianne Gee, Gee’s Bees. le boat opening celebration, June 13, 2018, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

Canadian guests at le boat Grand Opening were encouraged by the heartfelt words of Managing Director, Cheryl Brown–healing words on the heels of our southern neighbors’ economic thrashing of our nation.

“I’ve never met so many wonderful people,” Brown exclaimed in a Scottish accent (reminding us how far she had traveled from her European headquarters.) “I’ve not met a horrible Canadian.”

Brown’s emotion was palpable. We are indeed a gentle people. I reflect, Canadian character likely is the engine to Canada’s record tourism. No less, this industry is “tariff-immune.”

L-R : Cyril Cooper, President, Invest Cooper Consultants; Original “doers”, David Ballinger, Principal, and Dave McDougall, Principal, The Canals Group. le boat Grand Opening, June 13, 2018. Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE


Our invitation to the VIP Grand Opening of le boat Smiths Falls base stated “rain or shine.” It was to be both. Guests enjoyed over an hour with overcast, dry weather; however, a nefarious sky loomed overhead. Suddenly, this uninvited guest crashed the event with torrents and lightning.

The guests were not deterred.

As the storm dropped everyone scooted into one tent, shoulder-to-shoulder, to hear event speakers. A rain pancho received on arrival was forward-thinking. It was uproarious to witness a sea of guests slip speedily into blue plastic sacs.

Guests scurry to hear speeches near the main tent at le boat Smiths Falls headquarters Grand Opening event, June 13, 2018, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada. PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE


We did not get a chance to capture the many food artisans present–a wet camera won’t work. But this writer’s palate was fully functioning.

C’est Tout Bakery offered truly original, moist and light parmesan cookies. “They don’t have to be sweet,” said owner, Amy Rensby. Ramello presented its new international sauces. Top Shelf Distillers, Perth Brewery and 4 Degrees Brewing Co. were among many exhibitors present. Perth Brewery’s grapefruit beer is in my estimation a perfect summer refresher. And True North of 7 by 4 Degrees is always a favorite. Also exhibiting, Valley Custom Cutting, the premiere local butcher.


I was thrilled to finally get my hands on le boat’s, The Rideau Canal Region Guide. This 70-page booklet is placed in every boat for guests orientation. It features many hotspots along the Rideau, from Ottawa to Kingston–in full-colour with compelling images and words. The roll-out map at the end is impressive in graphic detail and unfurls to a full three-feet in length.

Spontaneous BIA photo-op, le boat event passport-holders. L-R : Jane Farrell, Perth BIA Director; Kari Clarke, head of Perth BIA; Lizabeth Wood, Chairman, Smiths Falls BIA. Ontario, Canada. PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

le boat vessels line the docks on The Rideau, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

The Lockmaster’s House is le boat North American headquarters, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE


Noreen Cartwright, Senior Development Consultant, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ontario. This woman’s determination was the impetus to the re-birth of the Rideau, starting with le boat’s investment. We await her next idea.

BeattieTartan team who flew in from Victoria, B.C. A marketing agency that assists Canadian tourism marketers. Welcome Avril Matthews!

READ our previous story on le boat. Take a ride with Cheryl Brown.

SUBSCRIBE TO the wedge at top-right. It’s free and confidential.

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