Canadian Canoe Museum founder Kirk Wipper one of 10 inductees of Peterborough’s 2024 Pathway of Fame

Other inductees are Spencer J. Harrison, John Lewis, Earl Wilfong, Melissa Payne, Jim Hendry, Glen Caradus, J. Murray Jones, Tegan Moss, and Ray Ostapovich

The 10 inductees of the The Peterborough & District 2024 Pathway of Fame are (left to right, top and bottom): Spencer J. Harrison, John Lewis, Earl Wilfong, Melissa Payne, Jim Hendry, Glen Caradus, J. Murray Jones, Tegan Moss, Ray Ostapovich, and the late Kirk Wipper. (kawarthaNOW collage of supplied photos)
The 10 inductees of the The Peterborough & District 2024 Pathway of Fame are (left to right, top and bottom): Spencer J. Harrison, John Lewis, Earl Wilfong, Melissa Payne, Jim Hendry, Glen Caradus, J. Murray Jones, Tegan Moss, Ray Ostapovich, and the late Kirk Wipper. (kawarthaNOW collage of supplied photos)

The Peterborough & District Pathway of Fame has announced the 10 inductees of the 2024 Pathway of Fame, including the late founder of The Canadian Canoe Museum.

Established in 1997, the Pathway of Fame honours people who have contributed to the arts and humanities heritage of the Peterborough. Nominations are submitted annually by the public in the categories of visual arts, literary, dramatic arts, entertainment/musical, cultural/community betterment, community Samaritan, media, and community builder.

Kirk Wipper, whose collection of more than 600 canoes, kayaks, and other paddled watercraft became the basis for what would become The Canadian Canoe Museum in 1997, has been inducted in the category of community builder. His induction, 13 years after his death at the age of 87, comes on the heels of the May opening of the new state-of-the-art museum facility on the shores of Little Lake, where all of Wipper’s collection will be accessible for display for the first time in the museum’s history.

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Inductees in the cultural/community betterment category include retired journalist and active volunteer Jim Hendry, educator and environmental activist Glen Caradus, former Peterborough County warden J. Murray Jones, and Peterborough GreenUP executive director Tegan Moss.

Local musicians Earl Wilfong and Melissa Payne have been inducted in the entertainment category, artist and 2SLGBTQ equity advocate Spencer J. Harrison has been inducted in the visual arts category, and YourTV producer and on-air host John Lewis has been inducted in the dramatic arts category.

Ray Ostapovich, who has been a member of the Peterborough Lions Club for almost six decades, has been inducted in the community Samaritan category.

A public induction ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10th at Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough, which the Pathway of Fame notes is the first time the induction ceremony has been held on a weeknight. The event is free and open to the general public as well as to families, friends, and supporters of the inductees and past inductees.

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Below are the short bios of each of the 2024 inductees, as provided by the Pathway of Fame.

Spencer J. Harrison (Visual Arts)

As an artist, activist and academic, Spencer J. Harrison’s work has been, and remains, highly influential in the call for a change in attitudes around equity and for fuller inclusion for members of 2SLGBTQ community, his art featured at several galleries across Ontario as he positions artists in the academic work as knowledge creators.

John Lewis (Dramatic Arts)

Possessing of an unabashed love for Peterborough’s music scene, YourTV producer and on-air host John Lewis, via his well researched signature programs Junction 28 and The Skinny, has introduced a broad audience to music artists in our midst while mentoring countless volunteers looking to make their own mark in the community television realm.

Earl Wilfong (Entertainment)

A lifelong entertainer who has performed across North America and overseas in Europe, Peterborough native Earl Wilfong has shared stages and collaborated with numerous well-known acts but has never forgotten where he comes from, selflessly gifting his talent time and time again to the benefit of countless local causes and organizations.

Melissa Payne (Entertainment)

Ennismore born and raised Melissa Payne was gifted her first fiddle at age four and has never put it down, fashioning a remarkable music journey that has seen her record three full-length albums and collaborate with the likes of Natalie MacMaster and Greg Keelor, while making the mentoring and supporting up-and-coming musicians a priority.

Jim Hendry (Cultural/Community Betterment)

Since retiring from The Examiner in 2014 after a 32-year career with the Peterborough newspaper, Jim Hendry found himself with the time to devote to causes that he’s passionate about, and the United Way of Peterborough and District, the ReFrame Film Festival and newcomers to Peterborough remain grateful he didn’t put his feet up.

Glen Caradus (Cultural/Community Betterment)

As an educator with Camp Kawartha, Ecology Park and the Canadian Canoe Museum, musician, storyteller and puppeteer Glen Caradus has made educating kids and young people on Canadian history and the environment his mission while raising thousands of dollars for climate change advocacy groups by way of his Ride For Climate initiative.

J. Murray Jones (Cultural/Community Betterment)

Retiring in 2022 after a remarkable run in Peterborough County politics, including 11 years as warden, J. Murray Jones’ legacy is as well-founded as it is secure, his leading the charge to bring expanded broadband and cellular service to the county and rural eastern Ontario, and his steady hand during the pandemic, being hallmarks of his time in office.

Tegan Moss (Cultural/Community Betterment)

Promoting active transportation, as she did as the longtime executive director of B!KE, or working to mitigate the effects of climate change, as she does now leading Peterborough GreenUP, Tegan Moss has long had the best interests of Peterborough residents well in mind, her advocacy helping others lead healthier eco-friendly lives.

Ray Ostapovich (Samaritan)

A member of the Peterborough Lions Club for close to 60 years, Ray Ostapovich played a key role in the development of the service club’s Handicap/Medical Equipment Loan Program which, at age 88, he still oversees, collecting, repairing and delivering used assistive devices and medical equipment to anyone hard pressed to purchase new.

Kirk Wipper (Community Builder)

With the new home of the Canadian Canoe Museum now open, Kirk Wipper is being remembered for his diligent efforts, over many years, securing, storing and preserving more than 500 canoes and related artifacts, providing the springboard for what has become the internationally recognized Peterborough-based home of all things canoe.