Tall Ships sail to Brockville

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

There’s this Schooner named ‘The Mist of Avalon’ built in 1967.

This Canadian Coast Ship is the Teather C.V.

Brockville’s Tall Ships Festival is a nautical time-capsule through the region’s history.

Dave Paul: “The fact that it’s a tall ships festival brings out the history of the entire area and the river. The Brockville museum, for instance, has got an entire exhibit about the people and the river.”

A dozen ships have come to Brockville this weekend, from all over Canada, the US and even one from Spain.

Dave Paul: “There’s a mystique about the sea, a mystique about tall ships. That’s what I think attracts people in the numbers that we’re seeing right at this time.”

The public is invited to attend the city’s riverfront, but can climb aboard any of the 12 vessels with the purchase of a passport. Like this Century-old ship from Ottawa.

Ryan Dean/Engineer: “It was originally a tug back in 1904. In the 50’s it was bought and then redone to be a brigantine. It also sailed as a private yacht for the fullers.”

The Black Jack takes part in a number of festivals each year. Its engineer says it’s important to interact with festival-goers to keep the spirit of sailing alive and well.

Ryan Dean/Ship Engineer: “It is a lost art. The age of sail has disappeared. So whatever we’ve got left we have to maintain and keep it for more people showing interest. The more volunteers we have the better we can do with the programs.”

This is the second Tall Ships festival – the first took place in 2013 brought in more than 4 million dollars to the local economy. The city’s hoping for the same in 2016.

Dave Paul: “If we match what we did in 2013. At the pace of our passport sales right now, it looks like we’re going to be able to achieve that.”

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