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Tour Update: Canada C3 expedition kicks off West Coast leg in Prince Rupert

Educational visits and tours available for the public on the former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker
Canada C3 is a former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker that is cruising from coast to coast to coast, starting in Toronto and ending in Victoria. Here the ship is sailing into Prince Rupert harbour on Sept.26. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Three coasts in 150 days, and Prince Rupert is the first stop for the Canada C3 icebreaker along the West Coast route.

The C3 ship is a former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker that set sail in Toronto on June 1 and will end its journey in Victoria on Oct. 28. It’s scheduled to stay in the Rupert harbour from Sept. 29 until Oct. 2, when it will sail toward Haida Gwaii, Hartley Bay and Bella Bella.

Tours are available to the public from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cow Bay Marina in Prince Rupert on Saturday, Sept. 30.

“One of our partners is Parks Canada. We’re visiting as many national parks and marine protected areas as we can and also working with the Haida,” said expedition leader Geoff Green. One of the members on his expedition team, Gen Gay, is from Masset.

The expedition is one of the biggest Canada 150 signature projects that aims to share stories from Indigenous people in the north and along the eastern and western coastlines. It is intended to build a deeper understanding of Canada’s northern and coastal history, and to expand knowledge of its diverse and remote environment.

“Increasingly we need to start acting like an ocean nation to take responsibility for what that means,” said Green. “A coastal community like Prince Rupert understands that more than other places in the country. We’ve been hearing stories pretty much every day since we left Toronto the challenges coastal communities face.”

The C3 will moor in Prince Rupert after a long trip around Alaska. A new group will then fly in to join the last leg to Victoria. More than 5,000 people applied to travel aboard the C3 ship for approximately 200 spots (not all at the same time). There are 15 legs of the journey that range from seven to 12 days.

Smithers-based Juno Award winner Alex Cuba was on Leg 2 from Montreal to Baie-Comeau. He was a part of a song collaboration “River of Nations.”

At each leg, the boat takes on a new group of Canadians that represent a portion of society: youth ambassadors, Indigenous leaders, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, business leaders, musicians and politicians.

“We can’t wait to get to Prince Rupert and we’re looking forward to seeing sharing the Canada C3 journey with them,” Green said.

The C3 team plans to visit schools, and will offer a ship tour during selected times, which the Northern View will post online once the information is available.

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