Jon Turk to Speak at Canoecopia March 8-10


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Jon Turk is confirmed to speak at Canoecopia 2013, acclaimed as the world’s largest consumer canoe, kayak and outdoor expo.

Turk and colleague Erik Boomer are National Geographic Magazine’s nominees for “Adventurers of the Year for 2012” after the team of two were the first to circumnavigate Ellesmere Island in the Canadian high Arctic. The trip also earned Turk Canoe and Kayak Magazine’s “2012 Expedition of the Year Award.”

Turks’ additional authorship credits include the first environmental science textbook in North America titled “Earth Science and the Environment” (1971). Turk also wrote “Cold Oceans: Adventures in Kayak, Rowboat, and Dogsled” (2009). He is also the award-winning author of “The Raven’s Gift.”

“Turk’s chiseled but understated prose is a marked asset in light of the often outlandish material that comes his way,” the Washington Post Book World said in a review.

When asked about speaking at Canoecopia 2013, Turk said “I’m delighted to be invited back to speak at Canoecopia for the seventh time. I always enjoy speaking to an audience of people who love paddling and as much as I do.” When explaining what his talk would be structure around, Turk said: “Two men, one Spirit Wolf, 1500 miles, 104 days. But more than an expedition report, my talk looks south from the jumbled ice to reflect on our place in this oil-soaked, Internet crazed world.”

Canoecopia is Madison, Wis.-based Rutabaga Paddlesports’ annual canoe and kayak consumer exposition. It’s been a great tradition since 1981, where Rutabaga closes their kayak shop for a weekend in March, re-locating all inventory to the Alliant Energy Center. As in years past, Rutabaga will be joined by over 150 outdoor-oriented exhibitors.
Canoecopia seeks to educate and inspire those new to paddling culture while making quality gear accessible to more paddlers. An annual donation is made each year from Canoecopia to keep Wisconsin waters clean, among other charitable work the retailer does.

In addition to the many paddlesport and outdoor-industry exhibitors and demos, Canoecopia boasts guest speakers who inspire paddlers from all walks of life. Turk’s presentation about his 1,400-mile sea kayak circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island, an inhospitable voyage in some of the most unfavorable waters on earth, is sure to draw a crowd. His expertise in trip planning has made possible some amazing adventures, such as traveling from Northern Japan to Alaska via kayak and trimaran.

“Yes, there will be a book that will come out of the expedition,” Turk explained in an exclusive interview with “But it will not be an ‘expedition report’ that says, ‘We went out, braved the ice, suffered, persevered, and returned home heroes.’ I don’t want to write that book and few people want to read it. It has to be much more universal, with the expedition as one component of a greater narrative.”

Turk is based out of Darby, Montana.

Rutabaga Paddlesports has received Paddlesports Retailer of the Year from Canoe and Kayak Magazine a record eight times and was voted one of the best 50 Places to Work by Outside Magazine in 2011. Family-owned and operated since 1976, the company’s paddling school, Rutabaga Outdoor Programs, teaches paddling skills to more than 800 paddlers a year.

–Aaron Bible


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