In the beginning there were no books, there was no internet and bamboo rodmaking was a "black art" performed by few and in secret. Tools and techniques were proprietary and often within a shop the maestro performed the bevelling or varnishing behind closed doors, not even his workers were privvy to the process.
Slowly a few books were published but they were vague. They featured drawings and sparse commentary that kept the average person from getting started. Finally the Garrison book by Hoagy Carmichael and then the Wayne Cattenach book demystified the process. Ron Barch launched the Planing Form Newsletter and the true renaissance of cane rod building was in full swing.
Finally there was a need for all these independent builders to get together and rodmaking gatherings were born. In Western Canada the first gathering was conceived at Corbett Lake in BC and is still being held today. Attendance was limited to a certain number of builders and it was a long way to travel for some. A group of Ontario builders created an Eastern gathering in Fergus, Ontario. The Canadian Cane gathering is held bi-annually in "odd" numbered years.
Typically the event is held on a Saturday/Sunday in May. The format consists of seminars, presentations and demonstrations. Lunch is provided on both days and a casual supper on Saturday evening. The weekend is very informal, there is a casting pond to try out bamboo rods and for those that want to fish the Grand River is a two minute walk from the meeting, you are surrounded by trout.
A brief history of Canadian Cane:
The first gathering was held in 1997, it was known as "The First Northeast Bamboo Rodmakers Gathering", an auspicious title to be sure. Surprisingly we had "The 2nd Northeast Bamboo Builders Gathering in 1998". In 1999 the event was titled "The Grand Gathering and Grand experiment". The organizers decided to run the event on a bi-annual basis and Canadian Cane was born in 2001. We have run the event thru 2017 totalling twelve events. Many attendees have come to all of the gatherings which is amazing. The purpose of the event is two fold, to promote bamboo building and offer a venue for new builders to meet local builders and to share ideas amongst the rodbuilding community. Many attendees travel great distances to attend the event including builders from Europe and many American States. We have had builders from both Canadian coasts, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Canadian Cane is a not for profit activity, run by local volunteer builders. Truthfully though, it is just fun to see everyone and hang out, it's that simple. Our 20th Anniversary event was held in May 2017 and had record attendance.
The following is partial list of past attendees at Canadian Cane:
Alan Medved, innovator and inventor of the Medved Beveller, Pennsylvania Jerry Kustich, Winston Rods and Sweetgrass Rods, Montana George Maurer, builder and author, Pennsylvania Hal Bacon, former owner of the Payne Rod Co., Maine John Bokstrom, innovator, builder, British Columbia Jeff Wagner, builder, Ohio Ted Knott, builder, Ontario Ron Barch, builder, publisher, Michigan Andy Royer, Bamboo Broker, Trout Grass DVD, Washington Chet Croco, builder, owner of Genuine Bellinger Components and tools, Oregon Tim Abbot, builder and master innovator, Pennsylvania Tom Smithwick, builder, caster, Pennsylvania John Zimny, builder, philosopher, Delaware Chris Bogart, Shenandoah Rods, Virginia Tom Ciemega, builder, former employee of the Paul Young Rodshop, Michigan John Pickard, builder, Michigan Dave Van Burgel, builder, teacher, Maine Kathy Scott, author, teacher, Maine Alan Gnann, owner REC components, Vermont Bob Milward, author and banjo player, British Columbia Ron Grantham, builder, British Columbia Bill Waara Sr., builder innovator, Michigan Harold Demarest, bamboo importer, New York Olaf Borge, silk line importer dealer, Wisconsin Graham Maisey, Belvoirdale, Michigan Bob Malucci, founder of Powerfibers online magazine Kim Mellema, Pennsylvania Willis Reid, Pennsylvania Bob Clay, rod maker, British Columbia Jorge Carcao, builder, Ontario James Bond, builder, teacher, Ontario Dennis Bertram, innovator, Ohio