by Mike Giles
Two Canadian brands—abitibi & co and Norquay—brought together via a common love of canoeing have embarked on a three-year partnership to change the face of canoe craftsmanship. Building on a 53-year-old heritage, abitibi & co brings a new vision to an already well-respected canoe and kayak product line adding Norquay co-owner Natasha Wittke’s artistic aesthetic into the mix, altogether balancing great design and the great outdoors.
JD Petit, co-founder of abitibi & co says, “More or us are turning to the wilderness to find peace, balance and to reconnect with ourselves. For us at abitibi & co. nature is where creativity and liberty co-exist. This is what this partnership is all about, creating a unique product that inspires you and others to get into the great outdoors.” When asked about the artistic process behind embellishing a whole canoe rather than just the paddles Norquay is known for, Wittke says she had to alter her approach due to the size, shape and contours of the canoe. “In order for the designs to translate accordingly, it isn’t as simple as the final product appears. I think my geometry skills have improved since working on canoes. Also thinking about the design from all angles—side and bottom and how it looks when it’s in the water are all considered during the creative process. Working with kevlar versus wood also changes the way we approach our process and the materials we use to ensure durability and longevity,” she tells CH.
The collaboration canoes are entirely functional, but striking design objects at the same time. With strong colors and geometric patterning, each piece is bold but sophisticated. Just 50 canoes are for sale.
Images courtesy of abitibi & co and Norquay