Canada C3 Expedition


An epic 150-day voyage from

Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage

My tour of leg 5 — from St. John’s to Nain in Newfoundland & Labrador

We set off from St. John’s, Newfoundland on July 12, 2017 aboard a former Canadian Coast Guard vessel, a research icebreaker named the Polar Prince. A cross-section of 60 Canadians are on board. As the writer-in-residence of leg 5, my job is to capture the ineffable in an unfamiliar landscape. Along the way, we meet local Innu and Inuit peoples who welcome us into their communities. Their stories are shared in speech, song and sometimes sorrow. We open the book of Canada and discover many missing pages. An iceberg becomes a perfect metaphor for the journey. Standing in awe before such massive beauty, we watch shapes transform, drift away, withhold their secrets. Every stop we rediscover what it means to be part of a diverse community, to be bound by hope and healing, to experience a place called home.

We begin the journey as strangers, standing on the easternmost part of Canada.

Joining C3 in St. John’s, we are from Yellowknife and Montreal, from Goose Bay and Victoria.

A toast with scotch poured over a 10,000 year-old iceberg.

Dominique adds a note

to her beautiful

leg 5 artwork, painted

right in the hanger.

Lovely Linda holds up my

book, Life on Mars, as it enjoys

a rather exotic book tour.

Canada C3 Expedition – the companion book

Author, adventurer, and explorer James Raffan will be editing the C3 Canada companion book. Each chapter will be a visual and textual exploration by voyage leg. Through multiple contributor voices, the book will capture the essence of the expedition in stunning imagery, song lyrics, journal entries, vignettes, and other found treasures included along the way.

The full-colour coffee table book will be similar in style to the award winning Rendez-vous with the Wild: The Boreal Forest, also by James Raffan.

All C3 participants are invited to contribute to the book. James is looking for snippets, snapshots and personal perspectives on the journey— journal excerpts, ephemera (e.g. distinctive ticket stubs, boarding passes, notes, directives), short prose, poetry, vignettes, painting, sketches, hand-drawn maps. The final selection will be based on durability–those items, images and narratives that will stand the test of time.

To contribute to the book, or to ask questions about content or editorial vision, please contact James Raffan: