Crew to set out on 150-day sea voyage around Canada
Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017 1:54PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 1, 2017 12:48PM EDT
A Canadian icebreaker is sailing around the country on a journey of celebration, education and reconciliation to mark Canada's 150th anniversary, with a handful of lucky people on board to document the trip.
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The journey, dubbed the C3 Expedition, will go from coast-to-coast-to-coast around the country, passing through the Northwest Passage on its way from Toronto to Victoria, B.C. The ship will travel approximately 23,000 kilometres over the 150-day journey.
"The Canada C3 journey will give Canadians new perspectives, trigger unexpected connections and spark fresh ideas on how to build a better Canada," the expedition's website says.
The ship is slated to depart from Toronto on Thursday night, with several stops planned along its route. A number of youth ambassadors will take part in segments of the journey, including Este Woldemariam, an immigrant from Ethiopia who hopes to one day earn her Canadian citizenship.
Woldemariam says the opportunity to be a youth ambassador on the journey was something she couldn't pass up.
"As a newcomer to this country I wanted to go beyond what I know, which is Toronto and Ontario, and explore the diversity of this beautiful country," she told CTV's Your Morning on Wednesday.
"The people on board are there as ambassadors to share this with the country," expedition leader and founder Geoff Green told CTV's Your Morning.
The C3 Expedition will sail on the Polar Prince, a 67-metre research icebreaker originally constructed in 1959. The vessel was modernized in 2009, and has undergone additional changes to accommodate the C3 voyage.
Green has spent the last two-and-a-half decades taking young people on sea voyages to the Arctic and Antarctica. And while he's certainly familiar with navigating the Northwest Passage, he says this trip is particularly special because of its cultural significance.
"It's never really been done before like this," he said.
Green said the mission is also heavily influenced by a desire to promote reconciliation with Canada's indigenous peoples.
"The last 150 years, there hasn't been a lot to celebrate in some cases," he said of Canada's indigenous groups.
Green said the ship has been outfitted with a dedicated room to honour indigenous groups from around the country during the voyage. He added that the vessel will carry a wide range of multimedia devices, so Canadians can engage with the crew throughout their trip.
"I feel very blessed and lucky to be able to do this," he said.
Click the map below to track C3 Canada's coast-to-coast expedition