Song of the Paddle

Song of the Paddle

                                Song of the Paddle
| 40 min

Available options


This documentary features outdoorsman Bill Mason and his family as they camp and canoe in the wilderness. The film fosters an appreciation for the art of canoeing while celebrating the sheer joy and beauty of nature. Along their trip, the Masons experience countless adventures and some breathtaking scenery, including indigenous rock carvings by Lake Superior.

Mason had envisaged shooting three instructional films on canoeing and one on canoe-camping. The instructional series would eventually be expanded to four films (Path of the Paddle) and Mason would work with his wife and children to make Song of the Paddle to share their love of canoe-camping. The film won three Etrogs (the Canadian film awards precursor to the Genies) in the non-feature film category for direction, cinematography and sound editing. Mason would also release a book bearing the same title, which the press dubbed “a philosophical guide to outdoor living.”

Albert Ohayon
From the playlist: Bill Mason: Beyond the wild, beyond the paddle

Pedagogical evaluations and study guides are only available to CAMPUS subscribers.


Features designed specifically for teachers. Learn more

Already subscribed? Sign in

Embed this code on your site

Song of the Paddle, Bill Mason, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Video player width

by Reset
  • director
    Bill Mason
  • canoeist
    Joyce Mason
    Becky Mason
    Paul Mason
    Bill Mason
  • song composer
    David Campbell
  • singer
    David Campbell
  • original music
    Larry Crosley
  • photography
    Ken Buck
  • picture editing
    Bill Mason
  • sound editing
    John Knight
    Ken Page
  • post-sync effects
    Ken Page
  • commentary
    Joyce Mason
    Bill Mason
  • location sound recording
    Bev Davidson
  • music recording
    Roger Lamoureux
  • re-recording
    Michel Descombes
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
  • unit administrator
    Janet Preston
  • producer
    William Brind
    Marrin Canell
  • executive producer
    Arthur Hammond

  • A Northern Woman

    This film is a serene and nostalgic trip to the place I'll always call home.

    A Northern Woman, 26 Mar 2019
  • stewarty1

    where can i get amp3 download of the introduction to film song great film

    stewarty1, 2 Jul 2014
  • uwasawaya

    This family's adventure was totally inspiring; I live in The Big Mitten and exploring the shores of Lake Superior is still an unfulfilled dream. I am definitely making Thunder Bay a stop along the journey, traveling the northern route around to Duluth. Thanks for sharing this beautiful documentary.

    uwasawaya, 2 Aug 2013
  • Sammyg

    I want to jam with my family in next to a lake! Gorgeous people.

    Sammyg, 23 Apr 2010
  • OneWildWest

    Wonderful as always.

    OneWildWest, 12 Mar 2010
  • OneWildWest

    Wonderful as always.

    OneWildWest, 12 Mar 2010

The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes. If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more