March Thaw Brings Creative Spring Flow

The Chicago Winter is finally over. Artcanoe Productions has been deep in gasket repairs, kayak pool sessions, computer re-builds, new collaborators and media content expansions. December allowed for mild winter temps, cold water, and one last SUP trip before the water froze over. Canoecopia brought fun times connecting with old paddling friends, kayak sponsors, film sponsors, and paddling presentations. Chicago’s Green River was a glittery, raucous background for St. Patrick’s Day paddling and filming (edit in production).


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Summer is Gone

Kayaking Mink River Estuary, Door County, WI from Hether Hoffmann on Vimeo.

Summer is gone. Fall begins. The creative processes flow more during the cold months. Final edits of  “Andrea Knepper: Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary” are processing with help from some Chicago writers acting as story mentors. Summer was busy with kayak coaching at Door County Sea Kayak Symposium, SUP paddling, family backpacking, and helping lead a Team River Runner vet kayak trip to the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior.


Volunteering and filming with Chicago Adventure Therapy and Andrea Knepper,  Septe



Official Selection at Los Angeles Film Fest

It has been a very busy month with “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary” premiering in two international forums. The UK Paddler Mag is featuring “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary: Bonnie A. Perry”( on their front page. The film is an official selection at the Festigious International Film Fest in Los Angeles.




Screenshot 2017-04-13 at 11.14.30 AM

Film Presentation: Canoecopia


Istagram: artcanoe2- Upper Center photo published in Ocean Paddler, Oct. 2016

ArtCanoe Productions will be presenting “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary: Andrea Knepper and Chicago Adventure Therapy” at  Rutabaga’s Canoecopia, the largest paddlesports symposium and tradeshow. Follow on Facebook at ArtCanoe Productions and Instagram @artcanoe2.


Great American Canoe Festival

Artcanoeproductions was invited to present Bonnie A. Perry: Agency and Grace at the Great American Canoe Festival. The festival takes place in Ely, Minnesota, the gateway to the Boundary Water. There will be presentations and workshops on canoeing, kayaking, SUP, expeditions, places to paddles, and how to make boats/accessories. This weekend will be filled with presenters from around the Midwest, US, and Canada. It will be great to meet new folks and tell the stories behind making the film.  Artcanoeproductions will also be running an Intro to Photography class as well (handout here –Photo Handout).  If time allows, Current Designs sponsored paddler, Hether Hoffmann will taking the Prana kayak out for  paddle on the local waters. Hope to see you there.


Bonnie A. Perry discusses go/no go decisions while coaching at Door County Sea Kayak Symposium




Graduation: Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

After starting my documentary project, Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary, over three years ago, I graduated from the Documentary Studies certificate program at Duke University. The film ended up becoming three separate films. Bonnie A. Perry: Agency and Grace was finished in late spring and will be presented at the Great American Canoe Festival in Ely, Mn, June 2016. The feature length film about Andrea Knepper and Chicago Adventure Therapy will be finished by early winter 2016-2017. My film subjects, my friends and family, and the paddling community have continuously offered their support during all the high and low points of the creative process. For this, I am deeply grateful. I look forward to many future film projects on and off the water.



Hether Hoffmann presenting her film, Bonnie A. Perry: Agency and Grace, at the Full Frame Theater during the Duke Documentary Studies Graduation Ceremony

Palatine Maker Fair

Artcanoe Productions will be at the Palatine Maker Fair at Quest Academy, Palatine, IL (Sat., May 21. 10-3). Hether Hoffmann is also an artist and art teacher. She will demonstrating screen printing. Art Canoe tshirts will be available for a donation to the Chicago Adventure Therapy’s Scotland Youth Kayaking trip. Donations can be made here:


Andrea Knepper during filming for Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary, 2015.

A Wild Ride

Over three years ago, I set a goal to combine two of my passions, film and kayaking. Living in Chicago, I was fortunate to be a part of a dynamic kayaking community. I sought formal and informal kayaking training (in order to paddle efficiently and


Bonnie A. Perry coaching. Coast of Maine, 2015. Photo by Hether Hoffmann

keep myself and others safe while filming) with Nick Cunliff, Scott Fairty, Greg Anderson, Bonnie A. Perry, Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin and Andrea Knepper. My film subjects, Bonnie A. Perry, Andrea Knepper, and Sarah Hartman, graciously accepted my inquiry to follow and film them for my documentary series, Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary.

I will graduate from Duke University’s Documentary Studies Program in 2 weeks. Over the course of 2 years,  I have filmed while kayaking, conducted interviews inside and outside, sought film sponsors, and presented films at Duke University and Canoecopia. I look forward to entering film festivals and presenting at other paddling festivals. Andrea Knepper and CAT’s feature length film will be finished by early fall after filming the final footage with CAT in Scotland (verite style). Interviews will also be conducted in order to fill out Sarah Hartman’s film.

As Appalachian American photographer, Roger May said, during one his lectures I attended, the greatest documentary payment is the trust and friendships that are created in the process.