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TEL: 819-827-9081  | EMAIL:  dotb@magma.ca By Commission - D. Bonnenfant - Artisan

What people have said about my heritage paddle designs

The paddle arrived yesterday and it is stunning!!! It brought tears to both of our eyes.
Thank you for your amazing work. We feel honoured to have such an incredible piece of art! We look forward to working with you again in the future!
All the best, Jacintha and Fred (Whitehorse, YK)
... (Several months later: It still stuns us every time we look at it!)

Dot,  It's perfect! I am so happy. It's so beautiful and elegant. I can't wait to see the look on Sarah's face. How did you do that pattern on the shaft - that's very cool.
Thanks again,  Alex (in BC)

(Re: paddle for little Arlo - a brand new baby boy!)
Hi Dot,
What a fantastic paddle you created!!  Isaac's teacher loved it and I am sure it will become a family heirloom. 
I think Max summed it up when he said "It was worth it just to have such a beautiful thing created!"
Thanks so much! Connie  (Ottawa)
(From recipient: I am so blown away by the thoughtfulness, creativity, and soul of the gift you guys gave Arlo (and us) that I don't think I have words for it.  It is a gift that is very well appreciated, and will be treasured for years to come.    And don't worry, it will get used, at least once, and then others will be coaxed into his hand for years to come.)

Wow your paddles are very creative and beautiful!  Thanks!

I didn't get a chance to catch you at the send-off, but I just wanted to say that your woodburning work is absolutely stunning!
Cheers, Sue

My brother in law is totally enamoured of your beautiful paddle. It is still shown to every visitor to his home!
Thanks.    B. P (Ottawa)

Nous t'en remercions et te félicitons pour le beau travail que tu fais avec les avirons.
Guy  (Gatineau)

I watched Regional Contact and your woodburning is beautiful. 
It is a wonderful gift that you use a paddle that has a lot of memories and love and now with your artistic gift you are passing on personalized gifts to others. 
Sharon (Ontario)

"Finding a unique birthday gift for someone who has everything is tough. Dot and I spent an hour finding an original design for both sides of the paddle and the end result was a personalized message perfect for the occasion."
Tim (recipient)  "The irony is that I have given paddles to several friends on special occasions, but this one was far nicer than the ones I had given."

Hi Dot,
Just wanted to say again, many thanks.  You did a super job on the paddles. I noticed that you added some birds on the shafts. Nice! Everyone is gushing over them. Our Dean and his wife will truly enjoy them.
Cheers, Wade (Ottawa)

Hey Dot,
We just got the "proof" (for our wedding invitations) - it looks fantastic with your beautiful sketch!!!! Thanks so much.
xox.Micha (Chelsea, Quebec)

Thanks again Dot, the Paddle looks great!!
Jeffrey (Ottawa)

We gave Gilles his paddle and he loves it. He just start canoeing this summer with his wife and kids (they have 20 years old) and he loves it.  Thanks very much from every body in the office. Merci.
Donald (Gatineau, Quebec)

I have told everyone that one day when I get married.. that I am hoping for one of your paddles! First to find a partner!
HB (Ontario)

“Thank you. This is the most beautiful thing I own.”
Elliot R, Ottawa

The paddle is magnificent. You are such a talent. Ellen will love it.
SW, Quebec

Just back from the luncheon, and Elliot LOVED the paddle. He said that he has never seen anything so beautiful and would very much like to meet you. I also heard that there are others in our group who would love to have a paddle made for themselves. You may be getting some more calls from my colleagues some time down the road. You may need to reconsider that cutting back on your full time university job sooner rather than later!

Again Dot, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation for doing such a beautiful job on such very, very short notice. I know Elliot will treasure it always and what you have done far exceeded what we had hoped for. It was a true pleasure to meet such an artisan extraordinare as yourself - not to mention such a fine, gentle and gracious person. Merci beaucoup on behalf of Elliot and his friends and colleagues.
With warmest wishes, and until we meet again,
Leanne, ON

OH MY! IT IS ABSOLUTELY LOVELY! Oh Dot, he will be so delighted with it. And the little bear is adorable! And particularly because he's been visited by one! You have such a talent with this type of artistry. Can't wait for him to see it! Thank you again, so much.
Regards, LillaTW, Dunrobin, ON

“He loved the paddle, everyone was very impressed with your work, especially the image of the wolf.”
CPAWS volunteer, Ottawa

Gave L his Special Birthday Paddle.....
He was absolutely thrilled...thank you, thank you!!!
He was very touched with your work, especially the eagle rock (it's his family's very special spot at Bon Echo...super)
Henriette – Ontario

I really liked the paddle and more importantly my wife loved it. Had it on the May long canoe trip.
Borden - Winnipeg

WOW!!!!!!!!!! What a work of art!!!!!
I don't know what to say other than that my eyes are blinking in amazement!
Don H. - Dunrobin ON

Don let the cat out of the bag and showed me the pics of MY PADDLE. Dot, you are amazing! It's SO BEAUTIFUL. What a work of art you have created! Now can you make the ice melt so we can go paddling?
Judy K, Ottawa

If any of you have seen the beautiful wood-burned artwork on my wife's kayak deck you'll understand why so many people want to know who did it. We met Dot the artist, at the Ottawa Paddle Sports Show a couple of years ago where she was doing wood-burning art on paddles and they were absolutely beautiful. Dot and Barb got together to talk about what could be done on the deck of Barb's new kayak. The result is the wonderful assortment of sea mammals and the story of their creation by the Sea Goddess. You really have to see it to appreciate it. It is truly a "one of a kind".
Roy Foland, Kayaks

Jean looked very happy and surprised. As I knew, the idea of the paddle as a gift was perfect, he almost was out of words, and that is something for a person who knows Jean, right?
S, Quebec

I really liked the paddle and more importantly my wife loved it. Had it on the May long canoe trip.
Borden, Winnipeg, MB

They look beautiful and we know that Keith will enjoy giving them as a wedding gift.
Thanks so much for your efforts to do this.

It has been a few weeks since I have arrived back in Hong Kong, but I would be remiss if I didn't pass on to you the many compliments that I received on the artwork of the paddle which came from check in agents, baggage handlers and fellow passengers alike on my way back. This paddle is probably the most authentic peace of Canadiana that I have in Hong Kong and I appreciate its beauty.
Brian P. Hong Kong

"Finding a unique birthday gift for someone who has everything is tough. Dot and I spent an hour finding an original design for both sides of the paddle and the end result was a personalized message perfect for the occasion. The irony is that I have given paddles to several friends on special occasions, but this one was far nicer than the ones I had given."
Tim P, Ottawa

Dot, the reaction to your work is fantastic. I enjoy sending the website url while I'm talking to someone like the sat-phone company and listening to the guy go wow, wow, WOW!

Thank you for everything, my parents absolutely loved their paddles.
Melanie J, Winnipeg MB

Folks might like to know that earlier this fall we took delivery of our wedding gifts from the swim club - 2 cherry paddles, with custom designs by Dot Bonnenfant, a long time friend from the Y canoe club. The
paddles are gorgeous! Thank you so much, they truly are special; we have lots of lovely memories of our wedding day, and this is a wonderful addition to those memories-a reminder of our dear friends at the swim team, our wonderful and talented friend Dot, and of course our canoe trips. Doug took the paddles to the party to show them off… they will be on display here, as well!
Judy and Doug, Ottawa

The paddle came today. What can I say, the paddle is beautiful. I'm blown away. Thank you again for doing this paddle at a difficult time. It will be a cherished gift. I almost want to cherish it for myself. Thanks Again.
Kent, London, ON

I just wanted to give you some feedback on the paddle based on its first outing last week to Algonquin Park. It is truly a thing of beauty to behold and hold. I got a few scratches on it but they were honourably earned and only make the paddle better. Thank you both so much for giving me something so wonderful. Here are two pictures of it. You will note the snow. We also had rain, freezing rain, hail and a wolf which came up to our tent and sniffed it in the middle of the night.
M & E, Ottawa

“The paddle is simply the most BEAUTIFUL I've ever seen and I will cherish it. And while it truly is a piece of art that will hang on my wall at home, I do promise to use it on my many (I hope) canoe trips.”
Stéphane, Ottawa

"I just wanted to say that your woodburning work is absolutely stunning! "
Sue N, Ottawa

The paddle arrived safe and sound early this morning. I am absolutely thrilled. I even had a few moments where I was debating whether I should keep it for ourselves but I somehow didn't think that was quite right. Anyway, thank you once again for your beautiful efforts. I know that Jim is going to love it.
T. P. Winnipeg

The paddles are absolutely beautiful. Krista and Todd were very pleased. Thank you so much. Peter U, Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Hi Dot
Finally got a chance to use my new paddle and....it works! I tried to convince Tim I couldn't paddle with it but he didn't buy it. I have to thank you for the beautiful work you did on the paddle and for the wonderful work your friend did in constructing it. The balance, weight and feel is great. I didn't realize you had placed little seabirds all up along the shaft and there are so many little touches--on both sides of the blade and in some surprising spots.

So the paddle worked beautifully and when Tim went to get the truck I was bringing stuff up from the beach and two ladies just in from a canoe trip stopped to admire both of our beautiful paddles.
Wendy N, Ottawa, ON

The paddle is magnificent and perfectly captures that special day I had with my daughter (our first paddling trip together) with you guys @ YCCC.
Thank you very much!
Fred, Ottawa

Hi Dot, thanks so much for doing all that work in such short notice. you did a beautiful job!
Adele M, Ottawa

A quick note to tell you how much I like the paddle (and what a surprise it was, I didn't expect a paddle at all!). The iris looks great. I especially like the little wee one near the handle. I am already imagining the paddle gently stroking through the water, carrying me across a wilderness lake.

OOOOOOhhhhhhh. And what a match it will be for my canoe, whenever that gets finished! (This millennium for sure.)
Ken, Winnipeg

You are an amazingly talented and gifted artist. I can't believe my good fortune in finding you. It's been such a delight to collaborate with you. Tom's paddle will be treasured forever! Tom has often said his paddle is his favorite gift ever. We show it to all and it is a wonderful memento at our cottage.
Nancy (Ottawa)

Thank you for being so much a part of this canoe! You helped put the metal bands on the form and you made my dream of having an iris on the deck come true!
Ken - Winnipeg

I just want you to hear, once more, how wonderful the paddle is that you made for Marianne. The tale it tells will carry her many miles on many trips no doubt. It really is a marvelous piece. I thank you for making it so special.
John - Ottawa

Dot, the presentation went very well. Jessica and Al were extremely happy with the paddles; I just hope that they will use them now (they were so in awe they wanted to hang them on the wall!). Thanks for all your help.
Marion , Ottawa

Dot you really out did yourself. The paddle is absolutely beautiful - its gorgeous. I love it. It's a perfect gift for Hans. It is really stunning -we all sat around and admired it tonight. You have quite an artistic gift Dot. (Roger)
Roger has just left for England. He is so thrilled to have the paddle with him to present to our friend on this special occasion. I cannot tell you how excited he was to receive it yesterday. It is amazing; we could not stop admiring this work of art. Thank you so much for making the effort to do this for him. (Susan)
Roger and Susan P. of Toronto

We returned from summer vacation last night and wanted to get a note off to you respecting the paddles. They were great and exceeded our expectations. Thank you so much for working with my sister Edith, she really enjoyed meeting you over the phone, and was impressed with the passion you have for your craft. I received a note from the bride and groom. They thoroughly the gift, and will treasure them always. Thanks again, and may talk to you in the New Year about some paddles for myself.
Cheers - Keith P of Alberta

The paddle was wonderful. Kirk loved it and has shown it to many people. Great work. Very creative and unique. Thanks on Kirk's behalf.
Anne, Ontario

Hi Dot and thanks again for the very nice paddle you did. It is perfect. Not too overwhelming but classy. Dave will love it.
Louise C, Ontario

re: Nahanni paddle design: it's absolutely beautiful. It's amazing to see what those little sketches you were doing at the canoe show turned into. I really liked the way you let the grain of the wood form the falling water. Great work Dot.

I picked up the paddle today. It is magnificent. Dot did a superb job. The paddle far exceeded my expectations and I [and a few generations to follow] will cherish it. Many thanks.
Bill - Toronto

Paddles are on their way... Jacques and Danielle were thrilled with the paddles - me too! They kept saying we couldn't use them and I had to convince them that they are made to be used! We showed them to everyone who came to the house over the holidays and that was a LOT of people!!
Mary - Ottawa


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