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Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show

Canadian Connection: Nova Scotia dory races memorialized in wool

By: Linda Alderdice

The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (UNESCO World Heritage Site) was the setting for “Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show,” sponsored by the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia. Committee co-chairs were Linda Alderdice and Heather Gordon.

Dory races are part of our heritage in Nova Scotia so the theme “Dory Stories Hooked Rug Show” was aligned with the 64th Annual International Dory Races that take place every year in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Lunenburg.

It is quite an interesting story. In 1951, when Lloyd Heisler of Mahone Bay and Tom Frontiero of Gloucester, Massachusetts, met in Lunenburg they started a debate about which dory rowers from which fishing town were the best rowers. That challenge led to the dory races. 

We received forty-three entries for this hooked rug show. Many visitors viewed the show while it was on display from June to mid-October. 

In October 2016, the Museum hosted a morning hook-in followed by an artists’ luncheon and formal “thank you” to the Guild. Rug hookers were invited to the hook-in at the Museum. This was a first for the Museum and believe it or not, some of the staff at the museum were not aware of what a hook-in was until we showed up with our hooking luggage. It was a fabulous day—the enthusiasm and energy in the room and the buzz around the Museum was gratifying to those who organized this event.

Dory Stories

More than 80,000 people visited the Museum during the time the show was on display. The comments recorded in the guest book for the show showed that the viewers appreciated the opportunity to see such a spectacular show and learn more about our history. 

Visitors were asked to fill out a ballot to vote for their favorite dory story, and it was a difficult decision to make. At the closing, the results for the three most-voted-for “Dory Stories” were announced:

  1. Lunenburg Waterfront by Lorraine Burch, Chester Basin, Nova Scotia

  2. The End of the Day by Heather Gordon, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

  3. Old Dory at Blue Rocks by Lesley Marshall, Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia

At the conclusion of the event, the Museum invited the Guild to create a themed hooked rug show at their location on an annual basis. The Museum is creating a plaque to recognize the Guild for each year that a show is displayed at the Museum. This truly demonstrates a community partnership between our two organizations.

And looking forward to the next exhibit? The tall ship race, Rendez-Vous 2017, came to Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150 anniversary of confederation ( After visiting ports in various parts of Canada, the tall ships visit seven of Nova Scotia’s ports between June 30 and August 16, 2017. The ships then raced from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to France for the final leg of the event.

So the theme for the RHGNS’ 2017 Hooked Rug Show is “Tall Ship Tales.” The exhibit will be on display through mid-October, 2017. Should you be in Nova Scotia then, be sure to stop by to see the show and tour the Museum. 

To See More

To see even more of the Dory Story Hooked Rug Show, visit our website: and look for “The Rest of the Dory Stories”!

  1. Ivan’s Tow, 12" x 12", linen, Eileen Coady, Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  2. Dories in the Fog, 11" x 20", linen, Mora Ballantyne, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  3. Dories on the Beach, 24" x 12", verel backing, Maggie Boutilier, Little Pond, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  4. The End of the Day, 25" x 14", hookable wool, Heather Gordon, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  5. The Retired Dory, 20" x 16", linen, Regina Dixon, West LaHave, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  6. Old Dory at Blue Rocks, 36" x 24", burlap, Lesley Marshall, Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  7. Poppy’s Dorys, 341⁄2" x 211⁄2", silk linen, Diane Penney, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  8. Two Dories, 30" x 48", linen, Paulette Hackman, New York, USA, 2016.

  9. The Tidly Idley, 10" x 22", on linen, Ann Jones, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  10. Double Dory Fishing on the Grand Banks, 361⁄2" x 241⁄2", burlap, Felicia Knock, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  11. The Golden Dory, 251⁄2" x 20", monk’s cloth, Dorothy Myhal Gely, Selkirk,  Manitoba, 2016.

  12. Dory Heritage, 161⁄2" x 23", linen, Francis Taylor, Black Rock, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  13. Fishing, 8" x 26" , linen, Frieda Perry, Dayton, Nova Scotia, 2016.

  14. Resting after the Race, 20" x 16", on linen. Linda Alderdice, Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia

  15. Durer’s House on a Pond (adaptation), 28" x 18", on cotton warp. Jean Archer, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

  16. Dory in a Window, 12" x 12”, on linen. Shirley Bradshaw, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. 

  17. Dory Shop in Shelburne, 16" x 12", on linen. Sharon Broadbent, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

  18. The Kristen, 36" x 18.5" x 6", on linen. Heather Brown, Little Bras d’Or, Nova Scotia 

  19. Lunenburg Waterfront, 42" x 30", on linen. Lorraine Burch, Chester Basin, Nova Scotia

  20. Dad’s Dory, 14.5" x 10", on burlap. Doreen Burke, Sydney, Nova Scotia

  21. Lunenburg Dory, 10" x 10", on linen. Celia Charlton, Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia

  22. Sleeping Dory, 18" x 12", on verel. Laura Charlton, Toronto, Ontario

  23. Dories on Land and Sea, 12” x 6", on burlap. Marilyn Dodge Matthews, Milton, Prince Edward Island

  24. My Dory, 18" x 21", board with wool. Ann Durkee, Hebron, Nova Scotia

  25. Boat and Buoys, 16" x 12", on burlap. Suzanne Gee, Bedford, Nova Scotia

  26. Blue Dory, 18" x 13" on linen. Donna Hutchinson, Pugwash, Nova Scotia

  27. Women Called to Water, 25" x 20", on linen. Cathy Komourdjian, Sydney Forks, Nova Scotia

  28. Shelburne Dory, on rug warp. Kay Lewis, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

  29. Rowing Around Nova Scotia in a Dory, 24” x 17", on linen. Sheila Livingston, Owls Head, Nova Scotia

  30. Riptide, 21" x 17", on linen. Mary MacLeod, Amherst, Nova Scotia

  31. Two Dories, 22" x 15.5", on linen. Marie MacVicar, Sydney, Nova Scotia

  32. Let Me Feel My Dory Lift, 24" x 15", on linen. Faith Piccolo, Halifax Nova Scotia

  33. White Wooden Dory, 48" x 22", on linen. Marielle Poirier, Gande-Digue, New Brunswick

  34. Doryman, 11" x 9", on linen. Penny Pratt, Mahone Bay Nova Scotia

  35. After the Storm, 24" x 18", on linen. Ruth Rudderhand, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

  36. Rough Seas, 17" x 12", on linen. Deborah Smith, Rose Bay, Nova Scotia

  37. Fish Wife, 16" x 22”, on linen. Jane Steele, Conquerall Mills, Nova Scotia

  38. Jim’s Row, 24” x 32", on linen. Barbara Taylor, Dartmouth Nova Scotia

  39. Cruising to Scaterie Island, 10" x 12", on wool. Dianne Wadden, Sydney, Nova Scotia

  40. Momma Always Said . . . Never Be Afraid, 8" x 14", on linen. Patricia Winans, Riverview, New Brunswick

  41. The Sand Dory, 22" x 17", on linen. Rita Wojtyniak, East Bay, Nova Scotia

  42. Hidden Cove, 35.5" x 22.5", on linen. Gayle Wynn, Alton, Nova Scotia

Linda Alderdice is the vice president of the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia. She has been hooking for more than ten years, is always seeking venues to promote the craft of rug hooking, and encourages individuals of all ages to give it a try. She enjoys coordinating, hanging, and dismantling the shows, and takes great pleasure is seeing visitors’ eagerness to learn more about the craft. 


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I LOVE Ivan's Tow! Is this hooked or Oxford Punched with yarn?

Wow some beautiful work out of Nova Scotia. It's a great place to live.


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