The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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Raffle Canoe Drawing 10/23/21


The Cook County Chamber drew the winning raffle ticket for the 2021 Great Place Project canoe Saturday at a gathering in front of the Beaver House in Grand Marais. The winner was Jim Bullard of Randolph, MN, which is near Cannon Falls. Mr. Bullard is a frequent visitor to Grand Marais, as his mother lives there.

Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply drew the winning ticket. Jack is a strong supporter of the Great Place Project and member of the GPP advisory committee. Proceeds from the annual canoe raffle go to fund grants in the following year for new GPP proposals from around the county.

The 2021 canoe is unique, with a strip of fiberglass-reinforced blue epoxy running down both sides. The canoe was designed and created by Grand Marais boatbuilder Josh Tolkan, with an assist from a number of community volunteers. The canoe is asymmetrical, with the bow narrower than the stern to help it sit better in the water. Tolkan said this is to accommodate the usual situation in which the paddler in the stern is larger than the paddler in the bow. On the bow, the canoe carries the insignia of Tolkan’s Many Waters Boatworks and Carpentry (, the business Tolkan is developing in Grand Marais following his two years as an Artisan in Development at North House Folk School.

The boat contains a number of different woods: Alaskan yellow cedar and western red cedar for the strips, black walnut for the breasthooks and stem, and black locust for the gunnels. Most important, the thwarts and yoke were crafted from an elm tree taken down during reconstruction of Highway 61 through Grand Marais.


You can watch Josh describe the canoe and test it on the Grand Marais Harbor in this YouTube video:

“We at the Chamber are very grateful to Josh Tolkan and his volunteer helpers for crafting this beautiful canoe,” said Jim Boyd, Cook County Chamber Executive Director. “We also very much appreciate the help of the merchants who graciously sold tickets – Java Moose, Joynes, Stone Harbor, Shoreline Inn, Johnson Heritage Post, Lake Superior Trading Post, Bluefin Resort, and of course Tyson Cronberg at Beaver House. Tyson sold the bulk of the tickets,  as he has each year. We sold roughly $9,000 in tickets, and the proceeds will go to fund next year’s Great Place Project grants.”





For dining, lodging and other tourism information, Visit Cook County is your best authority. Go to or call 218-387-2524. The Cook County Chamber's focus is on public policy and economic development. Visit Cook County focuses on tourism.







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