Cichanowski, owner and founder of Wenonah Canoe, Inc. recently received Originally established in 1980, The LaBrant Award from the United States Canoe Association recognizes individuals from both the canoeing public and the outdoor industry, nationally and internationally, that have shown outstanding contributions to the sport of canoeing.
Cichanowski was presented the award at the 2013 USCA winter meeting in Tarpon Springs, Fla. The award, a limited edition print by nationally known outdoor artist Fred Montague, is named after Howie LaBrant, one of the founders of the United States Canoe Association. Entitled “Quite Passage” it depicts a scene of a couple paddling leisurely on an idealized river.
“It’s a great honor and I appreciate the recognition”, Cichanowski says. “It’s a really neat piece. As a collector of a wide array of historical canoeing art and memorabilia from around the world, this award will be displayed proudly.”
Cichanowski joins the likes of Gene Jensen and Verlen Kruger as notable canoe designers and boat builders to have also received the award.
Founded in 1968 in Winona, Minnesota, Wenonah Canoe has roots reaching back to the 1950s. The company is the outgrowth of a lifelong devotion to paddling by Cichanowski, who began canoeing as a young Boy Scout and who began building canoes in college. Today, Wenonah Canoe and its Current Designs and QCC kayaks brands place them among the largest makers of paddle sport boats in the world, carried in more than 400 specialty retailers.