Paddle Project Workshop

The Paddle Project Goes to Moosonee – April 30th, 2013

04 - Paddle Side 1Hello there!

I’m so excited about my upcoming trip to Moononee, Ontario — the Gateway to the Arctic, as it’s sometimes referred to. The town is located on the Moose River, about 19 kilometres south of James Bay, and is Ontario’s only saltwater port. Access to this remote community is by air or rail. Travellers board the ONR’s Polar Bear Express train in Cochrane and sit back for a scenic five and a half hour ride.

So how did this trip come about? Well, an old University of Guelph friend and classmate, Curry Gray, has been living and teaching in Moosonee since 2008. We had lost touch for a while, but thanks to Facebook we were able to reconnect. In addition to being a full-time educator, Curry is a talented artist and musician. He is currently working on his 3rd solo album, tentatively entitled Roads to Penang, and his band, The Three Henrys, was invited to be featured on the George Stroumboulopoulis Tonight show in Toronto.

Curry runs both the visual arts and music departments at his high school, and he recently asked if I would be willing to give a workshop specially designed for his senior arts students. Soooo…I’ve decided to take THE PADDLE PROJECT to Moosonee. We’re super excited, the paddles have been ordered, and everyone is really looking forward to getting started. Click here to see examples of dozens of creatively painted canoe paddles that were part of an auction fundraiser at the WKP Kennedy Gallery in 2009. Once they’ve been varnished, the finished paddles can be put to practical uses, or simply hang as a beautiful piece of art somewhere.

I would like to thank Curry Gray and Angela Tozer for making this workshop possible.

(Above:  Photo of my paddle nearing completion for the WKP Kennedy Gallery Auction Fundraiser in 2009.)

Author: Michelle LaRiviere

Michelle is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, writer, and teacher. She is also a Reiki Master and life coach, specializing in guided soul work. Her art has been exhibited nationally in Canada, as well as in Italy, the UK, and the United States. Her practice includes traditional as well as digital media.

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