Happy CANOE Year

bear canoePlease ‘bear’ with me….but I hope all of us will be HAPPY paddling forward in a CANOE this YEAR….as in HAPPY CANOE YEAR!!!!


Holiday Greetings

I wish everyone the best of the Holidays….may you find all of the LOVE (Zaagidwin)….the RESPECT (Mnaadendimowin)….the WISDOM (Nbwaakaawin)….the BRAVERY (Aakwade’ewin)…..the HONESTY (Gwekwaadiziwin)….the HUMILITY (Dbaadendiziwin)….and the TRUTH (Debwewin)….as well as the LAUGHTER (Bapeewug)….that brings BALANCE (Gwayahkooshkawin) and HARMONY (Ninoododadiwin) to all of your lives. Chii Miigwech to all our family and friends….

Evergreen Brick Works Canoe Build



Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan: Birch Bark Canoe Build

Image credit Mike Ormsby

Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan (Birch bark canoe): The culture and tradition of the canoe and its sustainability.

Watch artist Mike Ormsby and his team as they construct a traditional Anishinaabe birch bark canoe at Evergreen Brick Works this September through Toronto Arts Council’s Animating Historic Sites program. Viewing is free and open to the public during designated hours.

Aside from the actual building process, through the culture and the traditions involved, the canoe can be a means to understanding much more about both Indigenous & non-Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. This is especially true for our shared histories, and where we can go from here. These vessels are also an example of what humans can accomplish when they work with nature rather than against it – being connected to the earth and nature.

Mike Ormsby

This project is part of the Toronto Art Council’s Animating Historic Sites program at Evergreen Brick Works.

Dates & Time

The canoe build will be on display to the public from September 11 to September 24, 2017 from 10am-3pm daily.

Next Up

Now the Water Is Life benefit concert is over (just have to get the final total from ticket sales/art auction/lobby sales….will post next week….then send out monies to the Water Walk and the Onaman Collective), I am really looking forward to heading up north….to get out on the land….and the water….to gather & harvest materials (birch bark, cedar, spruce roots, spruce gum etc.)….and build some canoes.


Water Is Life Benefit Concert

Water For Life Benefit Concert
Presented in Partnership with Hart House Theatre, and the Hart House Farm and Social Justice Committees.

We are holding the WATER IS LIFE music benefit, with proceeds going to Grandmother Josephine’s last Water Walk this spring and summer AND to the Onaman Collective’s Culture Camp Forever, that will begin to be built in May.

“Special appearances” include the following acts:

Digging Roots, Tara Williamson, Marie Gaudet, Ansley Simpson, Jenny Blackbird, Marc Meriläinen, Arthur Renwick, Andy Mason, Isaac Murdoch, Christi Belcourt, Shane Belcourt, Gillian Austin, Marie Gaudet, Cliff Cardinal plus The Water Is Life house band.

There will be a silent art auction also….artists such as Christi Belcourt are generously donating work.

Ticket prices are $25 for non-students and $15 for seniors and students, available online and in person at Hart House Theatre Box Office….see https://tickets.harthouse.ca/online/article/waterislife.

We have a very full night planned….actually QUITE FULL:

7:00-7:10 PM Opening Banakonda Kennedy Kish Bell
Video Messages From Grandmother Josephine Mandamin/Isaac Murdoch
Opening Song Marie Gaudet
7:10-7:25 Ansley Simpson
7:25-7:40 Arthur Renwick
7:40-8:00 Isaac Murdoch/Christi Belcourt/Shane Belcourt
8:00-8:20 Digging Roots
8:20-8:30 BREAK
8:30-8:45 Gillian Austin
8:45-9:00 Cliff Cardinal
9:00-9:15 Tara Williamson
9:15-9:30 Andy Mason
9:30-9:50 Marc Meriläinen Band
9:50-9:55 Finale-‘Thunderstruck’ (Nish version) with as many performers on stage as interested joining in
9:55-10:00 Closing Banakonda Kennedy Kish Bell
Closing Song Jenny Blackbird

Check out these links for more info on these great causes:

For the Earth and Water Walk 2017 From West to East:

Website: https://www.waterwalkersunited.com/; http://www.motherearthwaterwalk.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FortheEarthandWaterWalk2017FromWesttoEast/

Onaman Collective:

Website: http://onamancollective.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1558288881112114/