||December 15, 2011
Looking Back – Looking Forward
I haven’t written much lately for various reasons but now
that winter has arrived I would like to look at a few items that have
accumulated in my in basket.
War of 1812
In the last article I wrote I mentioned how the
bicentennial of the war of 1918 will be in the news in 2012 and that I will
write about several areas of interest. I have been reading Pierre Berton’s first
of 2 books on the war – The Invasion of Canada 1812-13 – where he profiles the
complexity of the early circumstances or as he says “a war within a war, within
a war.” Berton writes about how native Americans on their way to their St.
Joseph’s Island sanctuary in Lake Huron before the war frightened the Americans
off Michilamackinac Island in July 1812 even though the Americans didn’t know
there was a war on. This is an interesting foreboding of some of the confusing
situatios in the war. The last battle was fought 2 weeks after the war was over
because the message had not arrived.
||Tecmseh at the Battle of the Thames where he
was killed. C W Jeffereys drawing
The Americans had a few other rude awakenings especially
when they thought the thousands of ex Americans in Upper Canada (Ontario) would
welcome them. The U.S. Secretary of State said “We can take Canada without
soldiers . . . we only have to send officers into Canada and the people will
rally round our standard.” Thomas Jefferson among others believed that taking
Canada was “a mere matter of marching”. The U.S. had 7.5 million people and
Canada less than 80,000. When the war ended Canada had lost no ground. Canada
couldn’t have done without the support of the U.S. native population with its
leader Tecumseh who were in conflict with the U.S. government over land claims
and that all land was their destiny includingCanada –especially to the west.
Other 2012 Celebrations
Chisholm Township, where I live, will celebrate its
Centennial in 2012 and plans are underway. The week that Chisholm was
incorporated was also the week of another better known event the Titanic
sinking. And 50 years ago Foster Hewitt started Hockey Night in Canada.Queen
Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary as Queen will be celebrated as well.
The People Speak 2011-12
Democracy has made great strides in 2011 and will in 2012.
The Arab Spring and Fall has changed the face of several countries where
dictators ruled. The Occupy movement is a sign of the restlessness in people who
are not sharing equitably in the capitalist system. The internet is playing a
remarkable role. The leadnow.ca website has mounted a petition on the
Conservative Crime Bill which many believe will unfairly incarcerate the poor,
natives and the mentally ill instead of rehabilitating them. The AVAAZ.org
website has had an influence in many progressive initiatives.
The Art Scene
The new North Bay Culture Plan should have some interesting
results in 2012 and have an impact on North Bay’s active cultural thrust.
Although little publicized I have noted the exciting art program at the North
Bay Regional Health Centre. Their Artist in Residence program and the Art
Therapy program are examples of the advanced thinking of the organization. Their
Art/Health month in November had a dozen events – workshops, tours, speakers,
etc. I sat in on a drumming workshop and later heard a presentation by a
behavioural neurologist where his presentation was sent on the internet to other
professionals outside the hospital who at the end of the presentation had a
chance to ask questions on screen for the hospital audience to see and share.
For a report on the drumming workshop by Chantal Spiers, Art Studio Technician.
Log on to
||Therapeutic drumming workshop at the North Bay
Regional Health Centre’s Arts & Health Month in November led by Treanor
Mahood- Greer D.Mackey photo.
Outside North Bay
There is lots of interesting activity outside North Bay
some of which follows. South River’s Cafe which featured good food, music & art
for years has a new owner, chef Darl McCallum and it is expected to open again
in early 2012.
I visited Mattawa recently and followed up on Clermont Duval’s remarkable
graphic novel out in 2012 where he is drawing dozens of panels telling the story
of life in logging camps. The framed book panels are for sale and I purchased
one of the many that caught my eye. Contact the Clermont Duval Gallery where he
is available regularly when he is not in his studio.
Mattawa has a couple of other heritage projects of interest. A group is fighting
to save the CPR rail line from Pembroke to Mattawa for future infrastructure
consideration. A group including craftsperson and drummer Lorraine Montreuil has
been working to get a quality crafts cooperative going for native people.
Heritage Canada has provided some funding to build the organization, develop
products and train the craftspeople to make the coop work.
Heritage Perspective Home Page