“Gathering” at Rondeau

Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

About a year ago, we looked at a well-loved, yet aging display in the Rondeau Visitor Centre.

Hundreds of visitors learned from it over the years, but it was becoming faded and worn — it was time for a change.

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Inspired by Quetico

Today’s post comes from one of Quetico Provincial Park’s 2017 Artists-in-Residence. Heather M. O’Connor is a freelance journalist and children’s author. She is currently working on a middle-grade novel and two picture books, inspired by her 2017 residency. 

I hear the first loon call the moment my foot touches the path.

It’s magical, the sound of the loon. One part greeting, one part grief. This GTA girl, far from home, is grateful for the welcome.

I hurry to the water’s edge, scanning the surface, but I’m too late. Its spell cast, the loon has vanished.

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Go wild for art!

Not knowing the conventions of beauty, he found it all beautiful.

— A.Y. Jackson speaking about his friend Tom Thomson

What better way to help celebrate Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary this summer than by exploring our parks’ rich art heritage and creating your own personal masterpiece?

It’s time to Go Wild for Art in provincial parks!

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Kakabeka Falls inspires student art

Big thanks to the students of Valley Central Public School, especially Sara Miller (grade 7) and Trenten Scott (grade 8), for writing this post about their recent trip to Kakabeka Falls.

In September, students from the Valley Central School Learning Academies visited Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park for some outdoor learning.

The main intention of the trip was to plant trees in case the Emerald Ash Borer spreads into their forests. However the students also took the time to sketch landscapes, rock formations, trees, and — of course — the beautiful falls themselves.

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Lessons in nature at Kakabeka Falls

Big thanks to the students of Valley Central Public School, especially Olivia Davis (grade 7) and Paige Arnold (grade 8), for writing this post about their recent trip to Kakabeka Falls.

On September 19 students from Valley Central Public School headed to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The students were excited to visit the park and take part in some outdoor learning activities.

Valley Central Grade 7 and 8 students are part of a new and exciting learning opportunity called Learning Academies.  Learning Academies are designed to engage students in community connected experiential learning opportunities. The program is focused on community sustainability, including exploring our natural and built environment, and fine arts.

As students, we are engaged in documenting our learning through e-portfolios, blogs, and social media as we learn to become responsible digital citizens and 21st century learners.

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A different kind of canoe trip…

Jim and Sue Waddington are keen canoe trippers.  They have spent many a winter evening thinking about places to paddle, perusing maps and wondering when Spring will melt the white landscape and free their intended waterway from the icy grip of winter.  Of course, trip planning includes gear lists, menus and grocery lists, and maps.

View of lake and canoiests from The Crack in Killarney

Most of us paddle our canoes or kayaks to find solitude, connect with nature, recharge our batteries, stay healthy, get together with friends and family, or all of the above. Continue reading A different kind of canoe trip…

Killarney’s 50th Anniversary and new Group of Seven Festival

Killarney Provincial Park  is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a first annual Group of Seven Festival on July 18 to 20th. The weekend will highlight the area’s rich artistic heritage and commemorate the Park’s creation, which was in large part, influenced by Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael.

Park activities are offered all weekend long within the park and also in the Village of Killarney.  Be sure to take the time to stroll around the scenic Village and pop into a local restaurant for lunch or dinner!  Watch a short video on the festival on our YouTube channel.

Photo of Nellie Lake Killarney Provincial Park. Painting by A.Y. Jackson
A.Y. Jackson (1882 – 1974), Hills, Killarney, Ontario (Nellie Lake), c. 1933, oil on canvas, 77.3 x 81.7 cm, Gift of Mr. S. Walter Stewart, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1968.8.28 and Photo courtesy of Jim Waddington

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Artists for hire: the rich history of the Group of Seven at Bon Echo

The next time you visit Bon Echo Provincial Park in south central Ontario, north of Kaladar, take a good long look at the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. Not only are the shining waters, rugged landscape and iconic Mazinaw Rock natural wonders in their own right, they also tell a little-known story about the origins of the Group of Seven.  This is just one of the cool things about Bon Echo.

While most of us tend to associate the works of the world-famous group with Algonquin Provincial Park and more northerly Ontario climbs, artists such as Arthur Lismer visited Bon Echo to capture its beauty on canvas. And just to demonstrate the value of his work during that time period, Sotheby’s fetched a record $780,000 for Lismer’s painting, Bon Echo Rock in June 2010. The painting was sold to an Alberta collector who paid more than $1 million for the piece and several other Canadian historical items.

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