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SAULT STE MARIE,  ON  -----  August 7, 2010 --- Taking you to the heart of where the paintings were created. 

Michael Burtch 2010 event. On Saturday, September 25-26th  the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) in partnership with Searchmont Resort, Naturally Superior Adventures/Rocky Island Lodge, Wawa and NORDIK Institute invite you to come celebrate the 92nd Anniversary of the Group of Seven artists painting from the Algoma Central Railway.  This year’s event features the work of group member J.E.H MacDonald.

 The Group of Seven were artists who shared the belief that the true spirit of Canada could be found in its northern landscape. To gain access to the remote Algoma region, they rented a boxcar from the ACR and outfitted it like a cabin. The boxcar and tourist cabins would be their home while painting in the region for several weeks a year between 1918 and 1923. The boxcar would be shunted to sidings near choice painting locations, where they would then set out on foot or by canoe to capture the beauty and ruggedness of this northern part of the country.


The group all shared a vision of what Canadian art should depict. Their main concern was to reveal Canada to Canadians; and, with their unique style they forever changed the way Canadians looked at their country. Today, this incredible and diverse group of painters remain among the best known artists to depict Canada. Their works are so rooted into our national psyche that they seem as real as the earth and sky that inspired them.


As a result of increased interest, we are excited to announce the expansion of this year’s event to include an optional second day portion in Wawa, ON for interested participants. On September 25th the event will begin with a picturesque train ride from Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Searchmont, ON which is part of the train route that the Group of Seven travelled. The first day of the event will be held at Searchmont Resort and will begin with a presentation by Susan MacDonald in conversation with Michael Burtch about the work of her grand-uncle J.E.H MacDonald. This year we are featuring the work of this Group of Seven artist. There will be a variety of workshops available to register for including: oil/acrylic painting taught by Taimi Poldmaa; water-colours taught by Linda Szabo and Theresa Baic; photography taught by Gary McGuffin; sketching by Joanie McGuffin; Anishinaabe art by Shirley Horn, as well as guided nature walks. Live musical entertainment will be performed by the Shannon Moan Band and a gourmet lunch will be served. 


There are three ticket options available for those solely interested in this portion of the event at Searchmont. Ticket option #1 is $55.00 which includes a train ride to the event, all activities, gourmet lunch and a bus ride returning to Sault Ste. Marie. Ticket option #2 is $45.00 which includes a bus ride to and from the event, all activities and lunch.  Ticket option #3 is $35.00 which includes all activities and lunch, but you must provide your own transportation.


For the second day option, participants will board an Executive Bus which will transport participants to Wawa, ON after that day’s events at Searchmont. There will be a brief stop at the Lake Superior Park Interpretative Centre and we’ll see iconic park locations including Katherine Cove, Sand River cascades and Old Woman Bay along the way. After arriving in Wawa participants will check in at the Best Northern Motel and Rocky Island Lodge where they will be treated to a Group of Seven themed Canadian dinner followed by presentations about the Group of Seven by art historian and former director and curator of the Art Gallery of Algoma, Michael Burtch, and adventurers Joanie and Gary McGuffin, as well as a presentation by musician Dale Innes on renowned pianist Glenn Gould and his many visits to Wawa. Before departing the following afternoon there will be a local tour of Wawa and vicinity including Young’s General Store, Scenic High Falls and the famous Wawa Goose. Participants will board the train at Hawk Junction station for a scenic ride back to Sault Ste. Marie, taking us to the heart of where some of the Group of Seven’s best work was done.   During the train ride, Michael Burtch, Joanie and Gary McGuffin will highlight the actual locations of Group of Seven Paintings as we pass them aboard the train. Ticket prices for the second day portion vary according to accommodation package desired. Prices include overnight accommodations, all meals, transportation from Searchmont to Wawa and back to Sault Ste. Marie. 


For further information, detailed Wawa pricing and/or to register contact:

Frank Meraglia at 705-949-2301 ext. 4236

To register:

Berkana Art Studios

Station Mall Box Office

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