Main photo: Roy MacGregor, an award-winning author and renowned storyteller, presents Tom & Winnie: Art, Mystery and Tragedy, at the Algonquin Theatre in support of Community Living Huntsville. (Mark Reeder Photography)
Submitted by Community Living Huntsville
Why does a Canadian artist who died more than a century ago and painted relatively little still have such a grip on the imagination?
Roy MacGregor, award-winning writer, renowned speaker, and Officer of the Order of Canada, reexamines Tom Thomson’s life, love, and death with Tom & Winnie: Art, Mystery and Tragedy at the Algonquin Theatre on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Proceeds will support Community Living Huntsville.
MacGregor, who grew up in Huntsville with deep ties to Algonquin Provincial Park, has had a long fascination with Thomson and the mysteries that surround the artist, his romantic relationship with Huntsville resident Winnifred Trainor, and suspect death. And he is not alone.
Heather Hunter, board member for Community Living Huntsville, says MacGregor, a family friend, was delighted when asked to present the talk, not only to support the not-for-profit organization, but also to share his passion for Thomson, on which he has written two books, Canoe Lake and Northern Light.
“I think the interest in Tom Thomson as both an artist and a person continues to transcend generations, and when we have passionate researchers and writers like Roy constantly looking for information, gathering perspective, and sharing their own, I think that helps move the fascination and discussion forward,” says Hunter. “Anyone who wants to learn more about Muskoka and the allure of Tom Thomson will be interested in Tom & Winnie.”
And she encourages everyone to attend to support Community Living Huntsville.
“I believe in Community Living’s purpose of fostering inclusiveness for people with developmental disabilities to live, work, and play in unique and purposeful ways as respected, valued, and included members of their communities,” says Hunter. “It takes a community to build a community.”
Jennifer Jerrett, Community Engagement Specialist for Community Living Huntsville, says funds raised will support the organization’s Transitional Housing initiative, which supports young men with disabilities, who have experienced periodic or chronic homelessness. The initiative provides temporary housing and support services, so tenants can gain the stability, skills, and connections needed to pursue permanent housing.
“The housing crisis has only deepened over the past two years in our community, and people with disabilities continue to be disproportionately affected. The competition is unbelievable, rent prices have gone through the roof, and there is constant uncertainty,” says Jerrett. “Our innovative initiative offers hope and a way forward for some who are at extreme risk, but demand is high. And it relies on fundraisers, donations, and charitable grants to continue.”
She welcomes everyone to Tom & Winnie: Art, Mystery and Tragedy to support the cause.
“You will hear a passionate story about art, love, and tragedy by one of the foremost storytellers in Canada,” says Jerrett. “And we are so grateful that Roy MacGregor has generously donated his time for this worthy cause.”
Learn more about the event and buy tickets ($35 each) at algonquintheatre.ca.
Community Living Huntsville is a not-for-profit, registered charity that supports and advocates alongside people with developmental disabilities to live, work, and play in unique and purposeful ways in North Muskoka. The organization celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2022. Find more at clhuntsville.ca or follow @clhuntsville on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin.
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