Thomson Magic Arrives Ahead of Schedule

The magic and allure of Tom Thomson arrived early in Haliburton. As we mark the 100th anniversary of Tom Thomson’s first visit to Algonquin Park and the Highlands Summer Festival prepares for the opening of the musical Colours in the Storm, the film West Wind was screened at the theatre.

The occasion was a Documentary Festival on Saturday May 5. Presented by the local movie enthusiasts, Those Other Movies, one of the four documentaries was an investigation into the life and art of Tom Thomson. Directed by Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont, the documentary was produced for Bravo TV and is set to debut on that channel shortly. The organizers received permission to present it early at the Haliburton Festival.

It was certainly the most popular documentary of the one day festival…..a good indication of the intense interest in this story. Thanks to the organizers, I had an opportunity to remind the audience that the Highlands Summer Festival would be presenting the musical version of the Tom Thomson story, Colours in the Storm, starting July 2.

From the liner notes which accompanied the documentary’s DVD: “Tom Thomson is one of Canada’s most famous and beloved artists. His vibrant landscape paintings helped define a young nation in the early 20th century and become iconic symbols of Canada.

“On July 8, 1917 Tom Thomson died mysteriously on Canoe Lake, just as he was reaching ascendancy in his career. Why does Thomson’s life and art fascinate us still? What draws thousands of people each year to the cairn on Canoe lake and propels his oil sketches into the stratosphere of the Canadian Art Market?” The documentary attempts to answer these questions and many others surrounding this fascinating Canadian.

Jim Betts has captured the magic and mystery of Thomson’s life and art is his musical Colours in the Storm, the premiere production at this year’s Highlands Summer Festival. Discover a slice of Canadian history from our back yard and you too can see the Colours in the Storm.

See you at the theatre.

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