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'The Real Mystery of Tom Thomson' Lecture with Richard Weiser

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Muskoka Chautauqua: Theatre in the Woods

1039 Golf Avenue

Windermere Village, ON P0B 1P0

Canada

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Author Richard Weiser will take the audience along on an epic quest to solve the real mystery of Tom Thomson.

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Was he an innocent farm boy who became a world class artist? A solitary genius? A wild man who lived and painted in the woods? Hear the story of the real Tom Thomson, a man who was raised in the suburbs of “Chicago of the North”. A man who loved fine dining and classical music. A man who lived and worked in cities and ate Greek and Chinese food with his many friends.

Richard Weiser discovered Tom Thomson in the fall of 1980. Canadian pride was high in Pierre Trudeau’s Canada, and Richard was very receptive to the “Notable Canadians” section in grade six social studies. The intrepid painter loomed large among luminaries such as Laura Secord, record-breaking athlete Tom Longboat and the heroic Doctor Norman Bethune. What really hooked Richard on Thomson was that he was a canoeist, and he had lived in and painted Algonquin Park. Richard's great grandfather had built a cottage on nearby Lake of Bays, and was a decent canoeist himself, having mastered the elusive J-stroke the previous summer. He loved the rocky terrain, the sandy lakes, the jagged pines and bone-white birches. Back then, Richard was just as interested in Thomson’s mysterious death as his art, but as years went by, he felt more and more the real mystery of Tom Thomson was how—without a formal art school education and in only four short years—he made hundreds of paintings that have captured the imagination of a nation for over a century. While researching his book, Richard found a clue in the archives, deep in the bowels of the Royal Ontario Museum, in the private journal of Thomson’s cousin, William Brodie. Brodie’s journal, Thomson’s paintings and Algonquin Park—Richard put together these pieces and came up with an answer to the real mystery of Tom Thomson. Richard will take festival goers along on an epic quest to solve the real mystery of Tom Thomson. We'll travel back to turn of the century Toronto, canoe the lakes of Algonquin Park, explore some of Thomson’s best-known paintings, and Richard will share the discoveries he found in archives, libraries and art galleries from Seattle, Washington to Canoe Lake.

Richard Weiser

Richard Weiser is a multi-talented writer of prose, poetry and song lyrics. He began his working life in broadcast journalism and eventually returned to school to study creative writing with Governor General’s Award winner Don Coles. After university, Richard stumbled into a career in advertising and recently won a Cannes Lions (advertising’s Oscar). He has spoken at industry events and lectured at Humber College School of Advertising. Richard Weiser’s poetry has been published in journals across Canada, the USA, the UK and Ireland, and his play, Jishin, was produced at The Toronto Fringe Festival. He is the author of The Real Mystery of Tom Thomson, a nonfiction book that explores the life and mysterious death of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.

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Muskoka Chautauqua: Theatre in the Woods

1039 Golf Avenue

Windermere Village, ON P0B 1P0

Canada

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Organizer Muskoka Chautauqua

Organizer of 'The Real Mystery of Tom Thomson' Lecture with Richard Weiser

Muskoka Chautauqua is a community for the curious and the creative. Springing from a tradition that started 100 years ago, when the village of Windermere attracted North America’s leading thinkers to its shores, Muskoka Chautauqua is one of the longest-running and more iconic cultural institutions in the region. Muskoka Chautauqua is a not-for-profit organization fostering arts and culture, culminating in a summer festival in the historic village of Windermere.

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