On this day of record-breaking snow in southeastern Ontario, I’m reminded of another Great Storm that has recently blown into my life: The Great Storm of 1913. It raged across the Great Lakes after an unseasonably warm fall. More boats than usual were out on the water that November, taking advantage of the extended shipping season to line their coffers for the long winter ahead. The result was the loss of nearly 250 lives, and the “deadliest disaster in Great Lakes history,” according to the Huron County Museum. The images and recorded accounts on their website are haunting and immediately sent shivers down my spine.
Storms like these tend to weave their way into the collective memory, and I have no doubt that children today will relish their memories of this particular snowy day when they are grown up. They will probably tell tales of seven foot-high snowbanks and cars buried on the roadsides to their much-too-coddled and comfortable children, who wouldn’t know the first thing about a proper winter.
The Great Storm has affected the people along the shores of Lake Huron in the same way, and those memories have reached into the soul of artist Lynn Harrigan, who grew up near Goderich, ON. A poet and fiber artist, Lynn will be commemorating its 100th anniversary this coming November with a full-scale, multi-media exhibit at Gallery 1313 in Toronto. A show which I’m excited to say I will be helping to promote over the next few months. Lynn will also be incorporating performance and sound into her show to immerse the viewer in her consciousness and that of the people who lived or were lost, on the lakes.
So keep a weather eye on the Facebook for exhibit info and updates and I’ll do my best to record them here as well! In the meantime, I encourage you to check out Lynn’s website and her Flickr for a preview of some of the beautiful pieces that will be on display. And save the date for the Opening on November 2!
Happy snow day!