Paul Walde’s tribute to Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson will premiere at Touchstones Nelson next month. Photo: Andrew Wright

Tom Thomson Centennial Swim coming to Touchstones

Victoria artist Paul Walde brings multimedia event to Nelson

Submitted

On July 8, 1917, Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson’s life ended tragically when he drowned in Canoe Lake, a popular access point to the waterways in Algonquin Park, Ont. One hundred years later, Canadian artist Paul Walde swam the 3 km length of the lake for his work titled Tom Thomson Centennial Swim.

The swim was accompanied by a series of interconnected events: a brass band with a mandolin soloist performing a new long form music composition by Walde, three synchronized swimming routines at various points along the route, and a flotilla of canoes carrying the band.

The work primarily exists in two forms — the event itself and an audio/video work based on the footage of the event.

Tom Thomson Centennial Swim runs March 7 to May 31 at Touchstones Nelson with an opening reception on March 6. Touchstones will be the first gallery to premiere the video and score as an installation.

art exhibit

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