Vibrant Communities In Focus
Image Credit: V. Tony Hauser
The Capitol Centre of North Bay boasts wonderful theatre and arts programs and a beautiful art gallery. In 2006, the Centre launched a show housed in two renovated railway cars: The Angele Egwuna Project celebrates the life of Grey Owl’s first wife.
Most Canadians are familiar with the story of Grey Owl, but few know about Angele, an Anishnabi, who lived much of her life in the Temagami region. As a young man, Grey Owl spent five years on Lake Temagami and immersed himself in native culture. He married Angele and they had two daughters. Their marriage did not last, but their friendship did.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation helped pay for the exhibit that brought to life Angele’s story and that of her descendants, a long line of interesting people with fascinating stories. Her grandson Albert Lalonde loved the exhibit, going to see it almost every day and talking to people who came to learn about his native grandmother. It is an exhibit that appeals to both adults and children, says Michelle Trinier, the project’s co-ordinator.
“We opened it in North Bay in 2006 then took it up to Temagami in 2007, and it has been a huge benefit for that community. When the Angele project finishes, we’ll leave behind the two railcars that acted as the art gallery, and the people of Temagami will be able to use them for other art exhibits. This project gave them such pride, and having the railcars as a future art space will be wonderful for tourism.”