The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Flin Flon City Council Chambers
Friday, September 27, 2019 – 5:30 p.m.
Artists, supporters of the arts, lovers of the water and the wild – thank you for the opportunity to see the beauty of this region through your eyes.
We are gathered on Treaty Five land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
I acknowledge that the Anishinaabe and Metis people lived here long before this place became known as Manitoba. And our province remains home to a large and vibrant Indigenous community.
Manitobans are blessed by such great natural diversity – the fertile soil of the Lake Agassiz basin, the beautiful rolling hills of the Manitoba Escarpment, the deep green of the boreal forest and the blue and green mosaic of our countless lakes and rivers.
Many of us find a sense of magic in the natural bounty of our province.
And there is no place more magical than this wild and watery region.
It is no surprise to see that is has inspired visual arts like Randy Whitbread and Ron Watt. Nor is it a surprise that it would inspire a truly great community branding phrase: The Water and the Wild.
The great Irish poet W. B. Yeats reflected on the magic of rocks and water in his poem The Stolen Child – in which he conjured images of “a rocky highland” and a “Leafy island, where flapping herons wake.”
He saw in the rock-rimmed lakes of Ireland the magic in the ancient Celtic legends of fairies luring children to live with them in nature.
“Come away, O human child
To the water and the wild.”
You can see in the passion of your artists that the landscape of the Flin Flon area has the power to lure all who love beauty – perhaps for a vacation, or perhaps to make a lifelong home.
Congratulations to the artists of Flin Flon on capturing that magic – whether in paint or with the click of a shutter, in words or in music.
May the water and wild continue to inspire your creativity and nourish your soul.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.