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| 1 h 26 min

This feature-length documentary follows naturalist Bill Mason on his journey by canoe into the Ontario wilderness. The filmmaker and artist begins on Lake Superior, then explores winding and sometimes tortuous river waters to the meadowlands of the river's source. Along the way, Mason paints scenes that capture his attention and muses about his love of the canoe, his artwork and his own sense of the land.

Mason also uses the film as a commentary on the link between God and nature and the vast array of beautiful canvases God created for him to paint. Features breathtaking visuals and exciting whitewater footage, with a musical score by Bruce Cockburn.

For more background info on this film, visit the blog.

  • director
    Bill Mason
  • producer
    Bill Mason
  • editing
    Bill Mason
  • narrator
    Bill Mason
  • executive producer
    Wilber Sutherland
    Dean Peterson
  • associate producer
    Margaret Pettigrew
    Kathleen Shannon
  • photography
    Ken Buck
  • sound
    Alan Geldart
  • sound editing
    Alan Geldart
  • re-recording
    Joe Grimaldi
    Austin Grimaldi
  • music
    Bruce Cockburn
    Hugh Marsh


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Ages 12 to 17

Arts Education - Visual Arts
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Physical Education - Outdoor Education
Science - Environmental Science

Study the geography and ecology of the Great Lakes. If possible, go on a field experience to examine the land forms and life forms found around water. What can we do to preserve this environment? Why do people find nature such an inspiration for art? Have students make drawings or paintings of a landscape they have been to or based on a photograph. Religion: Reflect on the role of God on Earth. How important is it to recognize and be thankful for nature? What can we do to preserve nature’s gifts?

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