G8 Summit Mural
In June of 2010 Canada played host to the G8 Summit. Where world leaders got together and discuss the problems and solutions that are facing our world. This is done every four years. This years G8 Summit was held here in Muskoka, at Huntsvillesʼ Deerhurst Resort. It was a time of great excitement the town was filled with Police, Army and security forces to handle any protestor disturbances that might occur. Thankfully for us, we did not see any aggressive protesting in our streets. The property around Deerhurst Resort was a no go zone, and Hwy #60 had roadblocks controlling access to Deerhurst. There were other roads around Deerhurst that were cordoned off, and Pennisula Lake was void of any boat traffic except for Police patrols. Amidst all this the world leaders had there meetings and the Town of Huntsville tried to go about business as usual, some residents, and cottagers alike, simply avoided town all together.
Little did anyone know about a special plan brought together by the Huntsville BIA, the Chamber of Commerce, the town of Huntsville and the Summit Management Office. That plan was a goal to get the G8 World Leaders to participate in one of our community murals, and add their brush strokes to our town. During the March break 2010 a community mural was created at Deerhurst Resort with the help of their guest and staff. Over 450 participants helped Art Director Gerry Lantaigne create a reproduction of Tom Thomsonsʼ painting The West Wind. The painting however was left unfinished across the lower skyline in hopes that the Leaders would finish the last brush strokes. The group of peoples behind the idea were not informed of a decision until the last day, and even then the chances were slim that the leaders could break from their busy schedule to paint.
As luck would have it for Huntsville and Deerhurst, the G8 World Leaders did take the time to paint. They all mixed and added their own colours to the mural and, actually completed the remaining parts of the skyline that were unpainted. It was a momentous occasion for the Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery. The mural can be seen in its permanent home at the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville, along with the brushes that each leader used.
Our Sketch Gallery at Huntsville High School and Muskoka Heritage Place are the result of a project put forward by the Huntsville Festival of the Arts. In 2008 and 2009, the festival provided funds for students in the grade 10 and 12 art classes to have the opportunity to create their own mini murals. The majority of the mini murals are displayed on the exterior walls of Huntsvile High School, and four were given to Muskoka Heritage Place to adorn some of their buildings. Other contributions to the project were made by North Art Supplies and Hilltop Signs. There is a total of 41 mini murals located throughout the Sketch Gallery; be sure to visit them as part of the tour.