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Celebrate the Thames Update - Nov. 7, 2007

It’s been over a month now since many of us gathered together at the Landon Library to share ideas and enthusiasm about the Thames River Project.

As a reminder for those unable to join us that day, the purpose of our forum was to discuss the range of possibilities for a city-wide celebration of the Thames in 2008.

We propose to build a calendar of multidisciplinary events, activities and exhibits that will focus the community’s attention on the importance of the Thames River to Londoners. The celebration will run from March to June, 2008.

Lindsay Sage of London Public Library facilitated the meeting. Kevin Bice described the vision of the River Project Artists, talked about his own relationship with the River and his art, and introduced some of the artists involved. Kirtley Jarvis, Maurice Stubbs, Dan Brock, Iris Waddell, Rob Nelson, and Ted Gooden described how their connection with the river informs and inspires their art. Samples of work to date added a sense of vibrancy to the meeting.
Some of the organizations represented at the meeting included Thames Valley District School Board, the London Children’s Museum, the Waldorf School, McIlwraith Field Naturalists, Brush and Palette Club, Canadian Embroiderers Guild, Museum London, Thames Valley Trail Association, Orchestra London, The London Free Press, and The Londoner, and London Public Library.

During a lively and enthusiastic discussion, many ideas were generated. For example:
• River walks and hikes
• Exhibitions: Large wall hangings in public spaces, student exhibits and art along the river
• River trips with local boating, rowing and canoeing clubs
• Speaker series, workshops and talks by artists and river ‘experts’
• A “Just Go to the River Day”
• River Festival, an informational expo, to be held in Central Library passageway, May 2008
• Rotating historical exhibits
• Thames River article series, The London Free Press, The Londoner
• “Go with the Flow” River Themed March Break programs

The ball has already started rolling with the publication of two great articles: “Turning Our Eyes Back to the River” by Ben Benedict of The Londoner and “Artists to Lead Thames Celebration” by Joe Matyas of The London Free Press. Both writers were in attendance at this meeting. Their participation and passion and the support of the newspapers they represent is greatly appreciated.

If you or your group has any ideas for participating in this celebration, please complete this proposal form as soon as possible to indicate your interest. We will be compiling a calendar of events in the new year and would like to include your ideas. Thank you for joining us in this community celebration!