Northern Ontario Diaries

An auditory travel experience

January 15, 2021 / 5–10pm
January 16–February 7, 2021 / 10am–10pm

Northern Ontario Diaries invites the audience to travel into the life and history of Northern Ontario by listening to 10 stories told by 10 personalities from the region. These short stories welcome you to discover slices of life up north to foster a deeper connection and understanding between people living in Northern and Southern Ontario.

These audio stories are positioned around Harbourfront Centre’s site – some activated by QR codes in locations around the campus and the rink for example, and others playing through speakers that will allow patrons to sit and listen in Ontario Square on the east campus.

Northern Ontario Diaries features the work of Patrick Hunter, Stephanie Piché, Barbara Nolan, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Adrian Sutherland, Eva Bonjour-Liss & Luke Dinan, Annette Pateman, Jean E. Pendziwol, Waubgeshig Rice, and Wayne Taipale.

Roberta Bondar in the desert with a camera

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta Bondar

Roberta Bondar C.C. O.Ont. MD PhD FRCP FRSC

Originally from Sault Ste. Marie

The world’s first astronaut neurologist, Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her space medicine research, photography and environment education, and for her role aboard the 1992 Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-42.

Dr. Bondar shares her moon story with visitors.

More about Roberta Bondar

The world’s first astronaut neurologist, Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her space medicine research, photography and environment education. Aboard the 1992 Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-42, she conducted experiments for 18 countries and later headed an international team working with NASA on astronaut health. Dr. Bondar uses photography to explore our natural world. Achievements include: Companion of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, the International Women’s Forum’s Hall of Fame, 28 honorary doctorates, Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Honorary Fellow and Honorary Vice-president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and her own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Supported by

Eva Bonjour-Liss and Luke Dinan posing for an outdoor photograph

Photo courtesy of Eva Bonjour-Liss

Eva Bonjour-Liss & Luke Dinan

North of Timmins

Eva Bonjour-Liss and Luke Dinan live together on a 73-acre parcel of forested land just north of Timmins, Ontario. Bonjour-Liss is a professionally trained wilderness guide, while Dinan is an organic farmer, permaculture designer, wildcrafter and forest technician.

Eva and Luke share their dreams, goals and challenges of life in a region where food security is a crucial issue.

More about Eva Bonjour-Liss & Luke Dinan

Eva Bonjour-Liss is a wilderness guide currently studying to become a certified community herbalist. After living in Toronto, she sought refuge from the urban calamity in a small town in Northeastern Ontario with her partner Luke Dinan, an organic farmer, permaculture designer, wildcrafter and forest technician. He believes the future of sustainable food systems necessitates the integration of the forest with food crops. The two now work as independent contractors to the forest industry ensuring the sustainability of the harvest while building their farm on their 73-acre parcel of forested land just north of Timmins, Ontario from scratch. They are focused on developing regenerative and ecologically appropriate food systems for the north.

Patrick Hunter, laughing as he throws a paintbrush into the air

Photo courtesy of Patrick Hunter

Patrick Hunter

Originally from Red Lake

Patrick Hunter is a Two-Spirit Ojibway Woodland artist from the community of Red Lake, in North Western Ontario. He paints through a spiritual lens and works to inspire a broader awareness of Indigenous iconography.

Patrick shares his experience moving from his native Northern Ontario to the big city.

More about Patrick Hunter

Patrick Hunter is a Two-Spirit Ojibway Woodland artist from the community of Red Lake, in North Western Ontario. Hunter paints what he sees through a spiritual lens, inspired by his homeland and growing up seeing the original works of Woodland painter Norval Morrisseau in various buildings around his home town. In 2015, he launched Patrick Hunter Art & Design, specializing in artwork and designs from his cultural background with the intent of inspiring a broader awareness of Indigenous iconography. His works can be viewed in and around Toronto at CBC Headquarters, Toronto City Hall, TD and BMO banks, The Prince’s Trust Canada, Rogers Headquarters, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

A head shot of Barbara Nolan

Photo courtesy of Barbara Nolan

Barbara Nolan

Garden River First Nation

Barbara Nolan bezhik aawi manpii mdaaswi debaajmojig Giiwednong Ontario Dibaajmow-zhibiiganan. Aapji shpendaan Nishnaabe-kwe aawid, Wiikwemkong gii-binjibaa, nongwa dash daa Gtigaan Ziibiing. Barbara gii-zhitoonan Nishnaabemdaa zhigiizhwewin naadmaagewaans, mooshkin Nishnaabemwin nestatamookiid miinwaa netaa dbaajmotaaged.

Gdaa-bzindaan wdibaajmowin gaa maadookiid, aadsookaan Gchi-Waabshki-Zhingwaak.

Barbara Nolan is grateful to have survived the attempts by Canada’s Indian Residential School system to take her Nishnaabe language from her, and she has spent decades working to revitalize the language.

Barbara shares the legend of The Great White Pine Tree.

More about Barbara Nolan

Barbara Nolan (Nesdotmookiid) is a “Causer of Language Understanding.” She is grateful to have survived the attempts by Canada’s Indian Residential School system to take her Nishnaabe language from her. As a vibrant first-speaker of Nishnaabemwin, Nolan has spent several decades working with a variety of organizations to revitalize the language. She also delivers presentations on community wellness that address the impacts of the Indian Residential School system, including Healing and Laughter Workshops. Nolan is a proud Nishnaabe-kwe, formerly from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, who now resides in Garden River First Nation.

Annette Pateman standing by a lake with fall-coloured trees

Photo courtesy of Annette Pateman

Annette Pateman

Thunder Bay

Annette Pateman lives in Thunder Bay with her family. She published her first collection of poetry, Spectrum, in 2020 and has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the city of Thunder Bay.

Annette shares some of her poems that speak to her lived experience as a Black woman in Thunder Bay.

More about Annette Pateman

Annette Pateman was born in the UK to Jamaican parents. She grew up listening to Jamaican sayings and folklore. This is reflected in her poetry, which centres identity, race and relationships. Pateman now lives in Thunder Bay with her family, where she enjoys giving readings of her poetry, yoga and walking in nature. She published her first collection of poetry, Spectrum, in 2020 and is currently undertaking research on fairytales and folklore, with a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. She recently received grant for an anti-racism project from the City of Thunder Bay. Other published works include the pandemic-themed anthology Isolated Together and Mercy and Poetic Healing, a poetry collaboration with writers from Canada, India, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Nigeria.

Jean E. Pendziwol, wearning no coat and no boots, standing on a partially snow covered rock next to a lake

Photo courtesy of Jean E. Pendziwol

Jean E. Pendziwol

Thunder Bay

Jean E. Pendziwol was born and raised in Northwestern Ontario and is the author of Once Upon a Northern Night, No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), The Lightkeeper’s Daughters and I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree.

Jean invites us on a journey to wild skating on an inland sea: Lake Superior.

More about Jean E. Pendziwol

Jean E. Pendziwol was born and raised in Northwestern Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior and finds inspiration for her work in the beautiful natural environment she calls home. She is the author of the critically acclaimed children’s book Once Upon a Northern Night (Groundwood Books) and the bestselling No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons). Her bestselling adult debut The Lightkeeper’s Daughters (HarperCollins) is available in more than 16 languages around the world. Pendziwol’s latest picture book, I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree, was published by Groundwood Books in September of 2020.

A head shot of Stephanie Piché

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Piché

Stephanie Piché

Sudbury

Stephanie Piché is a chef, cooking instructor, wine educator, travel presenter, food writer and blogger, and entrepreneur, known for pushing traditional flavour boundaries by blending her intuition with her adventurous side.

Stephanie will introduce us to a well-kept local secret: Porketta Bingo!

More about Stephanie Piché

Stephanie Piché is a chef, cooking instructor, wine educator, travel presenter, food writer and blogger – and now has even opened her own wine bar: Wander Food & Wine. She grew up in kitchens, with all the women on both sides of her family happiest when cooking and serving food together, in an atmosphere of love and laughter, where she learned family recipes handed down for generations. It is this legacy that she safeguards and honours with the name of her company: Legacy Events, Inc. In her culinary arts, Piché pushes traditional flavour boundaries at every opportunity by blending her intuition with her adventurous side to concoct an ever-growing bounty of mouth-watering dishes.

A headshot of Waubgeshig Rice

Photo courtesy of Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice

Sudbury

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller.

Waubgeshig helps us discover the different faces the city of Sudbury has had over his lifetime.

More about Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

Adrian Sutherland performing onstage with a guitar

Photo courtesy of David McDonald

Adrian Sutherland

Attawapiskat

Adrian Sutherland is from Attawapiskat on the remote James Bay coast. He’s a musician, songwriter, speaker, advocate and the fascinating frontman and founder of roots-rockers Midnight Shine.

Adrian shares how he carries the words and wisdom of his mooshum (grandfather) with him today.

More about Adrian Sutherland

Adrian Sutherland is from Attawapiskat on the remote James Bay coast. He’s a musician, songwriter, speaker, advocate and the fascinating frontman and founder of roots-rockers Midnight Shine. He’s also a father of four, a grandfather of four, a hard-working husband and a respected cultural leader, proud of who he is and where he comes from. Sutherland is fluent in Cree, practices traditional ways of the land, and is a genuine example of someone who lives authentically. Currently writing his first book for Penguin Random House Canada, Sutherland is also working on solo music after releasing four albums with his band.

Wayne Taipale standing in front of the Moosonee Municipal Building

Photo courtesy of Erik White/CBC

Wayne Taipale

Moosonee

Wayne Taipale became mayor of Moosonee in 2018. Moosonee is located on the Moose River in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, and serves as a gateway to the north, including to neighbouring First Nation communities.

More about Wayne Taipale

Wayne Taipale has lived in Moosonee for over 63 years. Wayne has had many lives from aircraft engineer to area supervisor for Ontario hydro to City Councillor. He retired ten years ago from local political to take a break and look after his family. After two terms as a Councillor, he is now in his fourth term as Mayor for the town of Moosonee.

Moosonee is located on the Moose River in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the largest wetland area on earth. About 85 percent of the population is Cree. Originally settled as a fur trading post by Revillon Frères of Paris in 1903, the town became a transportation hub for the James Bay coastal communities with the arrival of the rail in 1932. Moosonee serves as a gateway to the north and a launching point for further destinations, including north up the western coast of James Bay to neighbouring First Nation communities. Moosonee is not connected to the road system in Ontario, and all travelers arrive by train or plane.

This story was originally programmed on CBC Sudbury and CBC Thunder Bay, as part of CBC Up North’s Your North: A virtual roadtrip, hosted by Jonathan Pinto.

A headshot of Monica Dottor

Photo courtesy of Monica Dottor

Monica Dottor

Originally from Sault Ste. Marie

Monica Dottor is a 10-time Dora Mavor Moore Award–nominated artist, and a Dora winner for Best Production, with Matthew Mackenzie, and for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role, with The Penelopiad ensemble.

Monica is the Monologue Coach for the artists and storytellers presenting their work as part of Northern Ontario Diaries.

More about Monica Dottor

Monica Dottor is a 10-time Dora Mavor Moore Award–nominated artist in five different categories, including Actor, Choreographer, Director and Costume Designer. She’s a Dora winner for Best Production of BEARS, with Matthew Mackenzie, and for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role, with The Penelopiad ensemble (Nightwood). She is a prolific director, choreographer and performer onstage, and her film and television acting credits include LUNE, Private Eyes, Star Falls, Orphan Black, Hemlock Grove, The Shape of Rex, Picture Day, Murdoch Mysteries, Saving Hope, Rookie Blue and Lost Girl.

A photo of a person on a skidoo crossing a frozen body of water toward a beautiful sunset
Photo courtesy of Wayne Taipale
A photo of a old, majestic tree
Photo courtesy of Barbara Nolan
A photo of ice skaters on Lake Superior
Photo courtesy of Jean E. Pendziwol
A photo of porketta and a bun
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Piché
A dog wandering through the trees of a snowy forest
Photo courtesy of Eva Bonjour-Liss
An stylised image of adelheid's You are swimming here
Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta Bondar
Polar Bear Express train travelling through deep, endless woods
Photo courtesy of Ontario Northland