From Awkward Landscapes to River Restaurants, Winnipeg Captures the Scene

Photo c/o dianathorneycroft.com
c/o dianathorneycroft.com

Canada’s Group of Seven captured the wonder of our country’s natural landscape.

But Spur festival will hear from the artist who captured the mismatches and black humour those idyllic landscapes produce when they are juxtaposed with disastrous weather, vicious wildlife and beer. Diana Thorneycroft’s series, Group of Seven Awkward Moments, is one of many artistic endeavours that have explored how we represent nature within art.

Spur festival will gather Thorneycroft and several other artists who use the media of images, sound—even dining experiences—at our event on April 27, entitled Capturing the Scene: The Creative Landscape. They’ll discuss how we see the natural world through art. What does it mean to frame the environment, its beauty or its destruction, aesthetically?

For example, speaker David McMillan has photographed the area surroundings Chernobyl, the site of the devastating 1986 nuclear disaster, a total of 17 times. His images of school houses, playground slides and overgrown vegetation are striking representations of how a town, once booming, has declined in its abandonment.

In addition, Winnipeg restaurateur Mandel Hitzer brings to the stage his experience as a chef with outdoor ideas. This winter, Maclean‘s magazine reported on his pop-up restaurant on the frozen ice of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, where fine diners enjoyed nature and good food at the same time.

Matthew Patton meanwhile, might be speaking in tongues at the Spur festival but don’t worry, the weight of his musical experience will come through. This renowned composer wrote the score for the Emmy-winning performance Speaking in Tongues, called “a masterpiece for our time,” by the New York Times.

A diverse group of artists to tackle an issue with many angles. Don’t miss it.


Spur is a national festival of politics, art and ideas and is a catalyst for change in Canada.

Through nationally relevant and locally nuanced discussions, presentations and performances, the festival seeks to spur its participants to action on issues affecting Canadians. Feisty, multi-partisan, forward-looking, and solution-driven, this national railway of ideas will provide Canada with vital new cultural infrastructure for the 21st century.

Founded in 2013, the festival has already grown from three to five Canadian cities, with plans for further expansion across the country. Produced by the Literary Review of Canada in partnership with Diaspora Dialogues, Spur prides itself on its community partnerships, cultural connections and a focus on accessibility and diversity.

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