C O M M U N I T Y
GO TREASURE HUNTING FOR ART AROUND VANKLEEK HILL
AWARD-WINNING TRIBUTE TO THE BUTTERFLY CHILD
Examples of still life painting, and scenics celebrating the natural landscape abound on the Art Scavenger Hunt route around Vankleek Hill. —photo Gregg Chamberlain
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gallery showcases. “They all jumped on board,” Crosby said. Arrangements were made between artists and businesses for display setups, then Crosby created a “scavenger hunt” map, with selected business sites marked out, and also a list of “clues” about parti- cular scenic features to help art treasure hunters know they’d found the right spot. The Arbor Gallery became the starting point for participants to begin their walking tour. Copies of the map are in a box inside the front porch. The overall goal of the event is to serve as a family-friendly outing for locals and visitors alike. The artworks available for treasure hunters to discover include both various types of paintings, along with sculptures and other media. June was the original month planned for the art scavenger hunt tour. As the pande- mic wore on, the project was then extended to July, through mutual agreement between artists and businessowners. The plan is to continue the project into August and maybe longer, if both parties are agreeable.
Need a break from pandemic worries? Take a walk around Vankleek Hill on the Summer Art Scavenger Hunt. “We realized that Vankleek Hill was losing all of its festivals,” said Jill Crosby, regarding the project’s origin, “and Vankleek Hill renowned for its festivals.” Crosby is one of Champlain Township’s resident artists, and she and another artist friend, Louis Sproule, were talking in spring about how the COVID-19 pandemic had closed off many of the festival venues that offered artists of every sort to display their works for admiration and possible sales. A bit of brainstorming and the idea of an art scavenger treasure hunt was born, with Crosby taking charge as organizer. She contacted various artists in the area to determine their interest in offering works for display as part of a community art tour, then she called several businesses asking if the owners were open to letting part of their window displays serve as temporary
Jonathan Pitre, the Butterfly Child of Russell, and his mother, Tina Boileau, are on the list of nominees for the Governor General`s Canada Day list of outstanding Canadians for their efforts to promote awareness and raise funds for research on epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and crippling disease. —supplied photo
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his efforts to promote awareness of EB and raising funds. Boileau was nominated for the Meritorius Service Medal, in recognition of «her dedication to her son’s work and in carrying on Jonathan Pitre’s legacy.» Jonathan’s legacy The actual presentation of honours for Boileau and others on the July 1 list will take place at a later date. Meanwhile Boileau reflects on this latest recognition of the work by Jonathan and herself. «There’s an immense feeling of being proud, and humbled at this,» she said, adding that there are now several «very promising» lines of research underway on EB. Clinical trials will soon begin on a couple potential treatments for the disease. «And, oh my goodness, there is so much more awareness out there,» Boileau said. «There are other children out there suffering from this disease. Now there is a lot more research going on in the world. He (Pitre) would be pleased because he wanted to raise awareness for rare diseases.» To the Next Generation Boileau has an immediate answer when asked what her son might say now if he was asked for advice. «He would let young people know that you don`t have to be an adult to get things done,» she said. `»Never give up.» She has similar advice to both young and old. «There are many important causes out there,» she said. «Small changes become big changes. The more people involved, the bigger the changes we can make.»
Tina Boileau still misses her son, Jonathan Pitre, and she continues to be proud of the legacy of faith, hope and inspiration that Russell Township’s Butterfly Child created during his life. “It is a kind of bittersweet (feeling) that he’s not here to see all the good he’s done,” Boileau said, during a phone interview. It’s been several years now since Jonathan Pitre passed away, but the Butterfly Child, as he is known to many around the world, is remembered for his courage in dealing with a terrible disease and choosing to do something positive about his situation. Pitre suffered from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic disorder that makes a person’s skin supersensitive to touch, the way a butterfly’s wing is fragile and easy to damage. He became The Butterfly Child, the face of EB and one of the leading spokespeople and campaigners for DEBRA Canada, to help create greater public awareness about the condition and the need for research to develop better ways to treat EB and find a final cure for it. Since he passed away, others continue to uphold Pitre’s legacy and one of his supporters is the Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. Pitre and his mother were both named to the list of nominations for the Governor General’s July 1 celebration of outstanding Canadians. He was named for a posthumous awar- ding of the Meritorious Service Cross for
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