Located in Greystones
Art has been a major draw for visitors to Bon Echo, both for artists and for art lovers. Mazinaw Lake with its 100-metre cliff has attracted artists to its shores for hundreds of years. The First Peoples inscribed more than 240 pictographs onto the rock at water level. Members of The Group of Seven visited in the 1920 and ’30s, followed by hundreds of contemporary artists who have found inspiration in the magnificent Mazinaw Rock and surrounding nature preserve.
An additional venue for artist expression is the Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery, located in Greystones in the Park. From May to October the gallery features five groupings of selected artists, and the works of many other notable artists and artisans are offered on consignment.
The Gallery was renamed in 2008 in memory of Colin Edwards, longtime local resident, educator, artist and active leader in the Friends.
“What a wonderful honour and a credit to Colin’s memory this dedication and designation of the Greystones Art Gallery is,” writes Grace Edwards, Colin’s wife. “For Colin, living and working in this community meant giving back as well. He was always involved in community organizations from the volunteer fire department in the early ’70s when he first moved here to the Mazinaw Community Fund as one of the founding directors.
“But the Friends of Bon Echo was the organization to which he dedicated the most time and energy. He saw in Bon Echo Provincial Park and North Addington Education Centre the potential of a valuable partnership that could complement and benefit from each other. With the many challenges that Bon Echo has faced and continues to face, Colin believed that the mandate of the Friends organization would be one of the means to Bon Echo being able to continue to offer to its visitors what those visitors before them had seen and experienced.
“Colin’s own canvases reflected the landscapes around his home in the Land O’Lakes area. So many landmarks were captured in his work. But Bon Echo, with such a unique ecology and a deep and long history, was more than an artistic inspiration and he recognized it as a special place and landmark to be explored by the residents and visitors in this world ‘north of 7.’ The natural, historical and cultural heritage of Bon Echo was a draw and a teacher, the beauty and majesty of the Park – a refuge and inspiration. ‘Preservation if appropriate, and education key.’ ”