Like many Winnipeggers, I’m proud of all the exciting cultural and artistic events and festivals our city is host to.
This year, I had the opportunity to attend one I’d never been to before: Thin Air: the Winnipeg International Writers Festival just finished its 15th anniversary of showcasing talented local and international authors.
Mike Grandmaison, who lives next door to Windsor Park in nearby Southdale, was a participant in this year’s Thin Air festival. What makes Grandmaison somewhat unique at a writers festival is that he is actually considered one of Canada’s premier nature and landscape photographers. His photographs were featured as the backdrop during the mainstage performance this year of Oh Canada, Oh Prairie on Sept. 25 at the Shaw Performing Arts Centre.
"The images from [Mike Grandmaison’s Prairie and Beyond] served as background to the presentations of two acclaimed fiction-writers, David Bergen of Winnipeg…and Richard Ford from Boothbay, Maine," Grandmaison explains. "The evening included readings from each of David’s and Richard’s new works situated firmly in the prairies."
Grandmaison, who has two honours degrees in biology as well as arts and sciences, is actually a self-taught photographer. His clients have included architects, designers, advertisers, and even various levels of government. His work has been featured not only in books, but also in magazines, calendars, cards, and even on postage stamps.
Grandmaison’s work has been featured in multiple exhibitions, most recently at Pixels 2.1 Photography Gallery this past September which also marked the launch of the Manitoba Arts Network 38-print traveling exhibition featuring his most recent work.
In addition to his freelance work, Grandmaison is the owner and founder of The Canadian Gallery located at 499 Notre Dame Ave. and 957 Portage Ave. When he’s not writing, taking photographs, or teaching workshops, Grandmaison is often in demand to make presentations to local camera clubs and nature organizations. It is clear that he enjoys being active in the community and frequently participates in fundraising events. He has served as a board member for a number of organizations, including the Canadian Association for Photographic Art.
Grandmaison’s most recent book, Mike Grandmaison’s Prairie and Beyond (Turnstone Press) features stunning colour photographs of Canadian geography and landscapes. It can be purchased at most major bookstores.
For more information on this talented local photographer, check out his two websites at www.thecanadiangallery.com and www.grandmaison.mbc.ca.
Heather Tiede is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.