Grayden Laing specializes in film production, photography, commercial art, animation, and fine art. He works in many mediums and jumps from idea to idea. Everything he does is a work in progress. Grayden puts his talents to work when capturing the city of St. Thomas, local businesses and local artists.
He says, “I enjoy creating work that sparks a dialogue, but what I’ve found over the years is that my more commercially successful works are ones that use my painting or filming techniques to showcase the beauty of my subjects. That means I have learned to have a foot in both art worlds; the commercial art world and the fine art world. Choosing to do that has given me and the artwork I produce more perspective than I would have if I just stuck to one type of art. So how would I describe my artwork? All encompassing and all consuming - and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What I really want people to experience through my artwork is a dialogue about the subject matter of the work and an appreciation of the craft required to execute it. I think that also speaks to the ego of myself as an artist because even though I know the amount of time people have to spend on dialogue and artwork is finite – I believe that what I’m talking about and doing is worth their time.”
Grayden's boxcar mural is based on the continuous line drawing style he incubated and then developed after moving back to St. Thomas from Toronto. The reference material he used for the artwork was from a photoshoot he did with dancers from Step Above Dance here in St. Thomas, as well as from a video filmed to be used for the next RotoJam. Two of the drawings proposed for the mural are from animation frames that will be featured in the next Rotojam film, which is being submitted to national and international film festivals.
Website | Instagram
Evond Blake is a Canadian multidisciplinary visual artist who has worked under the pseudonym MEDIAH for 25 years. An Internationally renowned visual artist, MEDIAH is a trendsetter sparking new ideas and originality by blurring the lines between post-graffiti and dynamic abstraction. Blake’s work consists of weaving traditional street art forms with traditional painterly techniques and mixed media printmaking using many forms and approaches found in digital art and design. Heavily inspired by avionics, mechanical engineering and schematics, the artwork glorifies and captures the essence of speed, motion, dynamism and force to create movement on the image surface. Blake’s work provides the viewer with not only this glorification of speed relating to the thirst for a faster and more streamline world but also its unavoidable repercussions of collision, disaster and chaos.
In the past 25 years, MEDIAH has created a name for himself. With over 60,000 followers on Instagram, he has been described as ‘one of the most respected and revered graffiti artists in Canada’ by both vandals and street artists due to his extensive and prolific career painting large-scale murals, participating in solo and group art exhibitions, and creating immersive, cinematic video and animation productions. MEDIAH spent quite a bit of time painting and growing as an artist in St. Thomas and still has strong family ties to the city.
MEDIAH’s bold and intricate linework represent two of St.Thomas’ landmarks. First, the lines represent the intersection of two historical roads which created St.Thomas’ location. Second, they represent the railway junctions and railway tracks that were built in the late 19th and early 20th century that ‘The Railway City’ is renowned for. The modern urban aesthetic of the artwork represents a progressive future as St. Thomas rebrands itself with a new identity that represents the City’s commitment to a progressive future for citizens and businesses alike.
MEDIAH will use bold colours, lines, and shapes to represent the strength and resilience of a determined community focused on growth. The unique geometrical shapes represent the unique individuals working together as a community to build a prosperous, united future. Overall, MEDIAH’s artwork illustrates an abstract art depiction of St. Thomas’ bold and vibrant future, while paying tribute to the City’s rich historical railway routes.
Website | Instagram
Jaclyn White is a modern artist who relies on her instinct. Inspired by emotions, experience and social nature, Jaclyn experiments with different mediums to explore her creativity. After graduating from Western University with a Major in Visual Arts, she has worked in the fashion industry as a stylist and videographer and now owns Jac's House, a venue in St. Thomas that acts as a blank canvas to host an array of events.
Murals tend to show a town’s flare for the arts and culture in the area. It is a great opportunity to put forth street side imagery that the community can enjoy but also reflect upon as to what it says about not only the artists living within the community but also their experience. Jac wanted to bring the idea of “Many Faces” to showcase an intricate expression of the area. She believes St. Thomas to be a multifaceted town that caters to small business, community, arts and culture. This is a town that has many faces, both literally and metaphorically. St. Thomas is diverse in many aspects as well as inclusive to all members of the community. When she thinks of this town she thinks of the “Many Faces” that intricately come together to make it a supportive and charming place to live.
Website | Instagram
As an artist, Laura aims to keep the mystery alive in her work as much as possible. This is reflected not only in the questions she asks, but also by keeping an open mind about how art can engage the world. This honesty leads to new discoveries, new accidents, and further engagement with the questions. Laura’s work, like the world and people that inhabit it, is multifaceted. Raw, uncomfortable narratives not talked about or socially acceptable.
She says, “Social, political, and psychological dramas play out on the canvas or paper, and in the process I learn more about myself and search for insight into what motivates those around me. There is the facet that is voyeuristic. I intrude and invite the viewer to intrude as well. I peek behind closed doors, into hidden secrets, and private moments of my subjects, delving into the psyche and physical appearance of the subject being represented. I observe them up close, then expose them for everyone to see. The figure is accessible and facilitates communication. It’s an understandable language, a narrative without words.”
"If elephants can float on bubbles, anything is possible."
Laura intends to use the naturalization of the existing box car as the background contrasted with the whimsical figures we see throughout her current style. Laura has been placing figures throughout St. Thomas in some unknown, and known locations blurring the lines between fine-art and street-art. The boxcar mural is a natural extension of her work.
Website | Instagram
The ST. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre
The Experience: After Dark at the Art Centre
This isn't just an event, it's an experience.
Set in the 19th Century gallery at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre, you will be able to relax on cozy couches and chairs in this cocktail lounge style event while you absorb the sounds of The Pairs. Local guitar guru Iam Chadney will be opening.
All food and drinks provided at this event are locally produced in St. Thomas. There will be a delectable arrangement of appetizers provided by the Windjammer Inn that comes included with your ticket. And whether you prefer beer or wine, there will be specialty drink options provided by Railway City Brewing Co., Caps Off Brewing, and Quai Du Vin Estate Winery.
Enjoy the exquisite menu options and cozy vibes in this unique setting while taking in the local tunes and incredible art.
WHAT: Live Music Experience set in a 19th Century Style Cocktail Lounge
FEATURING: The Pairs / Iam Chadney / Local food & drink
WHEN: July 25th 7pm
WHERE: Public Art Centre 301 Talbot Street
COST: $20 gets you entry + appetizers (drinks extra)
**limited tickets available**
July 1st | Canada Day in the Park | Pinafore Park
July 6th | Nostalgia Nights Car Show | Downtown St. Thomas
July 12th - 14th | Day Out With Thomas | Memorial Centre
July 2nd (every Tuesday) | Euchre Club | St. John’s Anglican
July 2nd (every Tuesday) | Game Night | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 3rd | Brewery Bootcamp | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 5th & 7th | Magic & Brews | Caps Off Brewery
July 5/12/19/26 | Seniors’ Cafe | St. Thomas Public Library
July 6th | Caps Off Brewery Grand Opening | Caps Off Brewery
July 10th | Seniors’ Picnic in the Park | Pinafore Park
July 15th | Spring Flower Design Workshop | Harris Flowers Farm
July 17th | West End Wednesdays | St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
July 2nd | Family Game Night | St. Thoms Public Library
July 6th | Wanna Bee Day | Clovermead Adventure Farm
July 6th | (every weekend) | Scenic Train Rides | PSTR
July 10th | Make Your Own Custom Temporary Tattoos | St. Thoms Public Library
July 13th | Summer Sizzle BBQ & Dance | St. John’s Anglican
July 24th | Falconry With Mike Shore | St. Thomas Public Library
July 5th (every Friday) | Woodfired Pizza | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 6th (every Saturday) | Horton Farmers’ Market | 10 Manitoba Street
July 6th (every Saturday) | The Tipsy Pig | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 7th | Mexi Brunch | Wildflowers Farm
July 12th | Pizza on the Farm | Wildflowers Farm
July 26th | Heavenly Ham & Scalloped Potato Dinner | St. John’s Anglican
July 3rd (every Wednesday) | Summer Concert Series | Old St. Thomas Church
July 6th | Live: Karen Emeny | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 7th (every Sunday) | Music in the Park Concert Series | Pinafore Park
July 19th | Live: Alicia Toner | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 20th | Live: Groove Station | Railway City Brewing Co.
July 25th | After Dark: Art Centre Edition | St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
ARTS & CULTURE
July 2nd (every Wednesday) | Transportation Heritage Exhibit | Dowler Karn Museum
July 3rd (every Wednesday) | Pioneer Funeral Practices | Old St. Thomas Church
July 3rd - 20th | Giving up the Ghost | Port Stanley Festival Theatre
July 5th | Romantic Designs Art Class | Romantic Designs Artist Studio
July 7th | Founders Day Civic Service | Old St. Thomas Church
July 14th | Off The Wall Art Show | Masonic Centre of Elgin
July 15th - 19th | Summer Theatre Camp | YFC Youth Centre
July 18th & 19th | Face it! Performance Art Installation | Waterworks Park
July 24th - August 10th | Ed’s Garage | Port Stanley Festival Theatre
July 27th | Improv Night | Rail City Bistro
Celebrate in St. thomas
With the conclusion of the 2019 NBA playoffs, which saw our country come together to cheer on our nation's championship-winning team, Canadians have a lot to celebrate this Canada Day! Take the family to this special event and enjoy the abundance of music, food, local vendors, and free activities to celebrate all things Canada!
JULY 1st PINAFORE PARK 11am-11pm
Canada is Pretty Cool, eh?
10 Weird and Wonderful Facts about Canada
hiking the trail - June 12 2019
At Railway City Tourism we often hear about the Elgin Hiking Trail. We also get asked lots of questions about the trail. Having never actually hiked it before, it's really hard to answer any questions, no matter how familiar we are with the map!
Hi! We are Megan and Sarah and we usually work behind the scenes at Railway City Tourism. On June 12 2019, we decided that we needed to live the experience so we could better answer questions for people (and also get some amazing trail photos)!
We are both amateur hikers, and it showed! Somehow we managed to pack some snacks and water, but it was more of an afterthought (please don't forget this if you do the trail). We knew that the entrance was at the Sunset Cafe (184 Sunset Drive), but that was all we knew. Thankfully, some trail club members happened to be there and showed us the way in. It's not that hard to find, it's at the southern point of the property heading into the woods, just next to the cemetery.
So we entered the trail and off we went! This point was very beautiful with phlox growing and peppering the forest floor with shades of purple and white. We eventually caught up with Kettle Creek and were blown away by the sand dunes and the views! If you can't do the entire trail, we highly recommend doing this leg between the Sunset Cafe and the dunes.
To make things even more picturesque, a mother deer and her fawn were at the base of the creek having a drink.
We were feeling pretty good by the time we hit John Wise Line. The trail had a been incredibly interesting as we moved from forest to fields and back again, and we had been hiking about 2 hours at this point. You have to cross the highway here, but we were back in the woods once again.
There are points on the trail where it's difficult to find the trail markers (blazes). We highly recommend loading the digital map up on your phone and following along. So far we weren't doing too bad.
We continued on, had a snack, skirted some more fields, and ended up on Mellor Road. Some points of the trail do travel along roads, but there are still markers to help you navigate. At this point we'd travelled very different terrain and observed that no matter where we were, we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. It was beautifully quiet and still, with little sign of civilization - even though we knew it wasn't far!
Things became confusing when we met up with the L&PS Rail Line. We lost some markers and had to follow the tracks until we could find the trail again. Some advice around this area is to note the trail does stay in the woods, even if there are points where it crosses the tracks. This is an operating tourist rail line so keep an eye out for trains!
You come out at Union Station, an adorable tiny train station along the L&PS. From here you join Sparta Line and continue on back roads until reentering at Union Road. These country roads have beautiful scenery, so even if you aren't back in the woods, it's still a worthwhile trek.
The forest on the final leg to Port Stanley was the most challenging. The trail hugs steep hills, and this is not for the faint of heart, or young children. However, the scenery continues to evolve and stun us. There is something magical about the Carolinian forests, and it was always changing even from St. Thomas to where we were now.
We were absolutely delighted when we exited the forest at Port Stanley to find the Lake Erie Salmon and Trout Club. This space was amazing! We entered at feeding time when the fish food was released and the water looked like it was boiling there was so much activity. Anyone can feed the fish, and this place is open to the public with picnic tables, native trees, and some beautiful places to sit and relax. A great place to bring the family!
That's the end of the off-road section. We followed Carlow Road into Port and on to a celebratory dinner at GT's on the beach. It was well deserved 6 hours later for us two limping ladies.
Overall we were incredibly impressed with this hike, and find that with certain sections exiting onto roads it would be easy to do a section of the trail and get a ride back. Doing the St. Thomas to Port Stanley portion was worth it, but you need to have some hiking skill and a day set aside.
And thankfully, we had a ride back to St. Thomas.
Elgin Hiking Trail Club
We ran into members from the trail club at the access point at the Sunset Cafe. Even though we did a long trek from St. Thomas to Port Stanley, they wanted to highlight that there are many ways for people of all skill levels to enjoy the trail. More importantly, they host many different hikes and walks throughout the year!
Keep an eye on their website for more.
Arts & Culture
June 2nd | Acro Yoga at the Brewery | Railway City Brewery
June 5th (every Wednesday) | Transportation Heritage Exhibit | Dowler Karn Museum
June 5th - 29th | Lunenburg | Port Stanley Festival Theatre
June 5th | Brewery Bootcamp | Railway City Brewery
June 6th | Petals and Paint | St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
June 7th | P.A. Day Workshop June | St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
June 8th | Port Stanley Artist Guild Annual Show & Sale | Port Stanley Legion
June 12th | Spirit Garden Taize | St. John’s Anglican
June 15th | Romantic Designs Art Class | Romantic Designs Artist Studio
June 26th | French Storytime | St. Thomas Public Library
June 27th-29th | Theatre: Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf | Princess Ave Playhouse
June 1st | Wannabe: A Spice Girls Tribute | St. Anne’s Centre
June 1st | Finlaggan | Princess Ave Playhouse
June 1st (every Saturday) | Speakeasy Saturdays ft. Trole Bros | Lotus Thai
June 2nd (every Sunday) | Music in the Park Concert Series | Pinafore Park
June 8th | Deni Gauthier | Princess Ave Playhouse
June 14th | A Very Special Fatherz Day Show | St. John’s Anglican
June 2nd | Espresso Your Local Love | Streamliners Espresso Bar
June 4th (every Tuesday) | Euchre Club | St. John’s Anglican
June 11th | Spring Flower Design Workshop | Harris Flowers Farm
June 14th | Comedy Night in the Shop | Elgin County Railway Museum
June 15th | Beach Walk For ALS | GT’s Bar and Grill
June 19th | West End Wednesdays | St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre
June 19th | Quarter Auction | St. John’s Anglican
June 1st (every Saturday) | Horton Farmers Market | Manitoba Street
June 21st | Sensational Strawberry Social | St. John’s Anglican
June 28th | Almighty Roast Beef Supper | St. John’s Anglican
June 1st | Ready to Ride Saturday | St. Thomas Public Library
June 1st | Splashpads OPEN daily | Pinafore and Waterworks Park
June 4th | Family Game Night | St. Thomas Public Library
June 8th | Grandparents Day | Clovermead Adventure Farm
June 12th | Elgin Teddy Bear Picnic | Pinafore Park
June 14th | Locke’s Public School Centennial Family Fun Fair | Locke’s Public School
June 16th | Annual Fathers Day Car Show | Pinafore Park
June 5th - 8th | St. Anne’s Community Festival | St. Anne’s Centre
June 7th | Springwater Vanfest | Springwater Conservation Area
June 7th | Rosy Rhubarb Festival | Shedden Keystone Community Complex
June 14th-15th | Shedden Tractor Pull | Shedden Keystone Community Comples
June 23rd | Summer Solstice Festival | Wildflowers Farm
Public art has the power to enrich communities, create captivating spaces, challenge our ideas, provoke discussion or simply add beauty to our day. The Boxcar Mural Project provides an opportunity for local artists to create works of art on train boxcars within the city of St. Thomas. We are seeking a variety of artists, with diverse experiences, backgrounds, styles and techniques that reflects our values of creativity, inclusiveness and beauty.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Expressions of interest to submit and create an original design for a mural on a train boxcar, located outside the Elgin County Railway Museum (225 Wellington Street, St. Thomas). Designs for the boxcar should be original and modern. Artists applying to this project are encouraged to consider the context of the local area and the city as a whole, outside the box interpretations of Jumbo and our railway heritage are welcome but not required.
This call is being administered by Railway City Tourism.
For further information please contact Megan Pickersgill, email@example.com or 519-631-1680 ext 4132
Web resource for mural inspiration: https://www.muralsinthemarket.com/
Sample Boxcar Murals:
A best friend, a love-provider, and a furball full of fun are some of the different ways canine enthusiasts use to describe their dogs. Plus, everyone knows dogs offer unconditional love, so it's up to you as a dog owners to find new ways to show that love in return! Fortunately, the team at Railway City Tourism have formulated a list of the top things you can do with your pups in St. Thomas to do just that.
1. A Social Outing
Being pack animals, it's no surprise that dogs love to socialize! So why not take your pooch out to meet some new friends? There are two great dog parks in the area to do just that!
2. long walks
Do you have a pooch with boundless energy? Or one who just likes to get out and smell the fresh air? Either way, dogs love long walks. Try one of these two options to help you pup stretch their legs (and yours!).
3. a Puppy pampering
It's a hard life being a dog. Our little furry friends need some extra love and care! Try one of the many options listed to help your pup be their best selves.
4. A Photo shoot
Look as good as Sadie here! Why not hire a local photographer for some special photos of your special friend? There are many beautiful locations around to capture the inner light of your bestie.
Need we say more? Find some special doggy goodies at these two local businesses.