Written By Shannon Bain
Ding Ding! It's round 2. We are back with another course of The Land Between at the Maryboro Lodge: The Fenelon Museum. Our gatherings in July proved to be incredible opportunities to share interest and perspective about this precious earth beneath our feet and our waterways. We are very pleased to offer another chance to meet with neighbours and knowledge, in a super cool little theatre setting in the gallery room at the Museum to boot. Each episode is full of history, geography, spiritual life lessons and scenery that will take your breath away. Don't be surprised if you know one of the incredible local experts featured.
So it's settled then 😉 Grab a copy of this awesome 3 part DVD from Kawartha Lakes Public Library or join us at the Fenelon Museum for an episode (or all three!). The discussion is on me, and the refreshments are on the house.
Saturdays at Noon. Schedule below (note date changes - we have extended into September!):
August 18 - Episode 1
August 25 - Episode 2
September 8 - Episode 3
About the Series:
This visually spectacular, three-part documentary series explores the newly recognized area in Ontario, Canada, that many people are calling The Land Between. Narrated by R.H. Thomson, the series uses aerial and time-lapse videography, cinematic historical reenactments, animation, an original musical score, and hundreds of rare historical photographs and films to introduce you to The Land Between, and the ever-changing story of how humans have interacted with this special region throughout time. Known as an "ecotone," The Land Between is a liminal space between the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. It is home to a host of overlapping species from the north and the south, which has encouraged sharing between First Nations cultures for thousands of years. But European settlers couldn't figure out what to do with its incredibly diverse patchwork of rock barrens, rivers, lakes and marshlands. It was not until the Victorian fascination with "wilderness" that The Land Between found a place in the collective psyche of Canadians – when people gave parts of it names like “Muskoka” and “The Kawarthas.” And it’s only recently that recreational use and urban resource needs have placed this biologically diverse region under threat.
Episode 1 - The Best of Both Worlds - Synopsis
The opening episode of the series starts with an introduction to The Land Between concept - beginning with how its transitional geology and ecology has been understood for centuries, to the late Peter Alley's modern-day passion to understand more about this unique landscape. The Land Between's four Great Gathering Places: Mazinaw (Bon Echo), Kinomagewapkong (Peterborough Petroglyphs), Mnjikaning (Orillia) and Beausoleil Island; are discussed in order to gain a greater understanding of First Nations relationships with this region. The symbiotic relationship that developed here between the agricultural Wendat of the South and the hunter-gatherer Anishinabe of the North is also explored. Finally, we look at Europeans first impressions of The Land Between, the chaos that the Beaver Wars brought to the region, and the resulting peace treaties, which reestablished the sharing of the land's resources.
Episode 2 - The Country of Our Defeat - Synopsis
The opening sequence of this episode tells the story of Sam Moore, a trader from the United States, who, in the early 1800s, started a trading post in partnership with a Mississauga man he called: "Too Tall." Surveyors, who were amongst the next Europeans to come to The Land Between, had great difficulty in making sense of, and finding a use for a land they often called a "barren, rocky country." The timber industry and lumber barrens followed and had a huge impact upon the landscape. In order to encourage more than just lumbermen to come to The Land Between, the government developed a scheme of colonization roads, which they hoped would quickly populate the region with 8 million farmers. In reality, many of these roads turned into trails of broken dreams for the farmers who settled there. Finally, we look at the region's mining history, including Ontario's first gold rush, and the multitude of mostly unsuccessful mining ventures lured into The Land Between by its incredibly diverse geology.
Episode 3 - Ginowaydaganuc - Synopsis
The final episode begins by exploring some modern-day relationships with The Land Between landscape, including an artist, an archaeologist, an elder, a cottager, a canoeist, and a Buddhist monk. We then go back in time to discover how some of these modern-day relationships, and feelings, developed: from the first Victorian travellers and artists to early tourism and First Nations guiding, to children’s camps, and the implementation of the parks system. There is also a legacy of a few individuals who have taken it upon themselves to steward their favourite piece of The Land Between. Today, volunteer groups, governments, and corporations are struggling to find a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability for The Land Between of tomorrow.