Wallpaper March 2013

Wallpaper March 2013

I thought I’d share a somewhat different image this month, not just to revisit summer, but to celebrate the fact that Great lake Swimmers' latest album, New Wild Everywhere, was just nominated for a Juno.  For those who may not know, the Junos are Canada’s top music awards, our equivalent to the Grammies and this is the second time the Swimmers have been so honored.

If you don't yet know them, Great Lake Swimmers are an acclaimed band that CBC has termed as “Canada’s national treasure,” who have aligned themselves very closely with the 1000 Islands region. 

This all began when they recorded tracks at Singer Castle, the Brockville Arts Centre and Rockport’s St. Brendan’s Church in 2008. Just as I had been when I stumbled across the 1000 Islands by accident, the band’s leader/singer/songwriter Tony Dekker was blown away by what he found here. He titled that album Lost Channels and then spent two years singing and talking about the River in concerts and interviews around the world, as far away as China.

This was followed in 2009 by a GLS concert on the deck of the Tall Ship Fair Jeanne in Brockville’s harbor, an event staged by Tall Ships Landing, a major, multi-faceted project, which at that point was still in its formative stages. The music video Palmistry came next, filmed aboard the Fair Jeanne under sail, at Singer Castle and on Raleigh Island. Another music video from that album, River’s Edge, was released in ’09.

In 2010, the Swimmers sold out 3 concerts here, including at the Brockville Arts Centre and the Clayton Opera House (both of which ran in conjunction with the launch of my final printed book, “The very best of Ian Coristine's 1000 Islands”) and a third concert to support Lake Ontario’s Waterkeeper on Wolfe Island.

In 2012, my sixth book, One in a Thousand was released as an interactive iPad app. It is a true story, co-written by the astonishingly talented Donna Walsh Inglehart, that chronicles my discovery of the region and many subsequent adventures here, similar in theme to A Year in Provence, Under the Tuscan Sun or The Olive Farm.

Thanks to a wonderful team of creative tech geniuses, the McLellan Group re-imagined the future of publishing by bringing the story to life in ways not previously possible, as an iPad App. It is told with an 86,000 word text, illustrated with over 450 images, numerous videos, nature sounds, narration, an interactive map and very significantly, 18 unpublished instrumental versions of Great Lake Swimmers’ hits.

Early last summer, Tony performed solo at Kim Lunman’s Island Life Magazine launch party for One in a Thousand at the Ivy and later, Tony brought the band back for McLellan Group to shoot an outstanding music video, Ballad of a Fisherman’s Wife at various locations, including aboard this funky barge which served as the stage for what must be one of the River’s most unique ever concerts. The only fans in attendance were the film crew and the loons until a Gananoque tour boat spotted us and provided an impromtu and very enthusiastic triple-deck audience! You’ll find more behind the scenes images from this magical day on my Pinterest page.

This summer, the Swimmers will return on June 14th for a major River event that should definitely go on your calendar now. An elaborate War of 1812 tall ships festival in Brockville (featuring 13 tall ships) will serve as the backdrop to the building dedication ceremony for Tall Ships Landing and (coming in 2014) the 1000 Islands' own discovery center - Aquatarium, which is the Genesis of a hugely important initiative - RiverQuest, that is uniting the entire region to present it to the world like another Tuscany or Provence.

The stage and setting for the Swimmers' (free) concert will again be the Fair Jeanne, this time lit up under the stars in Brockville’s harbor. If weather requires, the show will move to the nearby Brockville Arts Centre. This will be a truly magical evening. 

A set of 6 - 8 x 10 prints goes out to the person who shares the most interesting story about the spot where this barge concert image was captured or perhaps a Swimmers story.


Ian Coristine

Wallpaper March 2013

Download wide-angle version


Ian, This shot was taken just off our swimming deck from Wyoming Island, Lake Fleet Group! We are looking at Island

woodie stevens posted on: Friday, March 01, 2013

This one looks like a fun ride. As an old follow-spot operator, I can see it would be a tad difficult to keep a follow-spot steady on this target. :) Dave

Dave Scott posted on: Friday, March 01, 2013

The March 2013 Wallpaper shows the musical ensemble west bound about to pass to the north of the green navigational light at the Punts Islands. The Punts, named by island surveyor Owen in 1816, include the main island and Isles 34b, c, d, e, and f. The large land mass in the background is Thwartway Island (also known locally as Leek Island), part of St. Lawrence Islands National Park. (The National Park is about to go through a name change after 109 years - to become "Thousand Islands National Park"). As described by Susie Smith in her book "The First Summer People", punts were small utility boats used during the early island surveys which would be used by the crew in shallow water for rowing between ships. She also notes that the 0.8 acre main island was originally valued at $10 in 1873 by island surveyor Unwin and was later sold in 1904 for $220. This particular green flashing navigation light is an important dog's leg turn in the eastern end of the Leek Island Channel, a segment of the Canadian Middle Channel.

Bud Andress posted on: Friday, March 01, 2013

Bud is correct -- this image shows the Punts Islands -- which are most identifiable by the swimming dock to the left and the lighthouse to the right. I know this because my grandfather, Dick Castle, built that swimming dock -- as well as the house on the island. He also planted many of the pine trees on the island after a fire back in the 1970s that destroyed many of the old growth pines that originally stood. I grew up spending summers split between that island, and my parents' island, Kalaria, which is just down the river towards Gan. We have many family stories of the house (and the channel, which are filled with pike and skinny-dipping children, if you catch it on the right summer evening). However, my favorite is the story of how the island came to acquire the much-coveted out-house. My grandparents purchased the island before there was even a house on it, and spent many summers camping with my dad & aunts on a tent platform to the left of that dock. They 'relieved' themselves the old-fashioned way . . . which is fine, until you're caught in a rain storm, or until it's 40 degrees out. However, my grandmother (Sally) always longed for an indoor reprieve. So, for her 40th birthday, my grandfather built her a very special surprise -- the out-house!! In her honor, he named it "Sal's Shatoe" (emphasis on the "Shat"!). They upgraded to a full septic system in later years, but the story of that first marvelous 'indoor potty' remains a family (and island) legend. My grandfather passed about 10 years ago, and my grandmother passed away after an amazing summer in the islands last year. The legend lives on however, and we will forever cherish the original sign "Sal's Shatoe" on the bathroom door at Kalaria.Always happy to talk about the Punts & 1000 Islands,Melissa CastleKalaria Island melissacastle@gmail.comPS: I was thrilled when I saw the punts in the Great Lakes Swimmer's music video, and am even more ecstatic to find such a great picture available as a wall paper. We would love some copies of this image. :)

Melissa Castle posted on: Monday, June 03, 2013

The Notification List

One afternoon at a book signing, a lady shared with me a profound statement. "The River chooses some". Those of us who were chosen, spend winters longing to get back. To help my winter longings and yours too, each winter month I enjoy sharing a computer screensaver image to help infuse a little summer warmth into your day. I also outline the latest additions to ThousandIslandsLife.com online magazine. If you would like to receive these images and updates, please add your email address to the notification list using the form below. It will not be shared elsewhere.