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Ann Murray, “One of A Kind Christmas Show” at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto

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Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada. Gift from Town of Port Au Choix 2002

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A Letter From The Governor General

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Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General of Canada visited my historic hometown of Port Au Choix in the summer of 2002. The local council presented her with a piece of my folkart at the town hall gathering. She questioned as to who and where the local artist was and made the point of wanting to meet him before she left town.

I was working in-studio that day when the phone rang. It was the security guys for the Governor General informing me she wanted to meet me. They would have to come by first to check out the place. I told them yes, I would make time to see Adrienne. They said they would be right over.

Within a few minutes, a great big black shiny car pulled into the parking lot. Out stepped two big tall men dressed in black and wearing ties. They checked out ‘my spot' inside and out and said it was OK.

Shortly thereafter, the Governor General showed up in another black shiny car. We all lined up, as told, in a straight crooked line in the small parking lot to greet her. I shook her hand and the hands of her party and invited the whole lot of them into my studio. They didn't have much time, not even enough to visit my newly opened Museum of Whales & Things.

My memory of the In-studio visit is as follows:

I struck up a conversation with her husband, and went on to tell him that I felt the novel “The Shipping News” by Annie Proulx and the subsequent movie follow-up would benefit our tourism industry.

He spoke back to me in a loud, strong voice, saying he despised “The Shipping News” bla bla bla. I think he felt it was degrading and demoralizing in the way that Newfoundlanders were portrayed in the novel and movie. I quickly ended our conversation and met Adrienne at the check-out. She purchased a few small odd things, most notably a pair of double knit woolen sealer mitts that sold for $28 plus H.S.T.

We all shook hands again and Adrienne promised me she would find a nice wall at Rideau Hall to hang my picture. She was a real nice lady. Out the door they all went and I went back to work.

She wrote several weeks later upon returning to Ottawa . She also added my name to her mail-out list. Now every Christmas I get a Xerox signed Christmas card from the Governor General printed on recycled paper.


Notable Owners Continued...

Jeff Sterling NTV T.V. 1 st Piece ‘94

Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Ottawa. Work Commissioned by Brian Tobin: 6 pieces ‘96

Clyde Wells, Former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Danny Williams, Present day Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Great Big Sea, Folk Band

Young Daughter of a judge in Rome , Italy . Original mural size quilt

Annie E. Proulx, Author of “The Shipping News”

Raymond Plank, Chairman and CEO of Apache Oil Corporation, Denver, Colorado, USA . Model of semi-submersible oil rig given to Raymond as a gift from Annie.

Richard (Dick) Reid, President of Kindred Construction Ltd., Whistler, B.C.

Dr Art May, former president of Memorial University of Newfoundland.