to locate,document and map the
landscapes immortalized in the paintings
by these internationally renowned
Lake Superior Water Trail
Trans Canada Trail. Gary and Joanie McGuffin are honoured
to be National Champions of the Great Trail.
by people for thousands of years, the
McGuffins take us on a 3-month
voyage with their 3-year-old daughter
and their Alaskan Malamute. Using
traditional technology (paddles and
canoes) and modern technology
(SAT phones and digital cameras),
they share a Great Lakes still
wild and beautiful!
nature photographers, writers, and conservationists.
Click here to understand why they are passionate about
the Great outdoors.
“Inspiring people to re-connect with the natural world.”
From our earliest years, Gary and I have spent our lives in the outdoors, the wild outdoors. For both of us, we’ll claim the most influential part of our education and upbringing was the contrast provided by a school year city life and a summertime northern life. We each grew up on the outskirts of a city where our wild space was defined by a path of a river cradled in a valley of Carolinian forest and wildflower fields. Fall, winter and spring, this was the place where we searched for secret caves, climbed trees and made forts, and skied down forest trails. We waded the creeks upturning stones, had stick boat races, and started bird watching. When summer arrived, our parents took us north to cottages they had built. We swam, fished, canoed, camped, explored and learned the ways of the animals. We enjoyed a kind of freedom that combined with encouragement and courage from our parents, has been our deepest source of motivation to pursue our dreams.
For over 30 years, we have been a voice for the landscapes we know and love, particularly Canada’s North, northern Ontario and the Lake Superior watershed. Human beings are a part of this landscape as they have been for thousands of years. We often depict human participants in our images, and our journey stories aim to inspire people to want to go on their own self-propelled adventures whether for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks. Humans are both problem and solution, and in our efforts to be part of the latter, we helped found the international land trust, the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy. The broad mission of the Conservancy enables the organization to build a foundation for the future long-term health of the lake, its ecosystems and its people.
Connect with Nature and Discover the Boreal Forest: Join Us at the Smithsonian’s Traveling Exhibition
Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the world’s largest terrestrial ecosystem, the boreal forest? Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with nature and expand your understanding of this incredible landscape at the Smithsonian Institution’s five-year traveling exhibition, Knowing Nature: Stories of the Boreal Forest.
Group of Seven Heritage Landscapes
The tangled wilderness of Algoma and Lake Superior’s expansive North Shore inspired Canada’s most famous artists – The Group of Seven. One hundred years later, their paintings retain a powerful hold on Canada’s visual imagination. But where exactly were these iconic masterpieces created? The passage of time has erased the memory of where Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, A.J. Casson, and Franz Johnston captured these rugged landscapes. Joanie McGuffin, Gary McGuffin and art historian Michael Burtch have spent years researching, canoeing, portaging and bushwhacking up cliffs to find the vistas that inspired The Group of Seven.
News and Media
Exploring the Boreal Forest: A Journey with Joanie and Gary McGuffin at the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition
Introducing Joanie and Gary McGuffin, the dedicated advocates of the Superior Watershed Conservancy, who have paddled their way through the vast boreal landscape. This week, the couple embarks on a new adventure in East Lansing, Michigan, where they will kick off the...
Almost exactly a century ago, even down to the season, J.E.H MacDonald painted one of the Group of Seven’s most recognizable paintings, that of The Solemn Land. Fast forward 100 years and that notable painting of the rugged bluffs on the Montreal River hangs in the...
We are hosting the 12th Annual Beaver Club Gala on Saturday, October 19th, at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough ~ Come and Join us! For tickets, go to Beaver Club Gala