Group of Seven Heritage Landscapes

Since 2008, we have been exploring northern Ontario in search of the places that the world-renowned Group of Seven artists immortalized in their paintings 100 years ago.This ongoing cultural anthropology research locates, identifies, and documents these painting sites. But even more astonishing than walking in their footsteps is our discovery that these landscape paintings actually depict real places that still exist today.

Canoe on calm river with Northern Ontario landscape

PAINTED LAND: In Search of The Group of Seven (sizzle reel) from WhitePinePictures on Vimeo.

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven Trailer

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 to find the vistas that inspired The Group of Seven.

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven is an investigative arts film that is part mystery, part history and part adventure.

Director: Phyllis Ellis
A Co-Production of Solemn Land Productions, Sault Ste. Marie and White Pine Pictures, Toronto.

Developed in association with TVOntario, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, and documentary channel and with the assistance of the OMDC Film Fund.

To be produced in association with TVOntario, Crossroads Television System, documentary, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, OMDC, Canadian Media Fund, Canadian Film and Television Tax Credit.

With the support of the NORDIK Institute, Algoma University, CN and the generous assistance of Tourism Ontario, The Master’s Gallery Ltd. and Gary Waxman.

Tom Thomson Petawawa Gorges 1916 Art Gallery of Ontario.

Tom Thomson, Petawawa Gorges, 1916, Art Gallery of Ontario

F.H.Varley, Squally Weather Georgian Bay 1920 National Gallery.

F.H. Varley, Squally Weather Georgian Bay 1920, National Gallery of Canada

Lawren Harris, Silent Land, 1920, National Gallery of Canada.

Lawren Harris, Silent Land, 1920, National Gallery of Canada

Lawren Harris Coldwell Bay Lake Superior, 1923, National Gallery of Canada .

Lawren Harris, Coldwell Bay Lake Superior, 1923, National Gallery of Canada



Screen Dates

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

Ciné-Art Film Series, Montreal, QC Wednesday, April 26, 2017 Earth Film Festival, Owen Sound, ON Thursday, April 20, 2017 MORE INFO 22nd Annual Quiet Water Symposium, Lansing MI Saturday March 4, 2017 MORE INFO CPAWS Fall Gala 2016, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON Wednesday November 2, 2016 More INFO MORE INFO : CPAWS FALL GALA Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy Fund Raiser, LSSU Arts Center, Sault Ste Marie MI Monday September 12, 2016 Korah Relay For Life FundRaiser, Sault Ste Marie, ON Thur, June 2, 2016 7-9pm MORE INFO Northern Landscapes Festival, Grand Marais, MN Sunday, June 4, 2016 MORE INFO Oakville Festival of Film and Art, Oakville, ON Sunday, June 26, 2016 MORE INFO

For all screening dates visit White Pine Pictures

PREVIOUS SCREENINGS VIFF Vancouver International Film Festival 2015 Algoma Fall Festival, Sault Ste. Marie, ON TVO Television Broadcasts Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, ON Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa, ON Princess Cinemas, Waterloo, ON Bookshelf Cinema, Guelph, ON Princess Twin Theatre, Waterloo, ON Fundy Film Festival, Wolfville, NS The Screening Room, Kingston, ON Trinity College School, Port Hope, ON Collingwood Film Festival, Collingwood, ON Bookshelf Cinema, Guelph, ON Cinecenta, Victoria, BC Princess Cinemas, Waterloo, ON Women’s Art Association of Canada, Toronto, ON Salt Spring Film Festival, Salt Spring, BC Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, ON Cinematheque, Winnipeg, MB Arts & Letters Club, Toronto, ON Grand Theatre (NORDIK Institute), Sault Ste. Marie, ON Albion College, Albion, MI University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB International Women’s Association, Toronto, ON Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI Northern Landscapes Festival, Grand Marais, MN Oakville Festival of Film and Art, Oakville, ON Riverbrink Art Museum, Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, NWT Neys Provincial Park, Terrace Bay, ON Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste Marie, MI North Kawartha Public Library, Apsley, ON Vancity Theatre, Vancouver, BC The Royal, Toronto, ON CPAWS Ottawa Valley Fall Gala, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON Belfountain Heritage Society, Caledon, ON  


Map of Group of Seven Heritage Landscapes

This map highlights the locations where the Group of Seven painted in their formative years a century ago. This geography and time frame defined the parameters of our research and our fieldwork with our partner, art historian, Michael Burtch. By canoe, on foot, via train we have travelled together across northern Ontario discovering the exact locations where these iconic landscape sketches and paintings were made. When we are there in the same season, same time of day with the same light and the same weather, Gary is able to capture on film images that quite closely match their landscape paintings. It is as if we are canoeing with A.Y.Jackson across the river, following Lawren Harris up a cliff, sitting next to J.E.H. MacDonald as he dabs autumn colour on a canvas. It’s a haunting, exciting phenomenal experience that grows ever more fascinating with each passing year.

Group of Seven Heritage Landscapes Map

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