On the waterfront

Carly Irrgang, left, and Angie Jensen manage the Baggage Building Arts Centre, located across from Mariners Hall at Prince Arthur’s Landing.

THE Friends of the Grain Elevators have set up an historical exhibit at the Baggage Building Arts Centre at Prince Arthur’s Landing to tell the story of the grain industry in Canada. The emphasis is on railways and the incredible amount of activity in our harbours since 1883 when the railways opened up the west.

Thunder Bay was integral part of the developing country. We had the biggest grain port in the world for many years and gave primary food aid to Europe after two world wars. Eight of the original elevators continue to operate today and is the reason for more than 500 ships passing through our harbours in 2016.

Part of the grain exhibit features a map of the world and twelve glass jars, each containing a different type of grain. Indicators tell the viewer where the grain was distributed throughout the world. All of this information is provided by Rob Paterson.

The Gift Gallery, which has been in operation for five years, currently hosts sixty-five local artists featuring their paintings, prints, photography, nage the Gift Gallery and co-ordinate activities, crafts, pottery, jewelry, candles, stained glass, Indigenous arts of all types, books by local authors, CDs, and sundry of edible items.

The gift shop, located on the second floor of the centre, was once the old Canadian Pacific freight office, a historical site with its old tin ceiling that is often incorrectly referred to as the Baggage Building.

As a commercial and public venue in a city-owned facility, the centre operates as a collective of All the Days Theatre, the Community Arts and Heritage Program, the Posers Drawing Group, Waterfront Potters, Waterfront Printmaking Group, Connect the Dots: Roots and Branches, and Tango North.

There is plenty to do at the centre for aspiring artists as well. Join Tango North Wednesday evenings or drop in for a drawing class Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Beginner pottery classes are also available with materials and equipment provided.

From Feb. 24 to March 25, the third annual Fibre Arts Exhibition is showcasing a selection of works from members from the Spinners and Weavers Guild along with other local artists. More than 60 works by several artists, including works of crochet, needlepoint and felting will be featured.

Writers and videographers from Canadian Geographic have visited Prince Arthur’s Landing recently to research the history of the area for an upcoming article.

As the centre continues to develop, we can look forward to many more waterfront attractions for many decades to come.

For information on exhibits or to register for programs, visit artscentre@thunderbay.ca or call 684-2063.

Duncan Weller is a writer and visual artist. His work can be seen Saturday mornings at the Country Market and at his gallery and studio at 118 Cumberland St. You can write to him at duncanweller@hotmail.com.

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