In the 1950's, Kirk was also professor of physical education and health at the University of Toronto, and has received numerous honours for his contributions to the University and to conservation. Known as a man of vision and determination he has helped, in his many endeavours, to bring alive the history and culture of our nation.
Read more about Kirk on the website: www.kirkwipper.ca
Born William Clifford Mason in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Bill Mason developed a great passion for canoeing and the wilderness very early in life. He would later be best described as an award winning Canadian naturalist, author, artist, filmmaker and conservationalist. In fact, Mason was the most successful filmmaker in the history of the National Film Board of Canada.
While filming he often used the camera as a brush and nature as the canvas, creating the stunning visual images that have been etched into our collective Canadian memories. Perhaps, however, it is his paintings that best reflect his passion. Bill painted in spurts throughout his career, sometimes going for years without painting, but always storing up the images and places he experienced for future reference and paintings. For Bill, the best thing about his painting was that it allowed him to slow down and to examine the world around him.
One of Bill's final wishes, before succumbing to cancer in 1988, was the completion and publication of Canoescapes, a retrospective collection of his works and a fitting tribute to one of Canada's most beloved artists and naturalists.
Too often it is the destination that is important, not the journey itself. One of the wonderful aspects of painting is that it takes time. A lot of time. It forces me to look long and hard at my subject, to study and assimilate every detail and then to make choices as to what interests me. It is pointless to attempt to record every detail. I could never do justice to what I see. The forest that God created inspires me to create a painting that I hope reveals how I feel about it. That's what creativity is to me.
Bill Mason, Canoescapes
Boston Mills Press, 1995
Bill Palmer settled in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1964 following a career in the Armed Forces. He soon became known to the outdoor community as an accomplished paddler and was much in demand as a canoe instructor for youth groups, the city Recreation Department and other organizations. Among his acomplishments, Bill is credited with the development of the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Canoe School, where he served as an instructor for 18 years.
In 1971, he helped establish the national Canoe School which operated throughout the Maritimes and provided national certification for instructors. During this time he also served on the Canoe New Brunswick Board of Directors and offered countless clinics to help promote canoeing in the region.
Bill Palmer shared his skills and love for canoeing with literally thousands of of people throughout New Brunswick. It is little wonder that he became known as the 'Father of Canoeing' throughout his province. Greatly admired, Bill Palmer left a legacy to last for generations to come.