King Family Bursary Winners

Posted on April 18, 2016

The Georgian Bay Land Trust has awarded our third annual King Family Bursary to two talented artists who will each set out to capture different aspects of the Bay this coming summer. Melanie Gausden will examine the interaction between people and the Bay in a series of paintings, while Sylvia Galbraith will focus her photographic talents on the geologic forces at work in our environment. Congratulations Melanie and Sylvia!

We’d like to thank Wally and Marilyn King, as well as an anonymous donor, for funding this bursary which aims to promote knowledge and appreciation of the eastern shore of Georgian Bay through creative or scientific projects. Thanks also to this year’s judging panel: Elizabeth King, Jennifer MacDonald, and Bill Lougheed.

A special thank you to all of this year’s talented applicants, who made the decision very difficult for our judges.

Melanie Gausden


Mel Gausden is a Canadian artist from Guelph, Ontario. In her work, she uses landscape as a medium to explore ideas of memory and self while using colour to highlight the distortion inherent in our memories. Mel graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design and has exhibited throughout Ontario.

For this project Mel will spend time exploring different communities along Georgian Bay by foot and kayak and will produce a series of paintings that present a portrait of the interaction between people and the bay.


Melanie Gausden, Blue Spruce


Melanie Gausden, Teeth

“I am excited to be working on a project that Iʼm so passionate about. I have spent many summers enjoying the beautiful shores of Georgian Bay and creating memories which are integral to who I have become. It’s an honour to have the chance to communicate the importance of preserving the life and community of Georgian Bay through my work.”

-Melanie Gausden

Sylvia Galbraith

sylvia_pic cropped

Sylvia Galbraith is a Canadian artist whose work includes landscape, documentary, and commercial photography. Her personal photographs have been exhibited nationally, and have won many awards. Inspired by her love of the outdoors, she has spent years photographing the Great Lakes and Northern Ontario, and more recently, the dramatic geology of Newfoundland.

Through her landscape photographs of the Georgian Bay coast, Sylvia is examining the relationships between science, history and art; her visual references are rocks that have been transformed in violent ways, where patterned shapes in the present-day strata mirror the forces that created them.

Sylvia’s work reminds us that there is an inexorable historical process constantly reworking the landscape – a process that continues in spite of our presence. Sylvia will be exhibiting these images as large-scale photographs, and has plans to publish a book in the near future.


Sylvia Galbraith, Untitled


Sylvia Galbraith, Untitled

“Georgian Bay has always held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember, drawing me back year after year.  I have seen it take many forms – often gentle and benign, usually temperamental, and at times truly frightening – and it is always compelling and awe-inspiring. I am thrilled and honoured to have been chosen as a King Family Bursary recipient … with this award I will be able to complete this series of photographs which I am sure will inspire others to appreciate this place as much as I do.”

-Sylvia Galbraith