King Family Bursary Recipients

The Georgian Bay Land Trust congratulates all recipients of the annual King Family Bursary, which supports projects that promote knowledge and appreciation of the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Please see below for a complete list of past recipients.

Katy McNabb, 2023

Katy McNabb is a cottage interior designer, and sustainable design advocate, born and raised in Parry Sound. After moving home in 2020, Katy began to research the rich history of the area, and realised the impact that cottaging has on our shoreline and ecosystems. Her project emerged from her passion for history, cottage design and sustainability. While season 1 focuses on intimate stories of cottage history, season 2 will focus on sustainable design along the shores of Georgian Bay, with an emphasis on protecting the shoreline via green energy, green building methods and the maintenance and preservation of natural landscapes.

With support from the Georgian Bay Land Trust, Katy will be interviewing a variety of guests for her podcast, including builders, contractors, architects and landscapers, to discuss best practices when building sustainably on Georgian Bay. The purpose of season 2 is to educate Georgian Bay cottagers and locals on the benefits of sustainable design, presented through her podcast and blog in an accessible and easily understood conversational format. Visit Katy’s website and listen to the podcast at

Peter Adams, 2022

Peter is an award winning painter born in Scotland who now lives and works in Collingwood. Much of Peter’s work has centred around human and natural landscapes intersecting. In Brazil, he began painting the remarkably grand and complex Amazon rainforest inside of handheld mint and cigar tins. These tiny souvenir boxes symbolized the human desire to take something home from our travels, and the desire of a scientist to contain a small specimen of an ecosystem for further study. More recently, Peter has been making paintings within the uniquely appealing packaging of Apple products, as a comment on the ubiquitousness of consumer packaging, and humanity’s changing relationship to the natural world.

Peter’s bursary project will bring this work to the Georgian Bay Land Trust’s Rose Island Nature Reserve. Peter will hike the trails of Rose Island, looking for artistic “specimens” that shed light on the unique flora, fauna and geology there. He will then create larger paintings that reflect the island ecosystem, and exhibit these alongside the specimen boxes.

Scott Parent, 2021

Scott Parent is a paddler, photographer, and film maker raised in Pentanguishene and 12 Mile Bay, and now living on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. Scott has lived most of his life on Georgian Bay and worked as a commercial fisherman and paddling guide. In 2019, Scott and his 9 year old daughter Acadia Parent set out on a stand-up paddleboard to trace the ancestral route of the Metis Migration from Drummond Island, Michigan, to Penetanguishene. Together they paddled nearly 500km across Lake Huron’s three bodies of water: the North Channel, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Their journey took them across the most remote corners of the region. The pair collected water samples along the entire route for micro-plastic contamination research. They carried a deep water sampler with them and collected some of the first deep water data collected for Lake Huron. They also documented their entire journey together, for the purposes of sharing their experience and their findings. King Family Bursary funding will help Scott create a documentary film about the journey.

Brennan Guse, 2020

Brennan is a Master of Landscape Architecture Student with and Undergraduate Degree in Geography, who is always thinking about how to plan for healthy, resilient and inclusive communities. His research focusses on creating a waterfront revitalization strategy for Parry Sound’s post-industrial southern waterfront. As Parry Sound shifts from an industrial economy to a more tourist-based economy, many of the properties along the southern waterfront have become vacant industrial sites. Although the land along the southern waterfront is now zoned as Marine and Resort Residential, there has been little investment in decades due to concerns about soil contamination and environmental degradation. Results of the research propose a landscape-based approach using a phased development strategy that will restore the site to the point that it is attractive to development and contributes to community amenity. This will help the Town conceptualize the future of the southern waterfront and bring economic investment and improved environmental quality to the Region.

Read Brennan’s completed thesis here.

Art Tent – Jesse Matas & Kyle Scheurmann, 2019

Art Tent, formed by musician Jesse Matas and painter Kyle Scheurmann, began with a shared curiosity and passion for creatively documenting the Canadian woods. In the last 3 years, it has grown into an extended collaborative research project, spanning multiple continents and exhibitions. Art Tent’s main initiative is to develop a shared understanding of ecological knowledge, translated across disciplines, bridging visual art, science, music, poetry, and storytelling. This is done by initiating collaboration between these modes of thinking, enabling hybrid research to be shared in each discipline. Through this process, Art Tent seeks to create new collective knowledge about the environment.

The Georgian Bay iteration of Art Tent will include two trips to the region in order to record a wider range of ecological information, influenced by the change in season. Together, Jesse and Kyle will create a new series of field studiesresearch taking the form of watercolour paintings, poems, and guitar riffs. This work will document the lived experience of Georgian Bay’s most remote and diverse natural areas, providing creative fuel for studio oil paintings and songs.

Elora Grahame, 2019

Elora Grahame is a Ph.D. student at the University of Guelph whose research is driven by her passion for migratory birds. Though she spent her childhood exploring the natural landscapes of Massachusetts, her ornithological fieldwork brought her to Georgian Bay in the spring and summer of 2018. She quickly became enthralled by the unique combination of open forests, wetlands, and rock barrens characteristic of the region.

This year, Elora is continuing her research project on Common Nighthawks and Eastern Whip-poor-wills, two nocturnal migratory birds that breed in Georgian Bay. These insect-eating species have mostly vanished from southern Ontario, and given their secretive natures, the causes behind their staggering range-wide declines remain unknown. With support from the Georgian Bay Land Trust, Elora is unravelling mysteries about nest success and migration for these charismatic nightjars with the goal of improving strategies for their conservation.

Sean Tamblyn, 2018

Sean Tamblyn is a Toronto-based photographer with a passion for Georgian Bay. When not kayaking the coastline and barrier islands between Killarney and Port Severn, you can find him kick sledding over the ice in the depths of winter documenting the landscapes, wildlife, and history of the Bay. This season he’ll be focusing on documenting the lighthouses of the Bay for the Georgian Bay Lighthouse Survey, working to raise awareness of their plight at the hands of the ironically named Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. To date, only the light at Snug Harbour has been granted Heritage status, and the light station on Hope Island is the first to have been demolished. Sean has remote cameras out all winter long documenting the harshest weather over the remotest lights, and will be visiting all the lights from Killarney to Doubletop Island over the course of the season.

Kate Marshall Flaherty, 2018

Kate Marshall Flaherty is an award-winning poet who has spent most of her life enjoying the stunning Georgian Bay region—cross country skiing in winter, sugaring off in spring, harvesting the garden in fall, and delighting in the beaches and shorelines of Killbear Park, 4 km from her parents’ farm, in summer. Many poems in her previous five books ponder and reflect upon the striking landscapes that the Group of Seven depicted in their art. For her project, Kate will create three short art films, integrating her performance poetry with the original music of award-winning composer and film-maker Mark Korven (pictured right). Set against the memorable backdrop of Georgian Bay landscapes, these films will highlight the jack pines and quartz rocks of the shorelines, striving to capture in word, sound and image the unique character of this region.

Boshdayosgaykwe / Tracey Pawis, 2017

Boshdayosgaykwe is an Ojibway/Potawatomi Quill worker from Wasauksing First Nation, (Anishinabe Territory) Ontario, Canada. Through teachings received by her mother and ancestors, she recognizes the importance of celebrating a long-lived tradition. Tracey’s project is a set of pictures in booklet form of completed quillwork that outline a recorded five generations of quillwork within her lineage.  Quillwork is a skill that has been practiced for hundreds of years beyond the recorded works this book will outline. Learning to make and create quillwork has been a personal goal of Tracey’s towards preserving, protecting, and promoting her Ojibway/Potawatomi heritage.

Katherine Denune, 2017

Katherine is currently in her fourth year at Ohio State University majoring in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology with a special focus on conservation and restoration. For her project, she undertook a comprehensive baseline assessment of the invasive reed, Phragmites, from Parry Sound to Twelve Mile Bay in the summer of 2017. The goal of this project was to enable and encourage future management and eradication efforts. Katherine promoted community knowledge and engagement in Phragmites eradication efforts throughout her project, and will produce a guide to Phragmites identification and removal that can be used throughout Georgian Bay.

Sylvia Galbraith, 2016

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. 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. View some of Sylvia’s photographs here.

Melanie Gausden, 2016

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.

Kendall Flower, 2015

Kendall Flower is an accredited landscape architect with professional expertise in the areas of ecological restoration, design for natural tourism and recreation, sustainable sites and low impact development technologies, and community engagement. As the final component of her Masters of Planning degree with the University of Guelph, Kendall’s project explored, evaluated, and proposed alternative models to the relationships between policy, governance, and conservation in the Georgian Bay Littoral Biosphere Reserve. Kendall’s project is designed to help all concerned gain a better understanding of the issues and opportunities in this area. Click here to read Kendall’s report.

Jillian McDonald, 2015

Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist whose work focuses on the supernatural and the capacity of nature itself to contain an “otherworldliness”. Jillian has exhibited throughout Canada and the United States as well as in Germany, Spain, and England, and has received numerous grants and awards, including the Glenfiddich Canadian Art Prize. For her bursary project, Jillian produced a multi-screen video portrait of the Bay entitled Spirit Lake, inspired by the Bay’s spirits of land and sea, nature’s remarkable and unexplainable forces.

Andrea Curtis, 2014

Andrea Curtis is an award-winning writer and editor based in Toronto. She has published books about food issues for both adults and children, and received the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for her first novel, Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck. For her bursary project, Andrea has written a young adult novel based on the story of two teenagers’ survival at sea after the wreck of the ‘S.S. Asia,’ a passenger and cargo steamer that went down in Georgian Bay in 1882. Read more about the novel, Big Water, here!

Tim Laurin, 2014

Tim Laurin is a master printmaker based in Innisfil. He has won numerous awards for his work and exhibited throughout Ontario and internationally. Much of Tim’s work focuses on the theme of memory, and with his bursary project he has extended this to Georgian Bay. Using old Georgian Bay slides and photographs, as well as his childhood memories of the Bay, for inspiration, Tim has created a series of photo-based etchings in which he explores and brings to life human experiences on Georgian Bay.