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2003 Arts & Heritage Award Winners

Rodney BrownArts
Rodney Brown
Rodney Brown has enriched the lives and spirits of the community for well over thirty years. He is a folk musician par excellence but has branched out into a wide range of styles including blues and rock, country and jazz. He is also a talented and sympathetic performer for children. 

Through all his music his deep love of the North is apparent; he has written songs about the Kaminstiquia River, Kakabeka Falls, the Great Lakes and other regional locations. Since the 1970s Rodney has released nine original albums and discs, and he has performed nation wide. In the early 1990s, Rodney wrote the lyrics and music for five plays, each performed by Magnus Theatre. He has also hosted countless workshops and concerts.

Rodney has been commissioned to contribute to a diversity of projects, including the theme song for Thunder Bay’s designation as the Forest Capital of Canada, at the ceremonies for which he was presented to the Governor General. Rodney has volunteered his time in the CF Telethon, the Thunder Bay Children’s Festival,  and for Camp Quality, the Alzheimer’s Society, Habitat for Humanity, the Lakehead Social Planning Council’s Benefit concert, and countless others.


Elinor Barr Receiving CJ PrizeHeritage
Elinor Barr

Elinor Barr is a writer of history, a pioneer publisher of books concerning Northwestern Ontario, and a promoter and advocate for local authors. She has written extensively about the history of the area, including: ‘Thunder Bay to Gunflint: the Port Arthur, Duluth and Western Railway’ (1999); ‘The Scandinavian Home Society 1923-93: A Place to Meet, A Place to Eat’ (1996); ‘Silver Islet: Striking it Rich in Lake Superior’ (1989). 

Five of Elinor's books on regional history and 16 articles on local historical subjects have been featured in publications such as The Canadian Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and the Swedish-American Historical Quarterly, and others.

Elinor founded Singing Shield Productions in 1984 to promote Ontario-produced books, to publish local writing and to provide distribution services across North America for these works. She also acted as photo researcher on the book,  ‘The Vast and Magnificent Land: An illustrated History of North Ontario’, and contributed articles to ‘Thunder Bay from Rivalry to Unity’ (1995).

As an Associate Producer she has worked on ‘Our Nordic Legacy’, a one hour TV tribute to Nordic people in Northwestern Ontario, and ‘Distant Voices’ on TV Ontario, which profiled 72 residents from this region from 1990-1994.

Elinor has represented Thunder Bay internationally at conferences in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and many venues across Canada. In 2000, she became a City of Thunder Bay Citizen of Exceptional Achievement.