Tom Thomson Centennial Swim
On July 8th 2017, Paul Walde swam the length of Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on the 100th Anniversary of Canadian Painter Tom Thomson’s death. The swim, a site-specific and temporally specific event, was used as an opportunity for exploring and understanding this landscape and history through performative experience. The duration of the piece was determined by the length of the lake (3kms) and the artist’s ability to navigate it. The swim was accompanied by a series of interconnected events: a brass band with a mandolin soloist performing a new long form music composition by Walde , three synchronized swimming routines a various points along the route, and a flotilla of canoes carrying the band. The work primarily exists in two forms, that of the event itself and an audio/video work based on the footage of the event.