Collaborative Artists

Esmé Boone

Esmé Boone – harpist for “A Night of Mirth”

Originally from Australia, Esmé is one all-round “Artista”.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hon 1) from University of Manitoba, and in the past has been Chair of Lake of the Woods Arts Community.  For several years she was on the Board of Kenora Festival fo the Arts as their Visual Arts Coordinator.  She has been a Folk Singer and Harpist for many years, and she has been instrumental (pardon the pun) in bringing harps to Kenora.  She runs sporadic weekend Harp-Making workshops where people make their own small 19-string Waring harps.  This has introduced many people in the district to the joy of harp music and it has resulted in several people going further and buying larger folk harps, and forming the group of five known as Celestial Harps.

Esmé is a storyteller of Celtic stories which she illustrates with harp music and songs—often in Scots Gaelic or occasionally, Welsh.

She also is a dancer—leading a monthly Sacred Circle Dance “Danceshop” that is open to all—in Kenora for KACL.

Irene McCuaig

Irene McCuaig – visual artists for “Bach to Bach”

Irene has been active in the Arts Community in Kenora since moving back to the city in 1978. She currently serves on the Board of the Lake of the Woods Arts Community and chairs meetings of the Lake of the Woods Centre for the Arts Organization.

As a practicing artist herself, Irene enjoys sharing her skills through art classes. She holds a Specialist Certificate in Visual Arts Education and has studied art at Cambrian College in Sudbury and Ontario College of Art in Toronto. She frequently participates in art workshops at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and has taken workshops from prominent artists in England (Tony Hogan), France (Ian Roberts), Italy (Robert West), Canada (Mike Svab, Gord Mackenzie, Lisa Kemp) and the United States (Zotan Zsabo, Tony Van Hasselt).

She is presently managing Inglenook Studio which offers art classes in various disciplines and from various instructors to many age groups. On two occasions, Irene has teamed with her daughter, Erin, a dance instructor, to offer art/dance camps for 7-14 yr olds.

Irene is an advocate for community art and was the lead organizer for “Muskies on Main”, an outdoor community art exhibit scheduled for summer 2014.


SHester (Susan Marie Bulman) – visual artist for “Bach to Bach”

Susan Marie Bulman (nee.  Susan Hester) was born in North Bay, Ontario and has lived all over Canada -most recently settling in Kenora, Ontario.  While Susan was accepted into the Fine Arts program at the University of Manitoba , she pursued her other passion and became a Professional Interior Designer after obtaining her Bachelor of Interior Design from the U of M in 1976.

“From the time I could hold a crayon I have always found an outlet in the world of art.  After drafting plans for clients I would relax and immerse myself in a study of something from nature or from my imagination.  I have experimented with many mediums and become proficient in watercolours and acrylics.  I studied History of Art in University as part of my design program and enjoy the work of other artists – listening to others explain their work and learning from this is part of the creative process. “

Since retiring from interior design Susan has focused on her art.

“When I travel, art galleries are at the top of my list of “things to do” as the history of art, over 30,000 years strong, has deep interest for me. During my business career I used my sketching skills to help clients visualize designs of their interiors. In this new stage of my life and in a different part of Canada, I am inspired to continue learning, growing in skills and creating images of the natural environment and the man-made environment – including developing my “flights of imagination”.

In 2017 Susan won the Adjudicator’s Choice Award at the Kenora District Festival of the Arts.  Throughout her life she has sold numerous works and is in collections across Canada and in the U.S.  In the last couple of years she has taken on a number of commissions for clients and has continued to sell her work privately.  In the next few months Susan will be opening her website and will be selling her art online.

Laura-Lee Pernsky

Laura-Lee Pernsky – writer of “Death on the Lake”

Laura-Lee Pernsky has been an aspiring writer since she attempted her first novel in grade six. She attended the University of Victoria where she obtained her BA in English Literature, and went on to become a middle school teacher.

Laura-Lee has pursued writing as an enjoyable hobby, but in recent years has started to get serious about it.  Through courses provided by Gotham City Writers, UBC, and Humber College where she worked with a mentor to complete a manuscript of a YA novel, Laura-Lee has enjoyed developing her craft.  She has also participated and won Nanowrimo three times, which challenges a writer to complete 50,000 words in the month of November, and in the NYC Midnight short story competition twice, earning honourable mentions both times. One story, “Catch and Release”, was the inspiration for “Death on the Lake”.

Laura-Lee’s first officially published work will be appearing in “Gone Dogs”, an anthology of essays about dogs we have loved and lost, which will be for sale in early 2019. “Death on the Lake” is her first script, and she has thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the Kenora Opera Theatre in this endeavour.  A firm believer in the power of the arts, and the importance of artists supporting each other, Laura-Lee looks forward to future collaborations.


Wayne Kelso

Wayne Kelso – lead collaborative artist for “An Ode to Film Noir: Death on the Lake”

Wayne Kelso has spent the last thirty years performing, composing and producing. He has toured throughout North America with a diverse group of performers, including José Feliciano, Jimmy Rankin, Michael Burgess, Kim Stockwood, Dianne Heatherington, and Billy Newton-Davis.

As a composer, Wayne has written scores for numerous plays for both CBC and live theatre. His score for Factory Theatre’s production of  ‘The Leisure Society’ was nominated for a Dora award in 2005.

Wayne is keenly interested in the relationship of visual imagery and music. He has spent the last seventeen years developing a real time software animation engine that explores the possibilities of this new form of artistic expression.


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