Skip to content

Exhibit captures people making an influence in Kirkland Lake

'20' celebrates people — from volunteers to CEOs — who are leaving their mark on the community
Brian Bronson, organizer of the 20 exhibit.

KIRKLAND LAKE - A new photography exhibit in downtown Kirkland Lake is highlighting 20 of the most influential people in the town. 

The exhibit “20” was started in conversations, and the talk turned to who was admired for their efforts in the community, in whatever role. As the idea percolated, it became clearer who the doers and the shakers were in Kirkland Lake. 

“The exhibit is a celebration of leadership. It recognizes 20 individuals, who, through their commitment, and positivity, add to the fabric of Kirkland Lake,” Brian Bronson said. 

Bronson spearheaded the project to showcase local residents.

“We wanted to find people who are doing positive things for the community,” said Bronson. “Those who are considered to be a benefit to the community … by doing positive things whether through volunteering or through their work, but it's how they approach their jobs and the passion they have for the community.”

At the recent opening of the exhibit, the people featured were on hand. 

“What this one does is that it says if we wanted to define the people who are building the community and positively building the community,” Bronson explained.  “Whether it's done through volunteering, or through their jobs, it's how they approach the jobs, it's that passion and the commitment they have for the community.”

Bronson said it was very unscientific on how the 20 were chosen. 

“It was just asking around and these are the names that came up and this is the number of spots we have here to showcase the work,” Bronson said. “So the main idea is to say thank you to these people for the work that they do. 

The 20 chosen individuals are Todd Turner, Cesar Forero, Jeff Molyneaux, Allison Parle, Mike Guimond, Josee Merrick, Tracy Barbe, Jorge VanSlyke, Robin Connelly, Mayor Stacy Wight, Jacob Moore, Nike Leahy, Grant Steward, Chief Wayne Wabie, Dr. Mark Spiller, Amanda Kasner, Anna McPherson, Dan Kurz, Rene Boudreault, Dixit Patel, and Mike Marinigh.

“We have Todd a volunteer, Cesar a professional artist, relatively new to KL, about 12 years now … then there is Allison who owns Rhythym and Motion Academy of Dance, who works full time and then runs a dance studio, so just a small business owner doing what she loves to do,” Bronson explained.  

“Then we have Mike, long time volunteer of the Snowdrifters, where the snowdrifters brings in almost a million dollars of revenue into Kirkland Lake every year with the snowmobile trails. Then we have Josee from the 100 women who care in Kirkland Lake and started the opioid center for rehabilitation, then we have Tracy with Advocates for Northern Animals and received recognition last year from the town for the work they are doing, so she was recommended.”

There is also Jorge, she's the new CEO at the hospital, Blanche River Health.

“She's doing amazing things,” Bronson added. “She has a very impressive resume in terms of how different she is from the other CEOs. But a very positive and a real breath of fresh air at the hospital”. 

Bronson said there is also Robin, who is from the radio station and has been part of the community, especially with the festivals committee.

“One person we will see is the new owner of Heath and Sherwood, who is from Australia but has amazing plans for Heath and Sherwood that will really benefit the community,” Bronson added. 

The project showcases the works of seven photographers, all of them are members of the camera club, who volunteered to take on this project to make it a reality. 

“But all the way around the wall. You will see the diversity of things of the people who are making a difference to Kirkland Lake,” Bronson said. 

The overarching theme is bringing awareness to Kirkland Lake, which Bronson says is in the midst of change and is a growth area again.

“And there are so many good things that are happening in the town again, family things, if you sort of ignore the downtown that needs to be reimagined then the rest of the stuff is just so good for people and for families. We are all about growth for the community,” he said.

This isn’t the first photography exhibit for the camera club. A few years back, they had an exhibit called Neighbours, which featured 27 people born in other countries who call Kirkland Lake home.

The exhibit ‘20’, sponsored by the Kirkland Lake Multicultural group, is located at The STOPe Gallery and Multicultural Center, at 17 Government Rd. W., in Kirkland Lake and runs until the end of June.