I LOVE surprises. The kind that no one plans for you. The kind that just happen in life that fills you up with inspiration and energy. This week I was hired by the Ontario Historical Society to photograph their 125th Anniversary Celebration held at Queen's Park, Toronto. The OHS has been around since 1888 - a fixture of Canadian History as much as a purveyor of it. They are a non-profit corporation, publisher and registered charity who work inclusively to bring people together in the interest of preserving Ontario's history. As an honorary patron of the Ontario Historical Society Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley hosted the celebration in the Lieutenant Governor's Suite, where I fell in LOVE. The LG Suite is home to a stunning exhibition of portraiture called "About Face: Celebrating Ontarians Then and Now." It is inspiring and flawless in its gorgeousness. It features dozens of striking portraits of notable Ontarians spanning 150 years; from Pauline Johnson and Robertson Davies to Dre, Jian Ghomeshi and Chris Hadfield. I revelled in the few minutes I had alone with the portraits before the guests arrived - I stared and studied, overwhelmed with the feast for my eyes and my soul, unsettled on which wall moved me most. Any lover of portrait photography could watch these walls for hours. And what a perfect venue for a celebration of history. Isn't that what every photograph ever taken does? Perhaps we don't hang them all on the wall for public admiration but every image we take and preserve is the doing of history. It's that person's presence in that moment documented for as long as that photograph lasts. I was speechless and taken and filled with new desire to take more pictures and make more art. I walked home in the rain that night with a big smile on my face. I couldn't have cared less that it was wet or freezing. It reminded me of falling in love. Yes. It's THAT good!
The exhibition in the Lieutenant Governor's Suite is accessible to the public until March 31, 2014 and it's free! If you're interested in visiting, you can get more information on the City of Toronto website, here.