Chantry Island lies just over a mile southwest of the mouth of the Saugeen River at Southampton. Over 50 known shipwrecks surround Chantry Island and its imperial tower. The waters surrounding the island are the most treacherous in the Great Lakes given the number of victims and tragic storms.
The local Marine Heritage Society offers lighthouse tours that include a restored lightkeeper’s home, where rubble has been cleared from the basement, the stone walls have been rebuilt, and a new roof has been installed. The island gardens have also been replanted; all told, over 25,000 volunteer hours have been invested in the site. In the tower, one hundred and fifteen narrow steps lead to the lamp room, seven sets of 15 and one set of 10. Only volunteers could have made Chantry happen!
Chantry Island is also home to over 10,000 pairs of mating birds, including cormorants, black-crowned night herons, great blue herons and egrets. Chantry Island is a Canadian Wildlife Service migratory bird sanctuary.
The rich history of the people and place hopefully got into the paint. The raucous calls of the birds filled the air. The vertical composition was challenging along with the bright sunshine. The only way to paint was boldly. It was a time that the participants will not soon forget. The sky was a blue bird sky so we introduced a deformation zone swath of cirrostratus signalling the storm of the century.