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Gwen Tuinman

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Seeking Inspiration

Fall Fairs in Upper Canada: A Brief History

One of the pleasures of October is attending the fall fairs so prevalent across Ontario. After discovering archived images of fairs held in the early 1900s, I became curious about the origins of such events. These curated details will find their way into my writing one day.

Agricultural Societies appeared in Upper Canada as early as 1793 when the first one began at Niagara. In the eighteen-thirties and forties, the societies grew in popularity. Their membership activities provided an opportunity for socializing among farmers. The farmers’ wives, however, were disallowed from participating in the society. Women rarely broke the monotony of their daily routine except to visit a neighbour or a general store. To join in men’s activities was considered improper.

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Dream Life, Creativity, Self-knowledge

Twelfth century philosopher, Ibn Khaldun wrote that, “God created man in such a way that the veil of the senses could be lifted through sleep, which is a natural function of man. When that veil is lifted, the soul is ready to learn the things it desires to know in the world of Truth.” What a beautiful and comforting thought.

His idea couples well with the commonly held wisdom of sleeping on it when faced with a critical dilemma. Instead of making an on-the-spot decision, we use the period of sleep to separate our emotion from the issue. Sleeping on it is more than allowing ourselves an overnight cooldown period. Science shows that during slumber, instead of powering down like a computer, our minds work to synthesize the information and scenarios we’re wrestling with.

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Nahneebahweequay (1824-1865)–A Champion for Indigenous Land Rights

Nahneebahweequay—a woman of courage and tenacity—was born in 1824 to the Mississaugas of the Anishinaabe First Nation. Her name means upright woman. She became an activist for Indigenous land rights with her feet planted firmly in both her native heritage and the English world in which she was known as Catherine Sutton. Her fight for justice led her to meet with Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace.

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