The Heritage Subcommittee is proud to present the Inspirational People Project. This project recognizes and celebrates the contributions of individuals who have made a significant impact in our five communities.
Through a community nomination process, two individuals are selected annually from each community to represented in this project. Their images, names, and occupation/specialty will be printed on large banners and hung in their respective communities. Plaques will also be created for those selected and installed in each community, at a to-be-determined location.
The 2021 banners will be installed in the spring and longer biographies will be available on this page shortly.
Below are those being recognized and honoured through this project.
Ogimawahjiwon (c1790-1872) - “Chief of the Flowing Waters” Migizi Doodem/Bald Eagle Clan
Bodwewadomi (Potawatomi) Chief Ogimawahjiwon was the only son of Chief Miskwaziiwan.
During the War of 1812, he lead 1,000 Potawatomi warriors through various battles supporting the British, resulting with him being honoured with a War of 1812 medal for Peace and Friendship.
In the late spring of 1835, he and his band travelled to Manitoulin Island, Penetanguishene and then settled in the Coldwater/Narrows, where they were adopted into the Assance Band.
Throughout his life he remained true to his Indigenous beliefs and lifestyle, by shunning Christianity, assimilation and continuing to carry on the Indigenous practices of crafting, oral stories, original spirituality, conducting ceremony, harvesting medicines, hunting, fishing and living off the land.
Beausoleil First Nation
William Anthony Monague (1956-2019), “Abwaudung” The Visionary or Dreamer, Ojibway Native Artist
William Monague was a self-taught Ojibwe artist who travelled the Pow Wow trail in the 1970’s and 1980’s to sell his native art. His art work is currently in the collections of The Washington Museum of Fine Art, Turtle Art Gallery in New York, The Royal Ontario Museum and Whetung’s Art Gallery, among others. William had travelled extensively selling arts and crafts while subsisting with his family in his 1979 GMC Vandura. This was essential in the early establishment of Monague Native Crafts Ltd. The family operated business he assisted in establishing has become on of Canada’s leading global producers and suppliers of native products. During his career William received many awards and recognition. Some of these were being honoured by the Anishinabek Nation with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and a Seven Grandfathers Award for Humility in 2012 from Beausoleil First Nation. William had inspired many people from Beausoleil First Nation and around the world with his beautiful artwork. His legacy will be remembered by all those that knew him and aspired to be like him.
Jamie Hunter, Director/Curator of Huronia Museum from 1985-2013
Jamie Hunter spent his career working at the Huronia Museum helping to build a renowned museum collection including the largest Franz Johnston (Group of Seven) art collection in Canada. Jamie continues to be a mentor and inspirational force for those interested in local history and heritage.
Town of Midland
John French, Founder of Brookside Music Association
John French is the Founder of the Brookside Music Association which has brought internationally acclaimed musicians to the Midland for over 10 years. John’s contributions to the community also include founding the Midland Legion Branch 80 Pipes and Drums which has been in existence for more than 50 years, as well as involvement in several other organizations including Huronia Museum, Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation, Gateway Centre for Learning, Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe, Audit Committee for the Town of Midland, and the Executive Council of his church.
Helen (LePage) Bradley (1934-2010), Metis Nation of Ontario Advocate
Helen Bradley was Senator for the Provisional Council of the Metis Nation of Ontario and instrumental in the founding of the Georgian Bay Metis Council in 1996. Considered a Metis leader, teacher, elder and friend, Helen received the Ontario Medal of Good Citizenship in 2008 for her recognized leadership in the Métis and general communities of the North Simcoe area.
Town of Penetanguishene
Marcel F. Bellehumeur (1912-1978), Francophone and Community Advocate
Marcel Bellehumeur was a teacher, business owner, volunteer and a proud advocate for his Francophone and Metis heritage. Considered Mr. Winterama, Marcel was a founding member of the Penetanguishene Winter Carnival Committee and Chairman of the Winterama Committee for several years. As a francophone advocate, Marcel was the Chairman of the French Language Advisory Committee of the Simcoe County Board of Education and spent the last nine years of his life advocating for a French Secondary School (which opened in 1982).
Scott Warnock, Community Leader/Volunteer
Scott Warnock is a former award-winning radio broadcaster who served on the Tay Council for 21 years (including 12 years as Mayor). During his time in office, Scott played an important role in the creation of EDCNS (Economic Development Corporations of North Simcoe) and North Simcoe Tourism. Scott received the Queen’s Diamond Jubliee Medal in recognition of his community support and volunteer commitment across North Simcoe in 2012.
LEADER / VOLUNTEER
Township of Tay
Don Ward, Visual Artist and former CAF Peacekeeper
Don Ward is a former CAF peacekeeper that has spent many years telling the stories of our fallen veterans through hand painted portraits. Through his artistic talents, he has helped to raise funds and awareness for the SS Keewatin museum, Legion Branch 545 Port McNicoll, the Peacekeepers Park in Angus, Ontario and fundraisers in support of various Veterans supporting initiatives. In 2020, Don was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor-General’s Office of Canada.
ARTIST / FORMER PEACEKEEPER
Township of Tiny
John Hartman, Visual Artist
John Hartman is one of Canada’s preeminent painters whose works are found in numerous public, corporate and private collections throughout world. Hartman was recently awarded the Order of Canada in recognition for his contribution in “enriching Canadian contemporary art by bringing landscapes and cityscapes to life on printing plates, canvas and paper.”
Robbert Hartog (1919-2008), Philanthropist
Robbert Hartog donated millions of dollars to our communities’ institutions and programs throughout the years. His mentoring and encouragement were formative influences in the lives of many who worked with him on charitable, philanthropic and community ventures such as Midland YMCA, Huronia District Hospital, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Community Living Huronia, Rosewood Shelter, Wendat, Shelter Now, Georgian College Midland Campus, St. Paul’s United Church, Huronia Museum, and Canadian Boy Scouts.