Jill Halliday — The Art of Recovery - theHumm April 2023

Jill Halliday — The Art of Recovery - theHumm April 2023

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

For more than twenty years, Almonte artist Jill Halliday pursued her first love as a classically trained animator, working for international film agencies and contributing to celebrated shows such as The Ren & Stimpy Show and the Emmy-winning Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?.

Today Jill is a proud and grateful member of The Ten Collective, founded in 2017 by Almonte artist Eileen Hennemann. Halliday’s strikingly original creations are perfectly aligned with the André Malraux quote on the Collective’s website: “To love a painting is to feel that this presence is ... not an object but a voice.” Halliday tells me she does not rest until the character she is depicting — human or animal — “looks back at me.” The result is mesmerizing. Her subjects hold your gaze and draw you and your imagination into their world. Whether it’s a senior war veteran, a young girl, a blithely romping nude or a newly conceived dog breed, Jill’s unique portrayal elicits an emotional response. And that is a concise definition of art.

Malraux Strikes Again

These two Malraux quotations seem both prophetic and reassuring:

“The most important thing in life is to see to it that you are never beaten.”

“Art is a revolt against fate. All art is a revolt against man’s fate.”

Life as she knew it came to an abrupt end in 2002, just days after her fortieth birthday, when Jill’s disabling headaches finally resulted in the diagnosis of a massive brain tumor. The good news was it was benign. The bad news was it grew out of her brain stem, causing permanent damage to many areas. Over the next years she relearned how to walk, talk, eat and hold a pencil. The surgeon saved her life, but a severed nerve rendered the left side of her face completely paralyzed. Imagine not being able to close your eye. Ever. Or open half of your mouth.

Today Jill is able to make light of the horrendous years and subsequent surgeries that followed, quipping: “I quickly learned it’s not who you are; it’s who you know.” Her uncle, himself a surgeon, connected her with a specialist team in Toronto who, over three years, were able to reconstruct the nerves and muscles needed to restore some mobility and much comfort in her face. Three major surgeries later, her beautiful green eyes light up her attractive face, and nobody would ever guess she has a gold weight implanted in her eyelid to help her blink. There were other traumatic losses. Catastrophically, she witnessed the accidental death of her beloved older sister. Her marriage dissolved. From necessity, her art has become her “revolt against (wo)man’s fate.”

Halliday’s first forty years on this planet were blessed. Born in London, Ontario, the youngest of three girls, she had a wonderful, loving family. At the age of six she selected the piano as her “discipline”. Her mother played the piano, so it was a natural choice. Her mom was a nurse with VON, her dad an engineer and a gifted athlete, playing ball, hockey and more for Queen’s University. She cherishes his response when asked about living with his quartette of females: “If life was a poker game, I was dealt four queens!” It was assumed Jill would choose a career in either music or fine art, but after they moved to Toronto her mother happened across a TV show about the Classical Animation Program at Sheridan College. When Jill heard about it, that was it.

She absolutely loved it. “I found my people,” is how she puts it. After graduating from the program in 1983, Jill moved from her home in Toronto to Ottawa and then settled in Almonte in 1986. She incorporated in 1996 and went on to enjoy a long career in the animation industry, working for various international studios including Nickelodeon, Walt Disney, Universal and Warner Brothers. Her work took her to Hollywood, New York City and Berlin. In 1994, Jill was honoured with an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for her work on Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?.

Finding Her People Again

Halliday credits her ongoing recovery from the trauma of the past twenty years to her membership in the arts community in Almonte, and to a cadre of loyal friends. She gratefully recalls taking a phone call in the fall of 2017 from her friend and fellow Almonte artist Eileen Hennemann, insisting she join her with a group of fellow artists to discuss a new artistic venture. The group of ten local artists, featuring diverse backgrounds and widely differing styles of painting, christened themselves The Ten Collective. They presented their first show several months later in Almonte’s Mississippi Valley Textile Museum mvtm.ca , a beautiful National Historic Site of Canada.

As a former animator recovering from massive brain damage, Jill struggled with self-doubt. Her fellow artists, and especially Hennemann, would not take no for an answer. With their encouragement and insistence and high expectations, Jill discovered her new artistic voice. As she puts it, “The only reason, after being in recovery for so many years, that I started doing my own artwork is because of Eileen Hennemann, creator of The Ten Collective — hands down — then coupled with the support of carloads of girlfriends to raise me up, and remind me where I came from, making me the richest artist in the world.”

The Ten Collective Show

The Ten Collective is presenting their fourth group exhibition on April 23 and 24. As their website notes, “The Ten Collective is now well known as it has become part of the fabric of the charming town of Almonte.” So it is brilliantly appropriate that the works of eleven area artists (there will be a surprise guest) will be on display and for purchase at Almonte’s historic Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. I encourage you to drop in and meet Jill Halliday; her extraordinary depictions of ordinary subjects expose their quintessence in a uniquely engaging manner. And the artworks of another extremely talented ten artists will reveal why Jill considers it an honour and life-saving privilege to be among them. Please refer to the back of her Artist Trading Card for her coordinates.

Artist Trading Card

WHO Jill Halliday

WHAT Illustrative Gesture Paintings

WHERE Home Studio in Almonte, 402–9473 Jill Halliday4@gmail.com thetencollective.com

WHEN April 22 & 23, 10am to 5pm, The Ten Collective Show, Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Almonte; mvtm.ca

WHY “After recovering from devastating brain surgery, I owe my happiness to the encouragement and support of Eileen Hennemann and my community of artists in The Ten Collective and beyond — thank you, friends!”


Jill Halliday — The Art of Recovery - theHumm April 2023

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

For more than twenty years, Almonte artist Jill Halliday pursued her first love as a classically trained animator, working for international film agencies and contributing to celebrated shows such as The Ren & Stimpy Show and the Emmy-winning Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?.

Today Jill is a proud and grateful member of The Ten Collective, founded in 2017 by Almonte artist Eileen Hennemann. Halliday’s strikingly original creations are perfectly aligned with the André Malr......


The Tea Dances are Back! - theHumm April 2023

By David Somppi

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 12, the Almonte Old Town Hall was filled with a special atmosphere — an atmosphere of joy! The Sunday afternoon tea dances organized by the Standing Room Only Big Band (SRO) had started up again after a three-year, Covid-induced recess. The turnout of dancers and non-dancers was the largest ever, and one could not tell who was experiencing the most joy at this return — the audience or the band members. Everyone was so happy to be back together again.



ADHS PresentsDancing at Lughnasa - theHumm April 2023

By — Madison Sonnenburg is a grade 11 student at ADHS, and a Cappies critic

Written by Brian Friel, Dancing at Lughnasa is a story about five sisters in 1936 Ireland, narrated from the perspective of Michael, the adult son of one of the sisters, through his memories. When his uncle Jack returns from Uganda after a 25-year missionary service, his father Gerry Evans visits again, and they purchase a new radio, the sisters’ lives are flipped. Michael describes two key moments in his childhood over a span of three weeks and explains how they impacted him.

The cast and crew a......


Carleton Place is Alivewith The Sound of Music! - theHumm April 2023

By Patti Lockhart

If the Mudds were to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start), they would have to go back fifty years! Our treasured local theatre troupe is turning fifty, and to celebrate, the Mississippi Mudds of Carleton Place are proud to present an inspirational production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music at the Carleton Place Town Hall on April 28, 29, 30 and May 4, 5, 6 and 7. Tickets are available at Tickets Please (TicketsPlease.ca or 485–6434).

For decades The......


Murdered to Death by Rural Root - theHumm April 2023

Murdered to Death is a hilarious and engaging play that has captivated audiences in community theatres around the world. Written by Peter Gordon, the play is a parody of classic murder mystery novels and films, filled with quirky characters, witty humour, and plenty of twists and turns.

The play takes place in the 1930s at the home of Mildred. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to a cast of eccentric characters, including the bumbling Inspector Pratt, the mysterious French art d......


Making Camp a More Inclusive Environment - theHumm April 2023

By Bruce Patterson

Last summer, Intermediate Co-Ed camp directors Jennifer McLaren and Nikki Nel mixed up the designation of boys’ and girls’ cabins. Historically there has been a girls’ side and a boys’ side at Camp Lau-Ren, but last year at the July Co-Ed A Camp, two cabins were designated as female and one male on the East side. On the West side, two cabins were designated male and one cabin as female.

The washrooms on each side were designated gender-neutral. At the start, Jennifer says that campe......


Something Magic this Way Comes…
Gloria Gopher on the Almonte Alameda!
- theHumm April 2023

By Heather Phaneuf

Consider this an artistic tease, an invitation, and a heads-up for an unveiling soon to take place on the Alameda in Almonte of Gloria Gopher, the very close friend and partner-in-puppetry of Noreen Young.

At the Puppets Up! opening reception last summer, it was announced that founder Noreen Young would be thanked in a very tangible way for all the creative magic she has shared over the years with our community and the world. It was gleefully — and tearfully — announced that Nore......


Home HospiceNorth Lanark Auction
Make Beautiful Memories, Support a Great Cause!
- theHumm April 2023

By Wendy Rampton

Make beautiful memories and support Home Hospice North Lanark (HHNL), which has become an important and counted-on service in our community. We don’t get any government funding for our HHNL programs, so it is essential that we raise enough money to fund the free programs and services we offer.

Because we know first-hand the importance of good memories, we chose “Experiences! Making Beautiful Memories” as the theme of our 2023 Online Auction. We’ve got lots of packages on offer that will he......


Lady Windermere’s Fan - theHumm April 2023

What to do when you learn your husband is likely cheating on you and you have the option to leave him and be loved? Well, that’s the dilemma of Lady Windermere (played by Ming Leonard) when confronted with that possibility by the dashing Lord Darlington (played by Garett Pipher). And what about those who believe they aren’t guilty of betraying trust, while everyone professes they are? What are they to do if they can’t immediately explain what is really going on? That is the dilemma of Lord Win......


The MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary
A Wonderful Leg-Up for Local Students
- theHumm April 2023

Annually, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) offer one or more awards of $1000 to students living in the immediate area. Each bursary is intended to assist students who, on completion of high school, have elected to go on to post-secondary studies in a field related to the natural environment.

In 2007, Cliff Bennett, an MVFN founding member and former educator, established the bursary program with contributions from family, friends and fellow MVFN members. Administered t......


Introducing the Seven Gifts - theHumm April 2023

On May 4, at the Almonte Old Town Hall, Mississippi Mills All My Relations will present a multimedia evening entitled Renewing Our Friendships: Introducing the Seven Gifts. Elder Larry McDermott, along with artists Nish Nabie, Deborah Arnold and others, will share the process of creating the art installation and the Indigenous Wisdom of the Seven Gifts. 

The first phase was completed in the fall of 2022. On the shore of Mississippi River at Riverfront Park in Almonte, seven large......


Spring Concert Café with the trxtrs - theHumm April 2023

Join your friends and neighbours in attending a Spring Concert Café with the trxtrs — a fundraiser for the Perth & District Union Public Library. trxtrs is Jerrard and Diana Smith, who have been playing music together and solo “for about ever”! Living in the Perth area, the Smiths enjoy being part of a community full of musical talent. The audience will be treated to some rootsy country tunes mixed with some blues, a bit of reggae and maybe a take on a standard or two — always tryin......


47th Annual Perth Festival of the Maples - theHumm April 2023

It’s time once again to celebrate our region’s most famous agricultural commodity — sweet, savoury maple syrup! Our local maple syrup producers are the stars of the show at the Perth Festival of the Maples being held on Saturday, April 29 in downtown Perth, on both Gore and Foster Streets.For the past 47 years, the Festival of the Maples has continued to grow but still maintains its grassroots focus on local producers. The annual festival has been a welcome rite of spring since 1976, and a mecc......


A Passion for Pysanky - theHumm April 2023

By Kris Riendeau

Tanya Deacove is an artist who creates intricate and beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs using traditional techniques. Pysanky, which is derived from the Ukrainian word “pysaty” meaning “to write,” involves the use of a stylus to apply wax and dyes in a series of layers to create designs on eggshells. Tanya’s work is inspired by the rich tradition of Ukrainian folk art, and she incorporates these motifs and symbols into her designs, which often feature bold colors and intricate patterns. Her......


It’s Hammer Timefor Land Trust Auction! - theHumm April 2023

By Glenda Jones

On April 17 at 11am, the bids will start rolling in on the Backyard Beauties 2023 Auction. This year’s theme of all things avian has garnered a unique collection of birdhouses, birdbaths, feeders and garden art to tempt buyers, all of which can be seen at 32auctions.com/backyardbeauties2023 .

The signature piece for the auction has been created by local clay artist Chandler Swain. When invited to be our feature......


2nd Annual Indigenous Arts & Crafts Fair - theHumm April 2023

By Susan Burke

Zion-Memorial United Church in Carleton Place is hosting their second annual Indigenous Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, May 6 from 10-4pm. Since the library is right across the street, it seemed logical to add books to the fair this year.

Heidi Sinnett is the Children’s Librarian and Assistant Librarian at the Carleton Place Library. In the fall of 2022, she had her ?rst Indigenous story time and craft. She was eager to work with the fair, as she wants to make the library e......


An Unexpected Bonus
The Story of a Friendship
- theHumm April 2023

By Glenda Jones

I have to be quick about this report today. I’m in the midst of planning dinner, and maybe I need to sweep the dog hair out of the living room. We are the hosts tonight for Sanity Sunday, an institution started three years ago that has sustained four of us through a few stressful times.

Way back in the “Before Times”, that being before Pandemic, Barbara Carroll and I worked on a couple of projects, always had a good time together, but our visits were casual and far between. I’d see he......


Mill Street Books
The Indie Shop Around the Corner that Continues to Thrive
- theHumm April 2023

By John Pigeau

Ann Shea and her fabulous team of booksellers at Mill Street Books are excited about spring — and not just because of the delightful weather.

“We have a very busy April planned,” says Ann, “starting with a Books and Beverage Event on April 4 at Ottawa Valley Coffee where two new authors, Jim McEwen of Dunrobin, and Jessie Carson of Almonte, will read from their recent work and take questions.”

Jim McEwen will be reading from his novel Fearnoch, and Jessie Carson from Don’t Tell: Family Secret......


May 6 Conference — Expertise and More
What Now Lanark County Presents the “Imagine — Learn/Inspire/Act” Conference
- theHumm April 2023

By Fern Martin

The Imagine – Learn/Inspire/Act Conference is coming up on Saturday, May 6 at the Almonte Civitan Hall. What Now Lanark County is excited to offer a schedule full of opportunities to absorb new ideas and reach new levels of awareness and understanding of issues that many are grappling with today. A day listening to the insights of widely respected professionals and activists all gathered in one place is an invaluable experience. But the very best things about a conference are the people.



Finally, Spring
Folkus Presents A Leverage for Mountains
- theHumm April 2023

By Sandy Irvin

It’s been a long cold lonely winter. It feels like years since it’s been clear. And it has been a long time since we booked A Leverage for Mountains to play the Folkus Concert series. They were originally scheduled for 2020.

And we know what happened.

In the intervening time, the lads from Leverage (Nick Loyer, Jay Trépanier and Jay Flynn) have been honing their chops at home in Val-des-Monts. Their rich acoustic sound made a splash at Mariposa and Blue Skies last s......


The Trashure Hunt Help Clean Up Perth’s Streets on April 22 - theHumm April 2023

Perth’s Climate Change Action Panel (CCAP) invites you to celebrate Earth Day at the Trashure Hunt on Saturday, April 22. Back for a second year, this town-wide clean-up event will not only help beautify the Town, but will bring the community together in a fun, family-friendly way!

“Spring is a time of renewal, and what better way to honour that than by coming together as a community to tidy up the town we all love and live in,” states Sadie Brule, event organizer and member of CCAP. “......


Earth Day — So Much to Celebrate! - theHumm April 2023

By Chandler Swain

Has April 22 got a big green and blue circle around it on your calendar? No? That might change after you hear about all the “Healing Mother Earth Action” that is happening locally this month. More and more people are tuning into the learning and celebration around Earth Day, and the burgeoning list of events is so inspiring! 

Engaging folks in correcting environmental damage seems more do-able and interesting all the time. Many of us want to know not just what we can do as individuals, but ......


April’s the Perfect Time… …to Spring into Art! - theHumm April 2023

By Miss Cellaneous

MAG Spring Fling

The Merrickville Arts Guild (MAG) is very pleased to kick off 2023 with a MAG Spring Fling show and sale at the Merrickville Community Centre on April 15 and 16 from 10am to 5pm. This is the first Spring show that MAG has produced for many years, and is their contribution to World Art Day! What better way to celebrate Spring than to see the wonderful work of 30 talented MAG artists? The group will also be participating in the increasingly ......


Nick Di Gaetano:
Same Things Make Him Laugh and Cry
- theHumm April 2023

By Sally Smith

If someone’s going to talk about perpendicularity, it’s Nick Di Gaetano.

With one hand straight up and the other jabbing into it, he says: “it’s when one established thing meets up with something that’s completely different.”

And it makes him laugh.

A lot of things make him laugh.

Di Gaetano, his wife and young son live in Smiths Falls; they’ve been here for about two years now. He’s busy, he’s happy, he takes gigs when they’re offered, he teaches sound and sound design at the ......


Jack and the Obelisk
An artist, a Sculpture, and a Big Burn Out
- theHumm April 2023

Jack Stekelenberg is an abstract metal sculptor from up near Renfrew who was profiled in the January 2022 issue of theHumm. At a recent art show, he mentioned that he was creating a giant metal obelisk and intended to burn out the supporting wooden structure in public as a kind of performance art. Intrigued, we contacted him to find out more about this “big burn out”.

theHumm: Why are you building a 10-foot-tall obelisk?

Jack Stekelenberg: Oftentimes art......


Arts CP Mega Juried Fine Arts Show & Sale - theHumm April 2023

By Stephanie Stevens

Thomas Merton said: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” The perfect piece is enough to capture our imagination, cause us to fall in love, or immerse us in that forgotten memory. Art speaks to us, speaks for us, and connects us to others. Now that spring is here and mother nature has started to paint the world around us in all her bright greens, crimsons, violets and sunny yellows, Arts Carleton Place invites you to attend their annual spring fi......


“A Grand Dame of the Guitar”
Vincea McClelland to Play in Portland
- theHumm April 2023

The Portland on the Rideau Historical Society is pleased to present acclaimed guitarist Vincea McClelland in Latin Dreams for Classical Guitar. The concert will take place at 3pm on Sunday, April 30 at the Emmanuel Heritage Centre in Portland. There will be an informal wine and cheese “meet the artist” following the concert.

In a career spanning more than three decades, recitals and concert tours have taken Canadian guitarist Vincea McClelland across five continents. She has played the Beijing Concert Hall, Stockholm’s Music Museum, the Teatro Juan de Vera in Argentina, the&......


Soulful Blues at The Cove - theHumm April 2023

Harrison Kennedy is a renowned blues musician with an impressive career spanning over five decades. He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including two JUNO Awards, and multiple Maple Blues Awards presented by the Toronto Blues Society. These are a testament to Kennedy’s incredible talent and the impact that he has had on the blues. Fans can expect to see and hear why he has been honoured with such accolades at his upcoming Blues on the Rideau (BOTR) show at The Cove in Wes......


TNIM Prepares for Spring Productionand Welcomes Two New Directors - theHumm April 2023

Theatre Night in Merrickville (TNIM) has been entertaining audiences for almost 50 years with exceptional stage performances of all genres. The tradition continues this spring with a trio of one-act plays, by two local playwrights, that will deliver something for everyone.

This May, theatregoers can experience Making Friends by Guy Newsham, in which a divorced man alone on a Saturday evening has an insightful and therapeutic discussion with an old friend. Also on the roster are two......


River Life — Botanical Reflections
An Exhibit by Linda Hamilton
- theHumm April 2023

By Heather Phaneuf

With the season changing before our eyes, what better way to orient ourselves to the burgeoning green world than through River Life — Botanical Reflections, an exhibit featuring the artistry of Linda Hamilton. The artist is inviting you to see the garden that’s in, and around, the river and the wet. This moving world is a green world — a home for plants.

Linda is a botanic artist who creates paper sculptures of flowers and foliage: “my aim is to create work that con......


And Now for Something Completely Different (in Your Garden!) - theHumm April 2023

By David Hinks

The above title references a Monty Python movie that (unbelievably) is over 50 years old and perhaps suggests how many decades I have been gardening. In December I really enjoy perusing the seed catalogues and pondering whether six varieties of tomatoes is enough — but hold on! What about those vegetables that I habitually ignore? There may be a new favourite to discover, but truth be told there are very few vegetables in the seed catalogue that I have not tried at least once. Might I sugges......


The B Stands for Blues
JW-Jones to Play the ABC Hall on April 27
- theHumm April 2023

Blues fans, get ready for an unforgettable night of music at the historic Althorpe Bolingbroke Community (ABC) Hall on April 27, when renowned Canadian blues artist JW-Jones takes the stage.

A Billboard Top 10 Blues Artist and JUNO nominee, this singer/guitarist is known for his thrilling shows. He has shared the stage with blues legends such as Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter and Jimmy Vaughan, and has been hailed as “the real deal” by Chuck Leavell, keyboard player for The Rolling Stones and Allm......


Do Good Look Good
Almonte Photographer’s InitiativeSupports Lanark County Interval House
- theHumm April 2023

Stephanie de Montigny, owner of Pure Natural Portraits, wants to help ensure that no area woman or child goes without a safe place to be when living in or escaping domestic violence.

“We never know what is going on behind closed doors. Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most difficult decisions a woman or parent can make, and having a safe place to go while figuring out the next step is a make-or-break part of the often-drawn-out proc......


It’s Not Rocket Science. Just Do It! - theHumm April 2023

By Sally Smith

We sat in the big, bright room behind Café Bean in Perth on the long pew-like bench, and Amy Webster talked matter-of-factly about her Power Tools for Women workshop, offered some reflections on life, and explained why she decided to take the Heritage Carpentry and Joinery Course at Algonquin.

Where her business is now — a smaller brick building just down the street from the café — was once the Wampole Box Factory. Her workplace is bright; lots of big windows, lots of big tools… enough of each one for......


Parkinson’s Awareness Month
- theHumm April 2023

Study Highlights Higher Prevalence

A study published in December 2022, in partnership with the Parkinson’s and Michael J. Fox Foundations in the United States (and inc......


Borrow Seeds from the Library!
- theHumm April 2023

What’s a sure sign of spring? The return of the Mississippi Mills Public Library Seed Library!

Now available at both the Almonte and Pakenham branches, the seed lending library is a free exch......


New Date for Jen & The Brindled Cats
- theHumm April 2023

The first show in the new Solstice Concert Series, featuring Jennifer Noxon and the Brindled Cats, was moved from March 19 to Sunday, April 16 at 2:30pm at the Almonte Library. Tickets are still ......



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