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Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – Seattle Thunderbirds –



Brother versus brother is nothing new in the Western Hockey League.  There have always been brothers dotting the rosters of WHL teams. Seattle has had their fare share.  Most recently it was Dillon Hamaliuk going up against his brother Dalton, who played for the Spokane Chiefs. They had a memorable battle along the boards one game at the accesso ShoWare Center a few years back.

Sometimes hockey playing brothers are like ships passing in the night. Matt Wedman didn’t step on the ice for the Thunderbirds until two years after his older brother Cole, another Spokane Chief, had graduated out of the WHL.

Sometimes brothers get the chance to play together. Twin brothers Josh and Jeremy Schappert were Thunderbird teammates from 2005 to 2008. But sometimes brothers play in the league at the same time and never get the chance to go up against each other on the ice.

For two current T-Birds, the chance to play against their brothers in the WHL is slipping away. Seattle center Henrik Rybinski’s younger brother Luke is a defenseman with the Medicine Hat Tigers. Two years younger than Henrik, Luke has just returned to the ice after rehabbing from an injury.

For Henrik, it’s an unfulfilled opportunity. “I actually really want to play against him. I’ve never played against my brother, except for when I was six years old.”

Rybinski 3 copy

The Rybinski’s could have been like the Schappert’s and possibly played together. Henrik was originally a 2016 second round draft pick of the Tigers. He skated for parts of two seasons with Medicine Hat but was dealt to the Thunderbirds in an early 2018 trade. Luke didn’t join the Tigers until his rights were acquired from the Kamloops Blazers in January of 2020.

As a 20-year-old, this is Henrik’s last season in the league. With the pandemic limiting play this season to conference opponents only, the T-Birds and Tigers are not scheduled to play against each other. Now, the only chance to face each other in the WHL would be if the two teams met in the league championship series next spring. Had the pandemic never happened, that chance for Henrik to play against Luke might have occurred this fall or winter.

“It would have been fun to see him on the ice, to battle against him.  So, it’s very unfortunate this year it can’t happen.”  Like most hockey playing brothers, Henrik says he and Luke have had a good relationship growing up.  “We’re like good friends.  We respect each other.”  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t competitive.  Henrik remembers playing the board game Trouble, with his younger sibling.  “You click the button, and the dice tell you what moves to make.  I’d lose to him and get all upset about it.”

Another T-Bird, 17-year-old center Jordan Gustafson, has a slightly better chance of going up against his brother. Blake Gustafson, a defenseman, is two years older than Jordan and playing with the Red Deer Rebels. While the same, pandemic imposed, schedule limits affect the Gustafson’s this season, we don’t know what next season’s schedule will bring. Most likely cross-conference play will return in 2022-23 and if Blake is still in the league at age 20, Jordan should get the opportunity to skate against him.

It’s an opportunity Jordan would welcome.  “I would love to play him though. I haven’t gotten the chance to play against him. Hopefully we get that chance to play (next season) and I can drive wide on him or something, hit him a couple times.  That would definitely be awesome. I’d look forward to that.”


Of course, Blake is not just older than Jordan, he’s also five inches taller and 25 pounds heavier. But he agrees with Jordan and would relish the chance to go head-to-head with his little brother. “Jordy and I have always talked about playing against each other with a lot of excitement. Obviously, the scheduling has been unfortunate so far, but we’re both looking forward to when that day comes. Him and I have always been really competitive with one another so I think it will be a battle between us when that day comes. I know both of us won’t take it lightly.”

Jordan does remember his draft year and the slim possibility of joining his brother in Red Deer. “In the draft, you never know what’s going to happen, if a team is going to trade up.”  Of course, that didn’t happen. He was selected eighth overall by Seattle. The Rebels didn’t even own a first round pick that year. “I would have been happy going to Red Deer because Blake was playing there, but I’m super fortunate to have been drafted here and I’m happy where I am.”

Both the Rybinski’s and the Gustafson’s enjoy a good camaraderie away from the rink.  Of Blake, Jordan said, “He’s really like having a close friend off the ice.  I do a lot with him.  I go everywhere with him.  That’s what he is to me, he’s my best bud.”

Henrik echoed that sentiment when speaking about Luke.  “We’re good friends.  We talk a lot.  We have a good relationship for sure.”  Although, Henrik said, on the ice he could still take Luke.  “He’s a big guy. He’s 6’4’, almost 200 pounds.  I’m the older, smaller brother out there but I can still take him.  If he tries to one off me, I can still bring him down.”

They may never get the chance to play against each other in the WHL, but off the ice they will always be friends, best buds. Brothers.

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Paintings turned trees into central characters in Canadian art: expert – OrilliaMatters



In her introduction to this year’s Carmichael Art History Lecture fundraiser, Executive Director of the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH), Ninette Gyorody paid tribute to Qennefer Browne. It was a remembrance of gratitude.

Browne founded our annual Art History Lecture and named it in honour of Franklin Carmichael, a member of the Group of Seven, who was born in Orillia. Browne organized speakers for many years, until her death.

This year, we were incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Anna Hudson, who teaches Art History and Visual Culture in the Arts Music Performance Dance (AMPD) Department of York University, as our distinguished lecturer.

Her compelling presentation was a focus of her doctoral dissertation, “Art and Social Consciousness: The Toronto community of Painters, 1933-1950” was ‘What Came after the Group of Seven.’

From 1933 to 1950, a group of socially-conscious painters imagined a society transformed by art, and came together to develop a shared language of visual representation, building on the legacy of the Group of Seven.

Dr. Hudson spoke of the way artists play off each other’s work, investing form with meaning over time. Her talk was supported by images of Canadian paintings and photos of the period, which illustrated ideas within the lecture and enabled us to connect with the art.

Visual themes of the lecture were ‘TREE, BODY, INDUSTRY, LAND, HOME’.

First up for discussion were paintings by Franklin Carmichael: Autumn in Orillia (1924), Farm, Haliburton (1940) and Autumn Hillside (1920). In the 1940 painting, a tree is the dominant figure in the landscape. Dr. Hudson explored what this might mean, referencing the historical context of 1940.

Next, images of Jack Pine and West Wind, by Tom Thomson, were shared. These paintings lifted trees into the role of central characters in Canadian art, rather than being part of a pretty European style landscape painting.

Continuing her discussion of paintings, sculpture, photographs and commercial art by Canadian artists of the period 1933 to 1950, Dr. Hudson shared her interpretation of this phase of our national art.

One of the most fascinating paintings referenced was ‘Tree’, painted in 1944, by Isabel McLaughlin. This writer viewed this painting at The McMichael Gallery last month. Dr. Hudson’s assessment of ‘Tree’ as “disturbing, powerful, visceral, tactile” fits this painting.

We thank Dr. Hudson for sharing her vast knowledge and passion for this important time in Canadian art history. Her presentation was a great complement to the Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed, now in its 20th year. Don’t miss this incredible juried show.

For 2022:

The History Speaker Series will be on hiatus for December and will resume on Jan. 19, 2022, via Zoom.

Popular Orillia historian, Dave Town, will be our guest speaker with his talk ‘Yellowhead’s Revolt’. Local Indigenous leader, Rama’s Chief Yellowhead, stood defiant against not just the white man, but his fellow Chiefs in 1846 at the Great Meeting held in Orillia.

At issue were life-changing policies, the most significant of which was the creation of the first residential schools in Canada. Chief Yellowhead stood up for what he felt was right for his people. Don’t miss Dave’s fascinating talk about this important event in our local history.

Click here to register for the talk or call Monica at 705-326-2159 or email

Admission to the History Speaker Series is free, but donations to OMAH are appreciated.

The OMAH History Committee thanks you for your loyal support in 2021. Stay tuned for a full list of dynamic speakers in 2022. Wishing you a safe and festive holiday season.


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Art Fx #44: "Around the Bend" by Pam MacKenzie – Huntsville Doppler – Huntsville Doppler



Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.

“Around the Bend” by Pam MacKenzie is a 24” x 36″ acrylic on birch

“This painting depicts a canoe trip up a stream to explore what lies beyond,” says Pam. “My husband and I were avid canoeists and spent countless hours exploring small rivers and creeks. Travelling in these small bodies of winding waters always left you wondering what was around the corner. Did it continue on or was this bend going to end up in a bay or a larger body of water than we were comfortable travelling on in our canoe? Were we going to be able to continue in the canoe or going to have to portage over a rough spot, leaving the colour of our canoe on buried river rock? Or were we going to find a quiet spot to pull ashore on and explore the land along the banks?”

“Around the Bend” is available for $400.

“Around the Bend ” by Pam MacKenzie (supplied)

About the artist

Artistic endeavours have always been part of Pam’s life, from making her own school clothing to designing and creating wedding gowns and apparel to art quilts, weaving and stained glass.

Pam began exploring the drawing and painting art world in 2013 with Laura Landers, Iris Shields, and now Carol Rudderham.  

Pam has taken long workshops with a number of well-known Canadian artists and is currently working on an online course in bold-colour painting through the Bold School based in B.C.. While her first love is portraiture in black and white, she felt the need to colour her portraits first in pastels and now in acrylic and is taking this course to do just that.

Currently Pam is exploring the world of pouring art as she has splints on both arms following a tumble this fall. When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.

Pam is co-chair of the Huntsville Art Society and takesadvantage of the many opportunities through HAS to show her work. She also paints with a group at Carol Rudderham’s and shows her work bi-annually in the gallery at Partners Hall in the Algonquin Theatre.

Find Pam online at the HAS website or contact her at or 705-788-9875.

See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.

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Year end art exhibition features 40+ local art makers – North Bay News –



The Alex Dufresne Gallery is presenting its annual year-end show “Petit Noel: Exhibit & Sale.”

“This art exhibition has brought together over 40 different painters, photographers, potters, and artisans of all mediums, styles, and levels of experience to curate a show that reflects the passion of the northeastern Ontario art community.,” says Natasha Wiatr, Curator.

All pieces are no larger than 20” by 20” in size and almost all pieces are for sale.

The show is currently on display and will stay up until Saturday, December 30.

The gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday from 10 – 5 excluding Christmas Day and New Years Day.

“If you would prefer to book the gallery for a private viewing on a Tuesday, please contact us to arrange for a time,” adds Wiatr. “The gallery is free, with donations welcome. Due to Covid-19 guidelines, we ask that visitors wear masks and maintain six feet of social distancing, and we have hand sanitizer available on site. Please do not visit if you are not feeling well.”

Location: Alex Dufresne Gallery (107 Lansdowne St. E. in Callander, in the same building as the Callander Bay Heritage Museum)

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