Jowi Taylor, mastermind behind the iconic guitar named “Voyageur” that was built to symbolize Canada’s identity, and author of the book Six String Nation, will be a special guest at this summer’s Guitars on Parade.
As Jowi says, “Voyageur itself is made from 64 pieces of Canadian history and heritage representing many different cultures, communities and characters from all across the country. A further handful of elements adorn the strap and the interior of the guitar-case.” They were gathered primarily by Jowi over a two-year period, and the guitar was crafted in 2006 by Nova Scotia luthier George Rizsanyi with inlay work and other assistance by Sara Nasr.
The guitar has “travelled many thousands of kilometers across Canada, been played by hundreds of different musicians and been held by thousands of Canadians — players and non-players alike — at festivals, schools, concerts and community events in a growing number of places around the country.” We anticipate its appearance at Guitars on Parade to be hailed as a rare treat for Orillia fans both of Canadiana and luthier craftsmanship.
Jowi was inspired to have Voyageur built and to travel across the country with it to showcase the “diversity of geographies, histories, mythologies, languages, literature, art, food, sport and industry” in Canada, which all find a home in the Six String Nation guitar and in the music it creates.
Among the items incorporated into the body, strap and case of the guitar are a piece of wood from a hockey stick used by Wayne Gretzky, a piece of wood from Nancy Greene’s skis, the only piece of wood ever taken from the legendary Golden Spruce of Haida-Gwaii, wood from Canadian-heritage buildings — including the lighthouse at Cape Race in Newfoundland (it has a connection to both the Titanic and Marconi), New Brunswick’s famed covered bridge and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s childhood home — horns and tusks, minerals, stones, a piece of gold from Maurice Richard’s 1955-56 Stanley Cup ring and many other artifacts of national importance.
For more information about Voyageur and Jowi Taylor’s presentations, please visit the Six String Nation website.
We will have more details about Jowi’s appearance in Orillia at Guitars on Parade as they become available.