roots-gallery-fullThe Tom Thomson Art Gallery (the TOM) and Roots Canada announce their collaborative partnership which sees a new Roots clothing line inspired by the life of Tom Thomson and works from the TOM's permanent collection. Tom Thomson is the quintessential Canadian and is a national icon. A rugged individualist, he was interested in developing an authentic vision to depict his experience in the Northlands of Canada and in capturing a new way of seeing and experiencing the Canadian landscape. His work is "the visual equivalent of the Canadian national anthem" (David Silcox, President of Sotheby's Canada).

Some items in the new Roots line include reproductions of Thomson's paintings - Canoe Lake and Melting Ice - but the range is about more than just his work; it tells a story of his life, his spirit – of a true Canadian outdoorsman as well as an iconic painter. The collection of men's and women's apparel, leather items and accessories will be available in most Roots stores, online and at Owen Sound's Tom Thomson Art Gallery Gift Shop.

Roots co-founder Michael Budman has long been intrigued by Tom Thomson. "I first became aware of him in my youth while attending Camp Tamakwa in Algonquin Park. His passion for the park and the wilderness really resonated with me. When I later became more familiar with his art, I appreciated him even more . . . I had often thought that Roots should somehow pay tribute to his legacy as his values are very much consistent with what Roots is all about."

Virginia Eichhorn, the TOM's Director and Chief Curator, had a similar thought when coming across a Roots ad a few years ago, which lead her to contact the company to discuss potential partnerships. "Really quickly on we realized that this could be a very big, unique project that was beneficial to both of our organizations and would have a huge impact. It just seemed like a natural fit."

The following words by J.E.H. MacDonald as inscribed on the Tom Thomson Memorial Cairn at Canoe Lake are incorporated in one of the designs in the Roots Collection and pretty much sum up Thomson's Canadian Spirit:

To the memory of Tom Thomson - artist woodsman and guide - who was drowned in Canoe Lake July 8, 1917. He lived humbly but passionately with the wild. It made him brother to all untamed things of nature. It drew him apart and revealed itself wonderfully to him. It sent him out from the woods only to show these revelations through his art and it took him to itself at last.

Discover more about Tom Thomson and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery

Purchase the Tom Thomson collection online at Roots:,default,pg.html

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