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Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Craftsmen and Artist

The man with the all the skill
Stephen Rensink
Maya Angelou once said “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” I attribute this quote to only those I feel who an personify it. I would like to introduce such an individual, Stephen Rensink.  Stephen is a former school teacher who truly leaves you feeling better about yourself when you meet with him.  I can imagine that this was the impact he had on his students as well. On a side note Stephen is a great team player as he really did not want me to put his picture online but let me do it regardless.  Keep that reluctance in mind because when asked he was willing to meet with CTV News to talk about his work and the Vimy flute… if that’s not a team player, I don’t know who is.
A Makwa Drone Flute
Made by Stephen
Stephen is the key player in this story as it is his craftsmanship and hard work that will forge the flute from the Vimy Oak.  When you visit Stephen’s website (http://makwaflutes.ca/) or Facebook page Makwa Flutes you will see that he “…is committed to working closely with clients to create custom made flutes with a story”.  Stephen has demonstrated his commitment to this mission as he has volunteered his time to build the Vimy Flute and thus bring the story of the flute to being. This is a testament to the high quality person Stephen is.  Though nether Stephen or myself come from a Frist Nations heritage Stephen feels that his ability to make the Native American Flute is a gift to which he is very grateful for.  Stephen does not look to appropriate any aspect of First Nations culture rather he strives to promote cultural awareness and connection through his art.  Similarly I have found the Native American Flute to be a powerful median of self expression and am grateful for my ability to play the instrument. Throughout the process of making the flute Stephen will be sending me pictures and even sound clips so that I can update you on the flutes progress.  I am so grateful to have met this man and look forward to where this project will go. 

All stories often have a key connecting players that enable the story to happen.  For the Vimy Oaks it is Monty McDonald and his dedication to the memory of his friend Leslie Miller.  For the Vimy flute it is David Bouchard.  Though I have only had very limited conversation with David I am so grateful for him. David is a speaker, author, and writer who discovered his Metis ancestry and
David Bouchard Picture from
dedicated himself to actively sharing his heritage and inherited memories for the benefit of others.  As a result of his work David has become significant figure in the greater Canadian community.   With the inclusion of art, music, and poetry to his work he makes his messages accessible to everyone.  It is the accessibility of his work that has earned him the accolades and awards he is often recognized for.  Check out his website at http://davidbouchard.com/ . 
It was about 2 years ago when I was trying to find a good quality flute maker (not a simple task I promise you).  I found out David played the flute so I decided to email him one day.  I was taken by surprise as David quickly responded and engaged with me.  He introduced me to Stephen which has ultimately led me to now and being on the verge of fulfilling a long time dream of mine.  I encourage you to check out Stephen’s website http://makwaflutes.ca/ and click on the about page, here you will find out how Stephen met David himself.  In all I am very grateful to David for taking his time to engage with and help out a random stranger.  Both David and Stephen have reinforced my belief that the right people come into your life at the right time.  The only thing that is required of you is to follow your inspiration with integrity and life will respond to that passion with the guidance you need.
Here are some examples of Stephen's work:

1 comment:

  1. Ryan...you are far too kind. I am honoured and humbled to be a part of this team.