Melissa March Exhibits at Haig-Brown Festival

Cutthroat Trout

Melissa March’s oil paintings of fish are as dramatic and arresting as they are beautiful.  Her love of fish and nature shines through her work, and as such, her paintings fit in very well with the other displays that will be at the Haig-Brown Festival this year.

Although she once received a Fine Arts scholarship after completing high school, Melissa chose to travel rather than attend a post secondary institution in pursuit of the study of art.  She is largely self taught as a painter, and has been drawing ever since she can remember.  She attributes her interest in painting to the influences of her family, who all participate in creative activities like carving and sewing.  They also contributed to her love of the outdoors.  In fact, it came as no surprise to her family, that fish would be her favourite subject to paint.  “They (fish) live in a mysterious world”, she says, “and unless you really look, you never know anything about it – it is a big part of the intrigue.”

Melissa in her studio

While exhibiting at ‘Art in Bloom’ at Kitty Coleman Woodlands in Courtenay, she was approached by Erin Nowack from Greenways Land Trust, who suggested that she participate in the Haig-Brown Festival.  Since coming to Campbell River from Vancouver three years ago, Melissa has found that the festival has become her favourite event to attend, and she feels honoured to be involved.  “It is a fitting venue for what I believe in”, she explains, referring to Festival’s celebration of the natural environment with love of fish and fishing.

The festival, taking place on Sunday, September 26 from noon to 4pm at the Haig-Brown Heritage Property also features Haig-Brown readings, fly casting and tying, river rafting, property tours, children’s crafts and games, music and more.  See the website for a complete list.

To see more of Melissa’s paintings, go to

Harry Thurston, Haig-Brown House writer in res

Welcome to our new Haig-Brown House writer in residence who arrived on Monday, with his wife Cathy and elderly cat Elsa. Harry is self described as a dedicated fly fisher, conservationist and natural historian, and a long admirer of Roderick Haig-Brown’s writings. For the last 25 years Harry has been a full time writer, an author of 9 non-fiction books, 3 books of poetry, a feature writer for more than 30 leading magazines, including Audubon, National Geographic, a contributing editor to Equinox and Harrowsmith and has won several national awards.

What a privilege it is to have a writer of this caliber, live in our community until the end of March. In addition to living in the Haig-Brown House along our Heritage River as a muse to his writings, he will will be giving a talk at the Museum in the new year, and he will be available for consultations with local writers, who can make appointments through the HBH phone # 286-6646 or email:

We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Cambell River, the Haig-Brown Institute, and of course the City of Campbell River in it’s support of the HBH which enabled us to continue with the program. Check out Stillwater Books and Art for some of Mr. Thurson’s books and watch for upcoming Museum programs with Harry Thurston at the Museum.


Check out a number of Museum video productions at the Campbell River Museum YouTube Channel.

We also have a growing photo album on Flickr…worth the visit.

The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit

A ‘grape’ souvenir from the Haig-Brown Heritage site

What is so special about these particular grapes?  They were lovingly grown by Ed McCarter and his wife Rosemary in Prince Rupert, from a matchstick sized cutting taken from a grape vine at the Haig-Brown House six years ago.

Ed regularly visits Campbell River to go fly fishing.  While staying at the Haig-Brown Bed and Breakfast in 2003, he went on a tour of the property and spotted the grape vine.  He asked the caretaker if he could take a cutting.  The vines were planted by the Haig-Browns in 1944 purposely to grow into the porch of the house, and to add to the Italian flavour of the gardens that Anne was creating at the time.

Ed is a great admirer of Roderick Haig-Brown and now, he will always have a living souvenir of his trips to Campbell River and the Haig-Brown Heritage property.