Meet the Faces behind NFOTA: Tom Pickering

Tom Pickering

I’ve lived in several Canadian cities and worked in assorted industries. Notable stops included Edmonton to attend university and work in the oil patch, and the GTA to work for IT and engineering companies as a technical writer. Now settled in Cobourg, I live here with my wife and dog, thankful for the pleasures of small-town living.

Why do you believe in the Northumberland Festival of the Arts?

Can you imagine a world where we can’t see a movie, go to the art gallery, attend live theatre or music, or witness the grace of professional dance? We don’t have to imagine that. We’ve lived it for over a year. Northumberland Festival of the Arts provides an opportunity to experience some of those things we’ve missed and to open our senses and intellect to new forms of art and the many talented people who create it.

Any passions and talents you want to share?

I enjoy carpentry and learning do-it-yourself skills for home repair.

What are your roots or groups – connections in the community?

I’ve known Cobourg and Northumberland County since I was a teenager when my parents owned a farm on Shelter Valley Road near Grafton for over twenty-five years.  As a middle-aged man I belonged to community theatre groups in Toronto, and once landed in Cobourg, joined the Northumberland Players for several years. I am currently a member of the Spirit of the Hills Writers’ Group. I had a minor supporting role in the 2019 Festival of the Arts.

What does “art” mean to you?

To me, art enlists a person’s emotion and intellect and has the potential to generate a community of connection or belonging. 

Listen to captivating music, either alone or in an audience, and you are swept up and down as the melody rises and falls. Here, art is experienced one step removed from the creator, yet resonates deeply within to bring forth beauty and meaning. 

A creator of art makes form out of imagination and brings that to the community, allowing a shared experience. 

Human society could not function without art. Art is the avenue we use to tell ourselves who we are, and when we feel so inclined, celebrate our shared humanity.

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