I met Michael Green
I was at The Gathering, a converging of nonprofit minds from across Canada hosted by Suncor in Calgary back in October, when I first met Michael Green. Cathy Glover of the Suncor Energy Foundation had suggested we needed to bump into one another as he had been doing some incredible work with Aboriginal elders in capturing and sharing the history of the making of Treaty 7. He had been given a traditional name by his Aboriginal friends: Elk Shadow (Pona Ko'Taksi).
Michael was also the co-founder of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre in Calgary. He died, along with several other artists, Narcisse Blood, Michele Sereda and Lacy Morin-Desjarlais, in a tragic crash involving two trucks and a car on Tuesday morning north of Regina.
I heard the news yesterday morning after getting an email from one of my Calgary colleagues on the Premier's Council on Culture. It felt completely surreal, a kick in the gut, and instantly took me back to the Panorama Ranch, where I had taken a number of pictures of Mr. Green.
"Would you mind if I took a few photographs of you?" I asked him. "The light is just so fantastic, and I'd love to paint your portrait one day."
He was very gracious about it, and casually continue talking to people while I snapped away, in the warm and wonderful light as the autumn sun danced on the edge of the foothills.
Thoughtful, welcoming, intentional, brilliant. Those were my impressions in my brief moments of meeting him.
"Thanks for these great shots," he wrote in an email after I'd sent him a few. "Can you make me look younger, please? Ha!"
"Don't Rest in Peace Michael. Don't you dare. Instead, remain the restless, spirited, living embodiment of pure imagination you always have been. Stay with us and inspire us, for the rest of our days." ~Ken Cameron