Documentary Takes Us On An Exquisite Journey Through The Life of Tom Thomson

The question of how Tom Thomson died is one of the greatest mysteries of the art world. Whenever his named is mentioned, the conversation inevitably turns to thoughts and theories of what happened. A new documentary is opening its run at the Bell TIFF Lightbox on April 20th about the storied and brilliantly talented Thomson, however it chooses to focus on his life instead of his death. Brought to us by White Pine Pictures, the same folks who gave us Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, West Wind : The Vision of Tom Thomson promises us an in-depth and exquisite look at the leader of the iconic Group of Seven Painters.


Oh Look! A Press Release:

White Pine Pictures presents

Directed by: Michèle Hozer & Peter Raymont

Opens Friday, April 20 at TIFF Bell Lightbox

“For those who love art, Thompson’s work shines above the rest.  His well-known canvases are as synonymous to Canada as Maple syrup and the flag itself.”
- Michèle Hozer, Co-director

Monday, April 16, 2012:
Filmmakers Peter Raymont (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire; Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould; The Border) and Michèle Hozer (Shake Hands with the Devil; Genius Within) bring to the big screen the story of Tom Thomson; one of Canada’s most beloved painters. Described as our “greatest colourist” and “our Van Gogh”, Thomson’s vibrant interpretations of the northern landscape are iconic representations of the Canadian soul.

West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson opens in Toronto on Friday, April 20th at 7pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

What is it about Tom Thomson’s life, art and death that haunt us still, that draws thousands to his cairn at Canoe Lake each summer and propels his little sketches to the stratosphere of the Canadian art market? West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson unravels many of the mysteries of this brilliant, beloved artist.

Comfortable in the woods, Thomson led his colleagues – future members of the Group of Seven – north, to Algonquin Park, where they experimented in painting rivers, lakes, trees and skies in a bold new way, with raw and vibrant colours.

On July 8, 1917, just as he was reaching ascendancy in his craft, Tom Thomson paddled across Canoe Lake and disappeared. His dead body was found floating in the lake 8 days later. The cause of his death remains a mystery.

West Wind features rare archival recordings and written memories of those who knew Tom Thomson, including Louise Thomson, , JEH MacDonald, AY Jackson, Fred Varley, Lawren Harris, Mark Robinson, Dr. James MacCallum, Winnifred Trainor, Daphne Crombie , Stanley Kemp, and Arthur Lismer.  The film also reveals Thomson’s first oil painting, done in Seattle and given to his girlfriend; Alice Lambert.

“Like everyone else, I was fascinated by the mystery of Thomson’s death, but even more by the mysteries of his brief artistic life… This was the documentary  my mother always hoped I’d make, and the one my business partners hoped I wouldn’t!”
-          Pater Raymont, Co-director/Producer

“Tom Thomson like other Canadian Icons is unpretentious, focused, and followed his heart when it was not necessarily the most popular thing to do.”
-          Michèle Hozer, Co-director





Director/ Editor

Michèle Hozer, a two-time Gemini award-winning documentary editor, has been working in the Canadian film industry since 1987.  She received her first Gemini in 2000 for The Nature of Things on their millennium special Race for the Future.

In August 2001, Hozer established The Cutting Factory.  She has cut over 50 documentaries, including award-winning series, such as The Baby Human, The Undefended Border, and China Rises.

She has worked with Peter Raymont for 8 years, winning her second Gemini for editing the critically acclaimed feature length documentary Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire.

Hozer co-directed and edited the Oscar short-listed Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould. 



Filmmaker, journalist, writer, activist, Peter Raymont has produced and directed over 100 films and TV series during his 41 year career. His films have taken him to Ethiopia, Nicaragua, India, Rwanda, Chile, the High Arctic and throughout North America and Europe.

Raymont’s films have received 42 international awards including 2 Oscar shortlists, 13 Gemini Awards (45 nominations), several Gold and Silver Hugos, The Sesterce d’Argent and other international honours. His documentary feature, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire received the 2007 Emmy for Best Documentary & the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson is produced by White Pine Pictures in association with Bravo!, a division of CTV Limited Inc., Knowledge Network Corporation, TVOntario, Saskatchewan Communications Network, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Rogers Documentary Fund and the Rogers Cable Network Fund

About White Pine Pictures:

White Pine Pictures is an independent Canadian film, television, and new media production company based in Toronto, Canada. Headed by award-winning filmmaker, Peter Raymont, the company is recognized internationally as a high quality production house with a reputation for compelling visual styles and depth of content.  White Pine Pictures prides itself on its longtime relationships with Canadian talent and key industry players worldwide. White Pine has produced over 100 films, including the Emmy award-winning feature documentary Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, the Oscar-shortlisted A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, and the award-winning documentary Triage: Dr. James Orbinski’s Humanitarian Dilemma. White Pine is also producer of the award-winning TV drama series The Border (38 episodes), produced for the CBC, sold internationally to 25 broadcasters and versioned into 11 languages. The pilot for a new CBC drama series Cracked was shot in October 2011.