Meet three of the creative people – Shelagh Armstrong, Charles Bongers and Jeff Rollings – who fill this issue’s pages.
Shelagh’s nearly 40-year career spans retail advertising and packaging, courtroom sketching for television, stamps for Canada Post and designing commemorative coins for the Royal Canadian Mint.
In 2000, she was asked to illustrate If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People for Kids Can Press. Since then, it has been released in over 20 languages and has won numerous awards.
Shelagh finds inspiration through new challenges and the opportunity to push herself creatively – and embrace both traditional and digital media. A graduate of Orangeville District Secondary School and OCAD University, she is currently working on a master’s degree online through Falmouth University in Cornwall. For more than 12 years, Shelagh has shared her enthusiasm and experiences with her students at Sheridan College. Visit her blog and Instagram account at shelagharmstrongillustrator.blogspot.com and @shelaghart0101.
Charles has had a lifelong passion for nature and the outdoors as an ocean-racing sailor, mountain climber and tree advocate. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Charles now lives in Toronto where he is creative director of Charles Bongers + Co., an eco-focused brand design company. He is also the creative adviser to Wild Entrust/Coaching Conservation, a wildlife conservation trust in Southern Africa dedicated to supporting the long-term viability of threatened wildlife populations and their critical habitats. Charles is the author and illustrator of a new children’s book, Do Trees Have Mothers? (Douglas & McIntyre), a picture book inspired by the science of trees. (See more at dotreeshavemothers.com)
In our summer 2020 issue, Charles offered some much-needed comic relief with “The Covid-19 Olympics,” which conjured up new pandemic-inspired sports out of Zoom calls, kids at home, face masks, toilet paper shortages and other glum makers of the new normal. In this issue he tackles another difficult topic, affordable housing, with his trademark light touch.
Jeff’s writing has been appearing in In The Hills since 2006. A lifelong Headwaters resident, he was trained and still works as a civil and environmental engineering and land use planning technologist.
Sometimes that background comes in handy, such as in this issue where he takes a thoughtful look at the housing affordability crisis (page 44). However, over the years his stories have explored many different subjects, from social matters such as end-of-life care, or what it’s like to be transgender in Headwaters, to silly matters like learning to ride a horse. Personal favourites are the annual Local Hero profiles, and all the extraordinary people he has met while doing them.
Fun fact: In 2016, Jeff’s In The Hills profile of Mono artist Gail Prussky, called “How Not to Be a Serial Killer: The Unhinged Imagination of Gail Prussky,” was adapted into an afterword for her first book, Broken Balloons. It also includes a foreword by famed Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg. We think Cronenberg is in good company.