Walking with Thunder takes third trek on Millennium Trail

THUNDEROUS WALK Conrad Beaubien's Walking with Thunder took their third adventure down the Millennium Trail with Thunder the donkey starting at kilometre zero on Monday. Beaubien is in partner with DeRAIL, a platform for contemporary art and architecture to bring more awareness to Mental Health and the public landscapes. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)




Although a brisk and gloom day on Monday the third adventure of Walking with Thunder on the Millennium trail brought a cheery and bright feeling in the air for people who were present for the walk.

Starting this third adventure at the beginning of the Millennium Trail at kilometre zero which is off of Fort Kente Road in Carrying Place, the group followed behind Thunder the donkey and Conrad Beaubien in Walking with Thunder.

“This is amazing,” Beaubien expressed. “This turnout is totally amazing, I recognize many here and I bless you and thank you for being with us. So we need to go with whatever we have to work with weather wise, stage wise and the re-inventiveness of it is where we can learn a new and be fresh.”

Walking with Thunder, a walk down different parts of the millennium trail led by Beaubien while he walks with Thunder the donkey, runs in partnership with DeRAIL, a platform for contemporary art and architecture.

“When DeRAIL and I joined up,” stated Beaubien. “I described the most important thing that has motivated me for ten years is mental health and being with animals itself is comforting, we all know that, and right at this time of the year was the time to launch it because there is darkness, theres COVID, there’s lots of isolation. And so you’ll see it on our Walking with Thunder website if you go on it. Every one of us here can do something around Thunder with Thunder energy, and it’s about pooling some resources, some dollars behind so that any body here with an idea to bring people out of isolation, just work with them or introduce, it does’t have to be about learning as much as not being alone and thats what were all about.”

DeRAIL is an alternative platform for dialogue and collaboration across disciplinary, geographical and ideological boundaries, is founded and co directed by landscape architect Victoria Taylor, and designer and public art curator Gelareh Saadatpajouh. With their collaborators and supporters their vision is to inspire and expand the public dialogue around contemporary art, placemaking, landscape and the experience of the outdoor spaces we share.

Partners and supporters of DeRAIL include: The County of Prince Edward, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Noble Beast Farms, Prince Edward County Trail Committee, County Arts Council, Councillor Bill McMahon, Councillor Ernie Margetson, Natalie Stone and Bailey Austin-Macmillan.

“I don’t know how many of you have been to km zero on the Millennium Trail,” stated Taylor. “This is the third walk with Conrad Beaubien’s Walking with Thunder presented by DeRAIL platform for art and architecture that I started with a friend in 2016. We were just inspired by these types of linear landscapes that are from the past of being a railway corridor and become abandoned and then become something else and there is so many layers there, wildlife corridor, people movement, animal movement and then of course the old railways, I’m a landscape architect, and what else can this landscape be besides a movement corridor from a to b and so we want to inspire new audiences for public art and new audiences for being in a landscape and thinking ‘what else can happen here?’.”

The group walked with Thunder just past the one kilometre mark and then turned around to head back. Along the trail musician Kat burns sang soothing songs which paired perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

Musician Kat Burn singing along the Millennium Trail with Walking with Thunder. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

“Feel the spirit of Thunder, that’s what would mean so much to me for everyone around here to come away with a souvenir on solstice, and not only is it solstice and not only is there a Christmas star which may appear beyond the clouds but this intersect and why we chose km zero was because this trail actually leads up to the Marmara mines so its very long but as it comes into the County it’s kilometre zero for us but very importantly this road we’ve been walking on this is a pathway that has heard the foot steps of first peoples crossing from one part over from the time of the pyramids and those are the things that we want to remember when we put our feet on the ground, that there has been many here before. We are inventing our own way of dialoging and communicating and hopefully we will come away with these collective memories for everybody.”

To find out more about Walking with Thunder please visit www.walkingwiththunder.com

To donate to Walking with Thunder please visit www.gofundme.com/f/vh57r8-walking-with-thunder?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet