An Officer of the Order of Canada and arguably one of Canada’s most gifted storytellers, Kanata resident Roy MacGregor unveils the truth surrounding artist Tom Thomson in his latest book, Northern Light.
What’s the book about?
It’s a love story. It’s a story of Winnifred Trainor, who was connected to my family, and her husband-to-be, Tom Thomson. ... It’s also a full biography of Tom Thomson and it contains some remarkable revelations using CSI-style science to prove once and for all where (he) is buried and where he is found today.
Why are Canadians so fascinated with his story?
It’s got many factors: the death at a very young age of a very handsome, dark, mysterious man, and the other is his art (which is) iconic and symbolic to Canada. ... It’s also the romance. Women fell head over heels in love with him and he died at the height of his powers. He has a James Dean quality to him.
Where’s the mystery in the Thomson story?
Thomson has always been a two-pronged mystery ... One of the greatest mysteries of all time was how he died. Some people think it was an accident, some people think it was a suicide and some people think it was murder. The second part of the ... mystery is where he was buried.
You have a family connection to this story. Did it make the book harder to write?
I’ve only had one falling out with one member of the family. ... Family connection gave me enormous privilege. My grandfather ... knew Tom Thomson.