The genisis of Rise and Shine, Lake Winnipeg was a short five line poem that was written as part of a creative writing assignment at Red River College back in 1971. With the encouragement of my instructor, I filled it out to include a few more verses. And there it sat on a sheet of paper – untouched – for a couple of years.
Then I happened to meet a musician from Husavik, MB named Lorne Martin. We would discover that we were born just days apart at Gimli Hospital and our dads commercial fished together on Lake Winnipeg. Instant karma! Lorne took it upon himself to write a melody and turn the poem into a song – one which became the staple of many a Lake Winnipeg bonfire. It was performed in public a few times over the decades, and was even recorded in 2011 at Lorne’s studio in Arnes, with my daughter Lindsey doing lead vocal.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Lorne passed away very suddenly in August of 2011, and from that day forward I committed to fulfilling a wish that the two of us had: to make Rise and Shine known to a broader audience.
In 2016, I contacted the Lake Winnipeg Foundation to gauge their interest…and the rest is history.
Lorne was a career “aggie”. He had a deep respect for the land and the watershed, and would be so proud to know that young people of today are singing the praises of the lake he loved.