I tend to associate August with the blooming bright pink flowers of fireweed that usually appear during the month. While living up north I had heard from locals that you could tell how much summer was left from the number of remaining flowers on the plant as the season progressed. The fewer flowers, the fewer days of summer. Keeping an eye on the fireweed, I was inspired as well as motivated to complete or work on those creative projects I had set out earlier on in the season.

Inspiration can come to artists from many different sources. But with Lake Superior, the Canadian Shield, and the boreal forest, as well as many lakes and rivers, I think it’s safe to say that local artists are inspired by the natural environment surrounding the city.

With that in mind, our August issue is devoted to Art in the City: Inspired by Nature. Writer Emma Christensen gets the scoop on the Thunder Bay Art Gallery receiving a New Chapter Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, which has allowed them to commission works from 25 artists. Plus, Tonya Muchano catches up with the young artists of Definitely Superior Art Gallery’s Neechee Studios, who have teamed up with Fort William First Nation and Anemki Art Collective to paint a mural on Mount McKay.

Even though it happened last month, our music columnist Gord Ellis reflects on his musical journey over 55 years (happy birthday Gord!) and Kirsti Salmi chats with B.A. Johnston about the troubadour’s minivan, alley beer, and upcoming performance at Tumblestone Music Festival. August also brings the BrewHa! Craft Brew festival, so we thought it would be a perfect month to introduce Josh Armstrong’s column “Brew It Yourself: Crafting Quality Beer at Home.” Plus, it’s blueberry picking time, so Chef Rachel Globensky serves up a delectable blueberry and frangipane galette recipe and to help you cool off on those hot August days, our sommelier Jeannie Dubois shares some ideas for “saucy pops.”

Thankfully as I write this the fireweed haven’t bloomed yet, so in theory we should have lots of summer left to enjoy.

-Adrian Lysenko