George Woodhouse and Dave Lawless first collaborated on a rap, the Boreal Beat, that they created as a science project in Grade 10.
And now five years later, their second collaboration, Tales from de Trailz, has won the top spot in Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s national video contest promoting Canada’s national parks. The grand prize is a 12-day adventure tour along the Nahanni River in the NorthWest Territories.
The two lifelong friends from Owen Sound, Ont. collaborated on a video about Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, where Mr. Lawless worked as a trail guide last summer.
Mr. Woodhouse, who has never actually been to Gros Morne himself, says he caught his friend’s enthusiasm for the UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Newfoundland’s west coast and wrote the lyrics, packing in facts and more than a few hammy rhymes. (One favourite: “There are 1,800 square kilometres/so many hikes it will bust your pedometers.”)
The video was spliced together with shots of breathtaking scenery that Mr. Lawless took over the summer along with footage of Mr. Woodhouse rapping. That part was actually filmed in Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park.
“We just relied on some movie magic and tried to find some random Gros Morne-y places,” says Mr. Woodhouse with a laugh. The second-year Dal student and his friend, a student at the University of Guelph, put it altogether using the Internet, sending files back and forth by email and talking it over via Skype.
“We put a lot of work into it, even though it didn’t feel like work,” says Mr. Woodhouse, 20.
Now he’s really eager to go to Gros Morne and see the national park he wrote about. In the meantime, he and bandmates Ian MacNeil and Anthony Manuele are ready to start working on a new music video, this one called the Student Poverty Song written in response to the O’Neill Report.
“I really love to write lyrics and poetry,” says Mr. Woodhouse, who says he was drawn to Dalhousie for its creative writing program and “for the sheer adventure of learning” in a city he’d never been to before.
As for his favourite national park? He’d have to say it’s Bruce Peninsula National Park, 155 square kilometres which encompass an incredible array of habitats from rare limestone plains to dense forests and clean lakes. The park is located not far from his hometown of Owen Sound in southern Ontario.
He notes the video celebrating Bruce Peninsula National Park took second place in the Celebrate Parks video contest for people who are interested in learning more. See: Celebrating Bruce Peninsula National Park.
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