The Steel Spirit Artist Spotlight


Posted on Friday November 13, 2020


Stories behind the art

The Steel Spirit Artist Spotlights gives recognition to individuals in the services.

When most people hear 'art' they tend to only think of painting or drawing. We've had a much larger base of mediums involved with The Steel Spirit i.e. sculpture, photography, pottery, stained glass, leatherwork, woodburning, woodturning, metalwork, airbrushing etc. We even had a poetry submission in 2018 by a WWII vet. Fred submitted the poem he wrote over his 6 years fighting in Europe. He is 99 years old and still writes poetry today.

It is all of these very unique contributions and all levels of art experience that keep The Steel Spirit unique.

The Steel Spirit is always looking for new artists to become involved. Individuals from all ages, all backgrounds and all levels of experience. If you are interested in becoming an artist with The Steel Spirit, please reach out to

More information about The Steel Spirit is available here

Various newspapers have published Artist Spotlights, click the links below to view.

Nicole Reid - The Lookout, Esquimalt, BC
When Cpl Nicole Reid, 27, paints, each brush stroke she puts on the canvass helps her blow off steam. The Aviation Technician with CFB Borden’s 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron conducts maintenance and repairs on CH146 Griffon helicopters and while fulfilling, it can be stressful.

Eugene McKinnon - The Borden Citizen, Borden, ON
Eugene McKinnon has had a busy summer. At the age of 98, this WWII Veteran continued his cherished hobby of painting during the warm sunny days. Eugene normally paints all winter and gardens all summer, but his latest art project had to be done outdoors. 

Ryan Mountenay - The Courier, Cold Lake, AB
Ryan had always dreamed of being an artist but gave up because he felt he was never really good at drawing or painting. Shortly after September 11, 2001, Ryan joined the military and was in basic training in less than two months. He initially began his career as a Marine Engineering Mechanic (stoker) in the Canadian Navy.

Fred Andrews - The Vet's Gazette, Orillia, ON (opens a pdf)
Fred Andrews has enjoyed writing poetry since he could remember. At the age of 17 he enlisted with the Canadian Forces to serve in the conflict unfolding in Europe. At the time he didn’t know he would be away from home for nearly six years.

Fred Trainor - The Aurora, Nova Scotia (opens a pdf)
Artist Fred Trainor says each brush stroke he applies to a canvass offers him a path to healing. The 58-year-old Ottawa Valley resident, and currently serving warrant offi cer, was deployed to war-torn Afghanistan in 2005 and again in 2007

Mark Hildebrandt - Barrie Today, Barrie, ON
Mark Hildebrandt is an advanced care paramedic who has worked all across southern Ontario and British Columbia. With almost 20 years of service, he has encountered many of the most difficult calls that first responders face. To cope with the stress that is accumulated as a paramedic, Hildebrandt has turned to photography.

Lee-Ann LeMesurier - The Courier, Cold Lake, AB
MCpl Lee-Ann LeMesurier joined the Canadian Forces as a reservist in 2008. She joined as a Signal Operator and continues to serve as a Senior Human Resource Administrator with 16 Wing Air Reserve Flight. While working to obtain her military qualifications MCpl LeMesurier also completed her Fine Arts Diploma at Georgian College, ON Barrie. She graduated in the spring of 2010 with honours and multiple scholarships and awards beneath her.