Workhorse

“Horses are one of the very oldest kinds of technology.” - Anne Norton Green

A portrait in three vignettes, Workhorse accounts the vanishing labours of a logger, a farmer, and a horse-pull competitor who have devoted their lives to horsepower. The first vignette follows Art Shannon, one of the last commercial horse loggers in Ontario, during a final winter day of logging with his horses before retiring after forty years in the industry. The second vignette follows organic farmers Ken and Martha Laing and their adult daughter Ellen as they contemplate questions of succession over the course of a growing season at Orchard Hill Farm, one of Ontario’s few remaining horse-powered farms. The final vignette follows competitors Mike and Kelly Wessell and their teenage son Cody as they test the limits of their heavy horse teams at the annual ‘Labour Day Weekend’ Kinmount Fair heavy horse-pull.

Made with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.