Well known cultural advocate and passionate environmentalist ready to premier her latest short film - The Frozen Goose

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 23, 2016



Margaret Lindsay Holton has been a fixture on the Burlington culture scene for a number of years – she has also been a passionate advocate on environmental issues.

There are those who will remember the pin hole cameras she used to make and many who will remember her art.

The most recent short film – The Frozen Goose will be premiered at the Art Gallery of Burlington September 11th.

Holton H&SShe has done film work before; Frozen Goose is her production from start to finish – a process that put her through all the wringers that film production impose on people.

She started out with a budget of $87,000 – that got dropped to $15,000 when a sponsor she was sure she had took a pass. The $11,000 budget she paired things down to was what she had to go forward with. “I had to make it work” was the way Holton explained the drive and persistence she brought to the production.

She did some crowd funding – that’s seldom the deal those offering the service make it out to be.

The next step was to sell some of her art – had that not raised the needed funds – the family heirlooms were perhaps next.

Film producers spend as much time on the financial side as they do on the actual production of the film – and the production side is never a cake walk.

The production had 140 shots taken during 11 scenes in 11 different locations.

“One of the scenes required solid lake ice, but there was none to be had at the designated lake location, so, last minute, an alternate shallow pond, frozen solid, was used.”

Holton - Margaret Lindsay largeOriginally published as a short story in 2014 – The Frozen Goose focuses on the struggles of a rural Canadian family coping in the aftermath of World War One. Loss, anger and deep misunderstanding mingle with tender trust – and love – as a broken family inch towards the future.

It’s a part of the First World War experience that has never been fully explored.

“I got the filmmaking bug after working as a Production Assistant for the commercial film house of Roseanne McWaters & Derek VanLint back in the early 1980’s” she said, adding, “I went on from there to co-produce, co-direct and script a 54 minute ‘experimental documentary’ :In the Eye of the Hunter” with a Ryerson University Film & Photo Arts grad, Jane Walker Manchee, that was broadcast, 2 years later, on Rogers Cable 10.

Holton Bailey'sBrow.mlh

Margaret Lindsay Holton is an established artist as well as a filmmaker. Her work consistently sells quite well.

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At times Holton takes a sparse, almost minimalist approach to canvas. she has a strong following.

It was a big hit on the late night cable TV world; had a novel interactive ‘open-response line’ (predating the internet) that allowed viewers to verbally comment on the show after every broadcast. Comments were eye-opening, insightful, at times unnerving – and always invigorating. The film ran on Cable for 6 months in a late night slot.

Deepening her filming skills Holton attended two week-long Canadian Film Production industry seminars: one in New York City, and the other in Brockville, Ontario, (where she met the incomparable Peter Wintonick. Canada’s best documentary champion.) Peter and Holton became – and remained – good friends until his recent passing . Holton also worked one short summer as a P.A. in the Publicity Department at what is now called the Toronto International Film Festival, aka TIFF.

Holton has shot over 40 shorts, less than 20 minutes each. These have usually been embedded in published stories.

Cameron Brindle a 'Charlie' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Cameron Brindle is a budding young thespian, who turned 9 in January. Growing up, he showed a love of all things theatrical from a very early age. He honed his original talent as both an actor and director in countless games of dress-up with his sister, before starting his formal training in drama classes at the age of 4. For the last two years, Cameron has focused on improving his technique and developing improvisation skills, as an active member of the Waterdown-based Creative Theatre Company. He also regularly presents in school assemblies and is a member of the Glenview School Primary Choir. Cameron loves history, travelling and playing with his friends. He is an expert on all things ‘Star Wars’, and dreams of being a Jedi when he grows up. The Frozen Goose is Cameron first film.

The cast consists of youngsters Hannah Ralph & Cameron Brindle who join acting veterans – Leslie Gray,
Rod McTaggart and John Fort.

Hannah Ralph as 'Bella' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Hannah Ralph – ‘Bella’ Hannah entered the Hamilton arts scene at an early age. She had her first stage debut at the age of 6 at the semi-finals of the Rise to Fame Youth Talent Search at the Western Fair. At the age of 14, Hannah has become an accomplished vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and actor. She is currently a member of the internationally recognized Hamilton Children’s Choir. She has performed most recently at Polyfolia Music Festival in Normandy, France, the Hamilton Juno awards, the PanAm games in Toronto, and as a cast member of the production of Apocalypsis at the Luminato Festival in Toronto. Hannah has also trained in the theatre with Lou Zambrogna of Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius and has been the lead in local productions of The Wizard of Oz and Pinnochio. Hannah is currently attending acting classes at Lewis Baumander Acting Studios and studying privately with Michael Gordin Shore, in Toronto, where she is pursuing her acting career.


Holton is a member of the Filmmakers Alliance of Burlington (aka FAB.) and was, at one point, a very active member of the arts collective that has gone formal and is now calling itself an Arts Council.

The film is being premiered on September 11th, with two showing – one at 3:15 pm and a second at 4:00 pm at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The film has a run time of 25 minutes.  There will be a ‘live’ musical interlude by fab folk group, with fiddler David Clarence MacLean, WhiskeyEpiphany, entertaining between shows.

Whiskey Epiphany is a Celtic/Acoustic/Folk band from Southern Ontario, Canada. The band was formed in 2011 and includes principal songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Mike Gravitis, his sister/vocalist Lianne Gravitis, bass/guitarist and banjoist Jack MacLean, his father/fiddler and mandolinist David Clarence MacLean and Dave Gould on percussion. Whiskey Epiphany performs regularly at many venues, festivals, corporate functions and weddings in Canada and the USA.

Tickets for the Premiere are available on-line ONLY.  Link is HERE




Leslie Gray as 'Helen' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Leslie Gray – ‘Helen’ Leslie Gray as ‘Helen’ in TFG – Photo Credit – MLH ProductionsActor, singer, dancer, choreographer, director, Leslie has worked in all aspects of the performing arts. TV/Film credits include Emily in Hacks (Comedy Network), Featured Photographer in Terry (Shaftesbury) and has appeared in Riding the Bus with my Sister (dir. Anjelica Huston), Darcy’s Wildlife, Missing, The West Wing, Man of the Year (with Robin Williams) and many more. She has on camera training with Jayne Eastwood, Bernadette Jones, Millie Tom, Laura Jones, Crystal Proctor and Anne Tait. Leslie is also a musical theatre performer with training from Sheridan College and has performed in over 40 musical productions across Ontario. She is currently the co-artistic director, along with her husband Christopher, of Burlington’s professional theatre company KooGle Theatre Co. This July Leslie will be playing “Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Leslie also teaches at Burlington Dance Academy (musical theatre and tap), Centre Stage Theatre School (guest teacher) and ArtHouse (musical theatre workshops).


John Fort as 'Tom' in TFG - Photo Credit- MLH Productions

John Fort is a Hamilton-based actor, known for his supporting roles in CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and assorted indie low-budget productions. Known as a ‘scrapper’, John is an accomplished martial arts student, and has taken acting workshops with the Performing Arts Guild in Toronto under David Rotenberg, an advocate of the ‘method’ style of acting. John’s favourite actor is James Dean.




Rod McTaggart as 'Uncle Harry' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Rod McTaggart is an actor, entertainer and musician, recently known for his riveting performance in John Logan’s RED at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. In 2014, he played in Adam Riggio’s ‘You Were My Friend’, Gary Santucci’s ‘Democracy is Dead’ and Norm Foster’s ‘Under the Bright Sun’. A mature actor, Rod centered ‘stage left’ after working as a Stage Manager for the Oakville Drama Series. His film experience includes, ‘Infirmity'(2016), ‘This is How We Walk’ (2012) – selected for The Short Film Corner at Cannes, and ‘Happy Birthday Day’ – selected for TIFF in 2012.

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