Otter Squadron portrait

By: Sub-lieutenant Steve Brown

The portrait of Otter Squadron in front of the Mackenzie Building was commissioned by the graduating class of 2009 following an encounter between Officer Cadet Tyler Twohig and the artist Joanne Gervais. OCdt Twohig spoke with the artist regarding the possibility of having an original piece of artwork created as a graduation gift to the College. When the artist said that she would be interested in helping the squadron with their class gift, the idea was brought to the rest of the students, who quickly recognized the tremendous opportunity and agreed to fund the project.

Having a deep appreciation for the military and a body of work that includes many of the landmarks found on the grounds of the Royal Military College of Canada, the artist committed to producing an original piece of work that would normally cost substantially more than what the gift budget would traditionally allow. Funds would be offset through print sales to the public, with any further difference to be considered a donation on the part of the artist to the squadron and the College.

At this point, the project took on a life of its own as ideas were brought forth, modified, further refined, and expanded to become the final portrait. The theme was to highlight Otter Sqn as part of the Cadet Wing, yet as distinct in background and experience as their dress is from the Scarlet uniforms of the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) cadets. Another important feature was to have family members symbolically placed behind the squadron to acknowledge and symbolize the support provided by those at home whose patience and understanding are of critical importance to life at RMC.

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