Exhibitionists·Video

There's a fairy village in the woods of Callander, Ontario — meet the 82-year-old behind the magic

With the help of her sister, Edna Scott has created the fairy village that allows her to re-imagine a difficult childhood into a whimsical one.

Edna Scott: 'Maybe there are fairies out there. We don't know for sure'

(Vanessa Tignanelli)

Edna Scott has been an artist for over 60 years (she's 82 now, if you're wondering). And she's been perhaps best known for designing the horse for the waterfront carousel in North Bay, Ont. But for the artist herself, her most important project may be at home: she has a "fairy tale garden."

Scott has been working on this garden for 35 years, by herself on her 2.5-acre property. It keeps her physically and mentally active. She notes, "Gardeners are a different breed. They always have something to look forward to." But two years ago, Scott became inspired to create something more magical in her garden. When she was watching a kid's cartoon on television, she decided she needed to create a fairy village.

Watch the video:

With the guidance of her potter sister, Edna Scott has created a magical world dotted with fairy houses. Filmmaker: Vanessa Tignanelli 4:14

How'd she accomplish it? In this video, you'll meet Scott and her sister, Pat Stamp. Scott turned to her sister, an accomplished potter, because she realized her fairy village could be permanent and best weather the elements if it was made with clay. So, under her sister's guidance, she handmade the houses using a high-temperature stoneware clay, stains and glazes. She jokes that the practice soon became an obsession.

(CBC Arts)

All of the houses come from Scott's imagination. They all have an imperfect fantastical quality. And they're all tiny — about eight to ten inches tall. At this point, Scott has made over 30 for her garden. And she's not done yet. The fairy houses, set beside the water where she can see them from her window, offer her an opportunity to rediscover a childhood that, for her and her sister, was difficult. The fairy houses offer whimsy and fun.

Scott adds, "I must say when I get up in the morning and I look outside and I wander around the garden, it makes me happy. The fantasies of life. The unexpected. Maybe there are fairies out there. We don't know for sure."

(Vanessa Tignanelli)
(CBC Arts)
(Vanessa Tignanelli)

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About the Author

Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an instructor at OCADU and is always quite terrified of bees.