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Filmmaker among those getting county cultural funding

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Troy Shantz

Lambton County director Aaron Huggett hopes to separate fact from fiction in his next film on Billy Bishop, the Canadian war hero.

“Some of the details of his accounts of heroism have been questioned over the years, or aren’t supported by facts. So we’re going to explore that,” said Huggett.

The film, to be shot in late 2019, is one of 23 cultural projects getting money from Lambton County’s Creative County Grant Program.

It’s the first county grant for Huggett and his company, Electric Motion Pictures, which made Red Ryan, The Black Donnellys and soon-to-be released Black Gold.

“It will be a very considerable chunk of what’s needed to tell that story well,” he said of the $15,000.

A total of $126,325 in funding was announced; bringing to $1.47 million the amount the fund has invested in local cultural projects.

Huggett said the Billy Bishop story will be told alongside that of First World War sniper Francis Pegahmagabow.

Although Bishop became famous, some historians regard Pegahmagabow, an Ojibwe soldier from Parry Sound, as the greatest sniper of the war.

“If he was an American war hero he’d be a household name,” he said. “But the reality is he was a First Nations Canadian and as a result his story just really hasn’t been told.”

The 15-day filming of ‘The Ace and the Scout’ will be shot in Lambton County with a recreated battlefield scene – trenches and all. At least one day will be spent filming in Hamilton with plans to use vintage warplanes, he said.

Huggett’s most recent film, Black Gold, will be released at Imperial Theatre on Jan. 19. Tickets are available at

Some other Creative County grants with a Sarnia focus include:


* $10,000 to Tourism Sarnia-Lambton to support 2019 Tall Ships Challenge.

* $12,000 to the South Western International Film Festival in 2019.

* $7,800 to Pathways Health Centre for Children for ARTZone @ ARTZscape.

* $900 for the expansion of a recently created intergenerational Community Choir.

* $2,400 for the House Concert Series at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts.

* $6,250 to Jazz and Blues in the Village for a free, Saturday afternoon matinee.

* $5,000 to Theatre Sarnia for the Rising Stars Youth Theatre program.

* $10,000 for the integration of local talent at the Bluewater BorderFest Music Festival.

* $3,450 for the production of a historical documentary film tracing the story of Elizabeth Workman.



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