Thomas Clair


Thomas Clair is a Mi’kmaq artist from the Elsipogtog band in New Brunswick, Canada (pop. 4000). At the age of seven, he was removed from his band and sent to a Residential school. Four years later, he was returned to his community. At 13,Thomas left the Reserve to hitchhike throughout New Brunswick. Three years later in Ottawa, Ontario he found work as a dishwasher. Thomas held a succession of manual jobs beginning with dishwashing, commercial cleaning, and construction work where he earned his way to Foreman of the construction site. While searching for that unknown missing piece to his life, Thomas picked up acrylic paints and canvas — and his artistic talents began to flourish. During Thomas’ artistic exploration, he rediscovered his Mi’kmaq culture and heritage. From that point on, all that he did and does is true to his roots. His paintings evolved into Mi’kmaq art, he attended spiritual ceremonies (such as, Sweats), cultural gatherings and PowWows. Thomas became a traditional dancer to further expand his creative talents and energy. Traditional dancing opened the doors to acting in films — Hollywood came calling! He started his acting with roles as a warrior in the movie Scarlet Letter, a chief in The New World, and the evil scorcerer, Tadodaho in First Nations Movie and Chat Pictou in a CBCTV miniseries ; Le Clan. His love of music, especially the Blues, resonates in his song writing, singing, and sounds from his guitar. Performing at Hard Rock Cafe (Toronto, ON, CAN), Stage Red (Tyendinega), Montreal Theatre (Montreal, QC, CAN), and Fledermas Cabaret (Vienna, Austria), (WestFest Ottawa) flowed naturally for Thomas.

Some of Thomas’s paintings are exhibited at the Friends United International Convention Centre, since there were purchased by Rolf Bouman. Thomas has been coming frequently to Nova Scotia with his friend David Maracle and they have together performed many time at the Friends United International Convention Centre for an international audience.

Thomas Claire

More Artists…