Glebe artists win at film festival

Kent, Jordan Mike McKay Feb 2016 MikeinStudio
Mike McKay filming in Jaya Krishnan’s studio
Photo: Jaya Krishnan

By Jordan Kent

Mike McKay, a Glebe-based filmmaker, has won an award at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival (MOFF). He won the Best Film from Away for his film Chaos Theory: Point of Divergence. The film offers stunning footage of kayaking on the White Salmon River in Washington and it features Ottawa artist Jaya Krishnan.

Mike and Jaya are long-time friends and neighbours in the Glebe. The film developed from a conversation they had one night. Mike recounted, “Jaya was talking about what art represents to him and the calmness that he gets from applying his craft. It was the feeling that I was trying to achieve from the whole chaos theory concept in relation to extreme kayaking. It felt only natural to include him on the project.”

The short film is the third in a series that explores the adventure sport of whitewater kayaking. The film blends shots of Jaya creating his paintings in his studio with footage of professional kayaker Aaron “Capo” Rettig. Unlike most whitewater kayak films that aim to show the intensity of the sport, Chaos Theory captures the artistry and serenity of whitewater kayaking. The strokes of Jaya’s paintbrush and the strokes of Rettig’s paddle intertwine to render the wild White Salmon River on canvas.

The Maine Outdoor Film Festival recognized the professionalism that Mike brought to the film. The film festival, which features films from around the world, held an awards ceremony at the Portland Museum of Art. Mike accepted the award in absentia but was very pleased to have won the Best Film from Away award. He said, “Previously I had received some awards in the paddling-specific world. To see a film like this push beyond the paddle sports genre has made me extremely proud.”

Mike McKay runs a video production company called Five2Nine out of Ottawa. He has had a number of successful whitewater kayak series including Currents and Made in Canada. In addition, he has completed projects for Red Bull, Easter Seals Ontario and Montreal Tourism. Visit to see Chaos Theory and some of Mike McKay’s other projects.

Mike is currently developing a short film on the Rio Jondachi in Ecuador. The river is at risk of being harmed by a hydroelectric project and he is hoping to shine a light on that through an artistic creative piece. He is also looking to help local businesses by creating professional videos for them to use for marketing.

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Jaya Krishnan creating inspiring art
Photo: Mike McKay

Jaya, a well-known Glebe resident, has been painting in Ottawa since 1979. The Malaysia-born artist studied at an art school in Kuala Lumpur but considers himself self-taught. Jaya’s paintings can be seen at his art gallery at 137 Second Avenue, Suite 1. There you will see impressionist landscapes and abstract and figurative works. Alternatively, visit his website at

Kent, Jordan Mike McKay Feb 2016 MOFF2015_0411_SamuelCousinsPhoto
Mike McKay won an award at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival in Portland, Maine for his film Chaos Theory: Point of Divergence.
Photo: Samuel Cousins

The film festival has raised funds and awareness since 2013 for Teens to Trails, a Brunswick, Maine-based not-for-profit that supports Maine high school outing clubs with cash grants, organizational support and programming. Over $1,500 was raised this year for the organization through MOFF’s efforts.

Jordan Kent runs a digital marketing business, Medium Message, and is an avid whitewater kayaker.

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