Naomi's Wave - A Year Later - Overcoming Hurdles

August 24, 2014
One year after starting The Naomi project with my friend, Sue Leonard, it remains uncompleted. Why?...... bad luck, a lack of funds, and the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
What is the Naomi Project? The following is taken from the Naomi's Wave website.

About The Naomi Project


In a Nutshell.....

The Naomi Project is a collaboration between Ric Driediger (Churchill River Canoe Outfitters/Forest House), Zane Hrynewich (CyberSlang Consulting) and Sue Leonard (songwriter/recording artist, Hamilton, Ontario). The concept began as a simple conversation between Ric and Zane in the fall of 2012. Zane had just returned from a visit to Forest House. He had posted pictures of his trip on his website, which Sue had seen. (view pics) Ric and Zane had discussed the possibility of using the serenity, beauty, and ambience of Forest House as a backdrop for a musical project on many occasions. Coincidentally, upon viewing Zane's pictures, Sue had messaged him, saying that it was the prefect setting for a musical collaboration. Zane relayed this to Ric. Ric agreed, and the initial concept for The Naomi Project was born.

Naomi Heffler

Remembering Naomi.....

Naomi Grace Heffler was a vibrant, energetic, passionate young woman, who passed away in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada on Monday, January 20, 2003, at the age of 25 years. Naomi had been a summer employee of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, where she deeply impressed owner, Ric Driediger, with her personality, her energy, and her fervor for the outdoors. In 2003, Ric Driediger, owner of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, started the "Naomi Fund" in memory of Naomi. Funds are raised through raffles of donated items, such as home-made quilts, photos, books, etc. displayed at Churchill River Canoe Outfitter's office in Missinipe, SK. Bursaries are then awarded in Naomi's name, to young people pursuing outdoor studies.

Zane had never met Naomi, but was moved by her story. Employees of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters who knew Naomi spoke of her with such high regard and fondness. She truly was a remarkable young woman. Ric, Zane and Sue agreed that using Forest House to inspire music dedicated to the spirit of Naomi would be the goal.

A Year of Planning.....

In order to make the Naomi Project happen, many logistical issues needed to be addressed, ranging from travel, to equipment, to writing music together while living thousands of miles apart, and much more.

Building a Working Relationship:

Sue Leonard and Zane Hrynewich met  via social media in 2011. Soon after, Zane featured Sue on CanIndie, his website promoting Canadian Independent Recording Artists. This was followed by Zane's design of Sue's new personal website and accompanying online store, Leonardville. The pair agreed to work on the Naomi Project together in September, 2012, but would not meet in person until August 25, 2013, one day before the duo had to make a six-hour drive together to Missinipe SK, to then fly to Forest House.


Forest House is set on the shore of a pristine lake in the McLennan Lake area of northern Saskatchewan, Canada about 150 km north of Lac la Ronge. Sue Leonard arrived in Saskatoon, SK on August 25, 2013. On August 26, the two drove to Missinipe. They and their gear then travelled to Hutchings Lake, next to the tiny lake Forest House is located on,  in a De Havilland DHC-3 Turbo Otter. It was necessary to land on Hutchings Lake, because the lake at Forest House was too small to accommodate float plane landings. The gear was then portaged into the west end of Forest House, and subsequently canoed to the location of the main lodge.

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Where Does The Project Sit Now?

Last September, the tracks were sent to my brother, Orest to be mixed. Unfortunately, family considerations and time limitations forced him to remove himself from the project. I then began mixing the tracks. (Although I consider myself qualified to teach the basics of digital recording, in no way do I feel I am a world-class engineer). In December 2014, a close friend of Sue Leonard's (who doesn't wish to have his name published) heard some of my preliminary mixes. This man is a renowned engineer, with an amazing list of credentials, including Deep Purple, Chicago, Rainbow, The BeeGees, The Police, The McGarrigle Sisters, Uzeb, Robert Charlebois, Cat Stevens and Nazareth. He expressed an interest in donating his time to mix for us and did a rough mix of "Ashes to Ashes", one of our songs.
Shortly thereafter, this poor man contracted the H1N1 virus. He became so ill, doctors were forced to keep him in prolonged induced coma. At one point, he also suffered a heart attack. Needless to say, his recovery was much more vital than working on the Naomi Project, so the tracks came back to me. 2014 saw me swamped with day-to-day commitments. I tried to find engineers who would donate their time, but I was unsuccessful.
To this point, this entire project was executed through donations of goods, services and time, on a very limited budget. It was done as an experiment in an attempt to honor a young lady with an amazing story, who lived a short, but amazing life. I have vowed to complete it. So, once again, I will be mixing, as my time allows with the goal of finishing all tracks as soon as I can.

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