I first met George Paisiovich at a kiting event in Vineland, ON. I had not known him before the event, but he captured my attention immediately.
I was adjusting the line on a kite that I had launched and looked back towards the sidelines of the flying field when my eye caught a Steiff Roloplan kite being launched into the blue sky. What immediately struck me was the fact that the kite was not a replica; it was an original from the early 1900's. You could tell immediately that this kite was both pristine and old; something you just do not see flown in ordinary circumstances.
I walked over to the kiter at the end of the Steiff line and asked the obvious: "Is that an original Steiff?" George answered with a huge smile, '"Yes, isn't it a beauty?" I agreed and was somewhat dumbfounded that a kite of this vintage and value would be flown at an ordinary kite event.
What I did not realize at the time was that this simple deed of flying a valuable kite treasure as an ordinary act really exemplifies George Paisiovich.
George is passionate about kites and kite history. He is the Director of the Kite Museum of Canada. George is currently in the process of moving the collection from its initial site on Pelee Island to London, ON.
I have spent countless hours talking with George about kites and their history. The word that most often comes to mind when I think of his connection to kites is the word joy. George admires the beauty and elegance of each kite that he collects. He takes delight in gathering up old black and white photos of ordinary people, kids and adults alike, flying kites in the past. He will often say: "Look at their smiles" -or- "Doesn't that just capture the essence of kite flying".
I have also come to know that George feels a strong need to save kite artifacts for Canada and Canadians. He wants this country to have its own connection to kites of the past and to the kite heritage that is uniquely Canadian. To that end, he has worked with Parks Canada, the A.G. Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, and the Bell family to promote wide knowledge among Canadians of the rich kiting and aviation heritage that springs from the kite work of Alexander Graham Bell in Nova Scotia.
At the same time as he works to gather kite artifacts, George knows that he is only the temporary custodian of the past. He relishes the joy of sharing the kites in a new museum and exhibition setting that he is working to establish in the coming years in his home of London, ON.
Recently an article in the business section of Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper featured a story about George and his collection of historic kites and kiting artifacts. Read it and I think you will have some insights into the joy that George derives from kites and from sharing their story.