Roots Stories

October 24, 2023

Main Feature Image Heather Cooper Painting, 1976

Q: Can you take us back to 1973 and share the story behind your iconic painting and logo that Don and Michael commissioned initially? What inspired you to create it?

A: “I began my journey in 1962, but it wasn't until the early '70s that I crossed paths with the founders. The choice of the beaver was symbolic of its industrious nature and paid homage to their shared childhood memories at camp. 'Roots' was the name the founders truly desired. Together, we delved into various logo possibilities, and in 1976, the iconic beaver painting became an integral part of our story.”

Q: The original logo you designed has become synonymous with Roots and is recognized worldwide. How does it feel to know the evolution of your work has become an enduring symbol of Canada?

A: “It feels very good, it lightens things up. I see it on all kinds of people. It was only a good logo because it was a good company.”

Q: Canada is known for its breathtaking wilderness and natural beauty. How has Canadian nature influenced your artistic vision and the themes in your artwork?

A: “Nature has greatly influenced my work over the years. I'm drawn to growth and abundance. I'm not an abstract painter, and I never will be. What I create isn't realistic — it's a graphic reinterpretation of reality.”

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring artists who hope to create lasting and impactful pieces of art that resonate with people for decades, as your work has done?

A: “Transcending time is a learning process. Initially, you're drawn to follow the crowd, but with time, you detour towards your true passions. Ignore trends and stay on your path. Keep going, even if you occasionally deviate – you always return to your purpose.”

Q: What can you tell us about Don and Michael, having known them from the beginning?

A: “I admire them. It's rare to find two people who, in many respects, are quite different but share one singular vision and have kept it alive for 50 years. We affectionately call them the Roots boys. I think it's incredible what they've built. Don and Michael have always been there.”