Gary flew kites as a child in the 1970s, He really began avidly flying in Vancouver, British Columbia during the late 1980s. He was inspired by one of the greatest international kite ambassadors, Ray Bethell. Kiting in Vancouver’s Vanier Park was an almost daily affair for three seasons of the year in the early 1990s. Whilst honing his dual-line skills, Gary became acquainted with the prominent giant kitebuilder of the Northwest, Art Ross. Gary regularly aided Art in launching his signature giant flowform kites in the gentle Pacific breezes at English Bay.
Gary developed a new passion for kites. He and his wife Michelle travelled to the Washington State International Kite Festivalfor several consecutive years. This gave them the opportunity to meet many kite flyers and builders. A few of those people included David Gomberg, Corey Jensen, Scott Skinner, Ken Conrad, Kathy Goodwind, Randy Tom & Mark Reed.
Moving to Toronto in the mid-1990s gave Gary a new perspective on kite flying. The Aviators, an award winning father and son team lived in the area. Jim and Jeff Poy flew in stunt kite competitions all over North America. Other well know kiters lived in the area as well. Kite altitude record-holder Richard Synergy, AKA multiple champion Lam Hoac, Kitelines editor/reviewer Michael Graves, and prolific kite artists Adrian Conn and Eric Curtis and Anne Slaboda of Boreal Kites lived close by.
Gary’s has an extensive collection of kites. Historical & cultural kites include countries like China, Korea & India. He also collected kites built by people in North America. Kevin Shannon, Ron Gibian, Richard Gareau, Dan Flintjer, Reza and Joel Scholz just to name a few. The final jump into collecting large show kites began with a purchase of a used Sutton 252 at a Buffalo kite auction in 2000. Gary now owns several huge show pieces & Peter Lynn inflatables. His collection also includes an extensive collection of Art Ross foils and a huge seventy five pound sixty foot diameter rotating Bol. Gary does make some of his own kites but says he struggles with the sewing machine. He also has a sizeable kite book collection and dabbles in KAP, para-critters, miniatures, pins and patches, and fighters. Gary and his kite collection have travelled to many kite festivals all over the world. He cherishs all the international relationships that have developed over his two decades of kiting.
Gary now owns and runs Blue Sky Kites. It’s a wholesale and retail kite business. He also enjoys organizing kite events on behalf of the Toronto Kite Fliers, Canadian Kite Federation and the Drachen Foundation. The Descendants of Alexander Graham Bell presented Gary with a genuine Bell tetrahedral cell in 2007. It was given in recognition of Gary’s organizing skills for creating the 2007 Cygnet Centennial Celebration. He considers that event as high light of his kiting career.
Kites continue to capture his fascination and imagination everyday. If you see Gary on the field please say hello!