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.


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 traveled 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 end of Forest House, and subsequently canoed to the location of the main lodge.

View Larger Map

Zane spent the winter of 2012/2013 defining and refining the list of equipment to be used at Forest House. When it was all said and done, Zane's Chevy Equinox was "packed to the brim" for the trip to Missinipe. Zane's studio in Saskatoon is powered by a giant, liquid-cooled Alienware PC. Based on this tower's size and power consumption, the decision was made to go to a Dell Precision M6700 Lap Top. All software was extensively tested on the Lap Top before the trip to Forest House. Basic equipment included:
  • Dell Precision M6700; Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3940XM CPU @ 3.00GHz 3.20 GHz; 32 GB RAM
  • Pro Tools 10
  • Axiom 61 Keyboard
  • KRK Rokit 5 Powered Monitors
  • Blue Bottle Rocket StageTwo Mic
  • Blue B0 Bottle Cap
  • Blue B6 Bottle Cap
  • AKG Perception 820 Tube mic
  • Rhode NTF mic
  • Sennnheiser HD 800 Headphones
  • Sennheiser HD 650 Headphpnes
  • Glyph 500 GB External Hard Drive
  • Glyph 3T External Hard Drive
  • VoxGuard Vocal Baffle System

Forest House runs on a solar-powered grid, with batteries charged by energy from the sun. The big question was whether all recording equipment would run off stored power. To complicate things even further, just prior to the Naomi recording sessions, the solar storage batteries were accidentally drained. Recharging began with a gas-driven generator two days before Sue and Zane were to arrive. When recording began, power still had not been fully restored to the batteries. As it turns out, the Blue Bottle Rocket Stage Two Mic, a tube mic with its own power supply, would not run on the normal grid and had to be powered directly from the generator. Fortunately, the generator was far enough from the equipment as to not cause noise pollution.



On June 18, 2013, Zane suffered a mild heart attack, putting the entire project in jeopardy. Zane's response to this eye-opening heart event was to radically change his diet and walk 2-3 miles daily. By early August he had received medical clearance to travel to Forest House.


Share Naomi's Wave With Your Friends!


Copyright © 2013 Churchill River Canoe Outfitters/Forest House/CyberSlang Consulting/Sue Leonard

All Rights Reserved.