Lise Anne and Mike Salisbury Janis

A Fall Wedding Under a Beautiful Sugar Maple Tree


Lise Anne and Mike were married at the Arboretum in 2019. They share memories of her Mom’s delight at the choir singing outdoors as well as Mike’s recollection of the magical sensation walking through the trees to the ceremony site. They have revisited the site of their nuptials many times since the ceremony.
Interview by Amy Moffat, HIST*3560 student, University of Guelph.

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0:00 I’m Janice and I am a retired real estate agent.

0:05 I  don’t, I don’t like to think of myself as a real estate agent anymore.

0:08S o I’m just retired and I’m a student at the University of Guelph.

0:18 My name is Mike Salisbury.

0:20 I am a professional artist used to be a city councilor and my relationship to the space I went, I, I studied landscape architecture at Guelph.

0:33 And so this space is an urban green space was always sort of a, a, an important place, but it’s also as an arboretum with the, just as a, an, an outstanding kind of natural space in the middle of the city, be able to work for me.

0:51 So we’re sitting in a fairly level green space, open space.

1:00 And behind me is a very large Sugar Maple that turns a gorgeous shade of red in the fall.

1:11 And behind Mike is the Arboretum Center that has it has some really beautiful ivy growing up the posts.

1:27 And at the time in 2019, that full concrete wall, that retaining wall was covered with ivy and it was bright red too.

1:38 And it’s just as we were walking around here one day, we said this, this, this is the place particular memory of mine is that I asked my parents who are in their late eighties to walk me up the aisle to meet Mike at the front here.

1:57 And my mom has dementia and she, I had also, I had asked our choir to sing.

2:05 my, so some members of my, of the Guelph community singers were here singing in this little gazebo.

2:13 And mom used to lead a choir and she could remember that.

2:17 And she would, she was pulling my hand, she wanted to join the choir.

2:21 She didn’t realize that we were having a wedding.

2:22 She just wanted to, to go and be with the choir and sing, you know.

2:27 So I remember part of, one of my memories is no mom, we’re going this way, you know, it was, it was kind of fun was the entryway to the space, did not go through the building, but, but through the, through the forest.

2:45 And so the, and it’s, you know, it’s what, 100 yards maybe.

2:48 And so the idea is they could park and then there was this sort of this, they’d had to walk through a forest path to get to the ceremony, which I thought was a really cool sort of reveal of the space.

3:02 It’s an element of sacred spaces is what’s called a, like a threshold, so to cross over and leave the the profane behind and entering into the spiritual, this idea of, of going through a journey to, to go to a new space.

3:19 And so it really was like that was, I think one of the part that I tried that I liked about that entry way was that it gave people that sense that they were entering into a new space, they were leaving what they had brought with them, you know, what, what they had their life behind, they were now entering into a, a new thing.

3:37 And, and, and, and I think that’s a powerful experience for this space is to come in and then of course, it’s fairly dark as, as you go through that forest pathway, it’s fairly dark and then it opens up in this big bright sunny space and, and, and all references to where you were before are gone.

3:54 And so there was that effect of coming to AAA like a magical place or a spiritual place or a special place that, that, that because you, you left behind the, the world that you’ve been before and, and that was one when we were looking at it, it was, it was a big piece for me.

4:11 Oh, I like this, right?

4:12 Because the other would be to go through the building and it’s a beautiful building and all, but that’s, it’s not the same, right.