Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Voyaging North at Arts on Queen

The above painting of a Scottish farm house, by Sheena Fraser McGoogan, forms part of a solo show called Voyaging North soon to launch in Toronto. A tenant-farmer ancestor of mine, one John McGugan (1726-84), lived in this house on the tiny island of Gigha. Voyaging North features a couple of dozen paintings of Scotland and the Arctic. They were spawned by two recent Adventure Canada voyages. In the north, Sheena was especially taken with the Greenland town of Upernavik. The launch happens on March 3 from 1 to 4 pm at Arts on Queen, 2198 Queen St. East, Toronto. The paintings will be displayed there through March

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Your PLR cheque & bravo a l'UNEQ

Yes, your PLR cheque is in the mail!
That is so, anyway, as of Wednesday, Feb. 15.
This year, the Public Lending Right Commission is distributing $9.9 million among almost 18,000 Canadian writers for the use of their books through public libraries. I've just returned from Montreal, where UNEQ -- the Union des ecrivaines et des ecrivains Quebecois -- mounted a fabulous event to close a year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of PLR (which is known in those parts as DPP / Droit de Pret Public). With the backing of the Canada Council, a variety of organizations came together at the spectacular edifice known as la Grande Bibliotheque to present what was essentially a highbrow variety show celebrating L'ecrivain dans la biliotheque. Leading writers and intellectuals joined forces with musical theatre folk to create a unique event highlighted by a revolving, three-person reading of passages and poems written by fifteen different writers. For me, it evoked l'esprit du Quebec. As chair of the PLRC, all I can say is merci . . . and BRAVO!