Community Invited to Attend L.M. Montgomery Conference

October 22, 2008 - News Release

Spaces are still available for the University of Guelph's international conference celebrating the life and influence of Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

"From Canada to the World: the Cultural Influence of Lucy Maud Montgomery" runs Thursday through Sunday and will bring some of this country's foremost Montgomery scholars and biographers to Guelph. The conference features a unique combination of lectures, performances, films, music, tours and exhibitions.

People may attend the entire conference or purchase tickets for individual events and sessions, including film screenings and a gala dinner featuring a keynote talk by Pamela Wallin.

Preregistration is required. Ticket information, a full conference program and more information are available online.
There are a limited number of sponsored spaces available for U of G students that allow them to attend the conference free of charge. Interested students should contact Claire Alexander at Ext. 53098 or

The conference begins Thursday with "Takes on Maud," two special film screenings being held at the Bookshelf in downtown Guelph at 7 p.m. I Know a Secret (1984) is based on a short story by Montgomery, and the Academy Award-winning Boys and Girls (1982) was adapted from the story by Alice Munro and reflects themes Montgomery addressed in her writings.

The films will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Michael MacMillan, the films' Oscar-winning producer and a film and television executive; retired U of G English professor Elizabeth Waterston, a Montgomery scholar; Benjamin Lefebvre, a writer and contributor to Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture; and Prof. Paul Salmon of the School of English and Theatre Studies. A reception in the E-bar follows the discussion. The cost is $15, with tickets available at the Bookshelf and the U of G bookstore.

On Friday, a bus tour heads to Bala, Ont., to visit the L.M. Montgomery Museum. The museum features Montgomery's stay in Muskoka, which became the setting for her only Ontario-based novel, The Blue Castle. The bus will leave at 7:30 a.m.; cost is $65.

On Saturday, U of G president Alastair Summerlee gets things started with an 8:45 a.m. welcome address. The day's events feature a series of discussions and lectures, including afternoon talks by two of the most pre-eminent Montgomery experts in the world — Waterston and retired English professor Mary Rubio.

Rubio has written a biography about Montgomery, The Gift of Wings, and she will read from the biography and talk about the process of writing it. Waterston will discuss Rilla of Ingleside as one of the few women's war novels about the First World War, and her new book about Montgomery, Magic Island.

There will be a special luncheon based on recipes from Montgomery's personal cookbook. Food writer Liz Driver will discuss the cookbook as an artifact.

On Saturday evening, U of G chancellor Pamela Wallin will give a keynote address to conference participants at a gala dinner at the Delta Hotel in Guelph. A live dinner show by Jack and Linda Hutton will include movie stills from a lost 1919 silent movie, Anne of Green Gables, starring Mary Miles Minter.

Sunday features a coach tour of Montgomery's Ontario homes in Uxbridge and Norval, as well as churches, gardens and walkways that inspired her writings.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982/

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1