"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nova Scotia Connections: Let the Celebrations Begin!

It is hard to believe that the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary year has arrived! – and the first of our many EB100 events are set to begin here in Nova Scotia next week – and not only in Nova Scotia, but events will also be happening in Worcester and New York City and many other places around the world where devoted readers and fans will mark this milestone of her birth and celebrate her life, work and legacy.

So many people in Nova Scotia have been working and planning for this year. I have been deeply involved myself in this planning and I am amazed by the response from dozens and dozens of artists and Bishop fans in Nova Scotia; excited by the wonderful, creative, inspiring projects, activities and events that will happen. I feel an immense gratitude for all the interest, support and engagement by so many people.

John, Suzie and I started this blog about a year ago now. It has been great fun working on it, building it into a truly interesting Bishop site. We’ve been delighted by how many people have visited and come back regularly to check out what we’re posting. We have endless ideas about what to do on this blog – the only impediment has been TIME, or lack of it. But we will keep adding to it throughout the year and we hope you will keep visiting.

I want to thank John for his wonderful “Today in Bishop” and “Today’s Video” – I suspect there are more than a few people like me out there in the Bishop world who have become addicted to seeing what he will come up with for tomorrow!! This inspired aspect of the blog is a tremendous amount of work. I hope John knows that it has brought and will continue to bring delights and insights to many people.

My own postings to the blog have been less frequent than I would like since 2011 rolled in because I’ve been caught up in the planning and preparation for our big launch events next week (the Sixth Annual Elizabeth Bishop Birthday Party and EB House fund-raiser on 6 February; the EB100 launch on 8 February; and the “Elizabeth Bishop in Words and Music” concert with Suzie LeBlanc and Symphony Nova Scotia on 10 February).

As I write this little post on the evening of 2 February, Nova Scotia is in the midst of what has quickly been dubbed the Ground Hog Day Storm of 2011 – well over a foot of snow already down and more still falling. Like most places west of us, we are in winter’s grip. We hope that people in Halifax and around Nova Scotia who can get into the city will be ready for the lively Bishop events we are offering next week, definitely a way to help dispel the winter doldrums! John, Suzie and I are looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

People keep asking me how I feel about how things have developed, unfolded and evolved. The days are so busy right now, I haven’t had much time to reflect on the fact that Nova Scotian artists have embraced Elizabeth Bishop and are helping to make the centenary celebrations wonderful. I am of course tremendously excited. Through all this effort and creativity, we hope to make many more people in Nova Scotia aware of Elizabeth Bishop and her brilliant art and her deep and abiding connection to her childhood home.

We are doing other publicity about the EB100 celebrations in Nova Scotia – radio, print, electronic. You will see some of the results of this publicity in various ways on the blog and our websites. A lovely recent development is a little print ad we had designed that will appear in Nova Scotia Tourism’s Festival & Events Guide 2011. Last summer/fall we worked with a young man from Newfoundland, Jody Burry, who has a design company in Halifax called Fogo Creative. Jody designed our wonderful EB100 logo. The response to it has been tremendously positive. When the opportunity for the ad came up, we asked Jody to design it. It is so lovely that I wanted to share it with you all.

As I’ve listed above, the first EB Centenary event happening is the birthday party on Sunday, 6 February (two days before her actual 100th birthday and our official EB100 launch – John has put up a reminder about the launch on the right hand side of the blog). It is the sixth year for the party, which from the beginning has encouraged costumes (“come as your favourite Bishop character or creature”). We have had some wonderful creations. Recently, a friend sent me a photograph taken at the first EB Birthday Party and EB House fund-raiser in 2006. I wanted to share it with you because it is such fun, and shows the wild imaginations of those who attend. Of course, it is the bus from “The Moose”!!

We are so looking forward to seeing all of you who can come. And if you do an EB centenary event in your own city, town, village or home, let us know! Happy 100th birthday Elizabeth Bishop!!! DISSOLVE IN A DAZZLING DIALECTIC!!!

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