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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Events – Nova Scotia Update

After a highly successful launch week for our Elizabeth Bishop Centenary (EB100) celebrations here in Nova Scotia (6 to 10 February 2011), which happened in the depth of a snowy, cold, windy winter, there was a little break in activity, but the various EB100 committees and artists have been busy planning upcoming events – and as spring approaches, it is time to give an update about all this activity. {N.B. For more information, check out the links in each of the items below.}

Great Village, N.S. (Photo by Laurie Gunn)


Writing Competition:

On 15 March 2011 “In the Village”: The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Writing Competition, 2011 closed to submissions. The submissions are still coming in by Canada Post, but to date we have received 100, covering all five categories. We are pleased about this response. The judges will be making their choices in April and May. We will be announcing the winners at the EBSNS Annual General Meeting on 18 June 2011, and prizes will be awarded at the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Arts Festival in Great Village, 19-21 June 2011. For more information about the Writing Competition and to hear a wonderful audio recording of Elizabeth Bishop’s story “In the Village,” go to the Writing Competition page on the EBSNS website.

Viewpoint Gallery’s “One Art: Exhibition:

On 29 March Sandra Barry and Roxanne Smith will present an information session at ViewPoint Gallery, 1272 Barrington St., Halifax, N.S., at 7:00 p.m., about “One Art” ViewPoint’s open call interdisciplinary exhibition in celebration of the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary. For more information about the call and exhibition, go to the ViewPoint Gallery website. Deadline for submissions is 15 April. The exhibition and related programming will take place throughout September 2011.


Read by the Sea Literary Festival Fund-raiser:

“Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil,” an evening of words and music celebrating Elizabeth Bishop’s Brazilian connections, will take place on 2 April 2011 at The Palace, 41 Water St., Pictou, N.S., at 7:00 p.m. Featuring our own John Barnstead reading excerpts of Bishop’s poems and prose with fantastic Brazilian music by Cocada (Joanne Hatfield, Dawn Hatfield and Jef Wirchenko). For more information go to the Read by the Sea website.

Story-telling Salon: Tribute to Elizabeth Bishop:

Halifax storyteller Claire Miller will host one of her popular storytelling and music salons at her home in Halifax, N.S., on Sunday 17 April, which will be a tribute to Elizabeth Bishop. She will be joined by well-know, award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Susan Crowe. This event is a fund-raiser for the Elizabeth Bishop House. Seating is limited and already sold out. Claire is the reader of “In the Village,” the audio recording done for the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Writing Competition.

EB Projected: Short Films about Elizabeth Bishop:

The EBSNS joined forces with interdisciplinary artists and film-maker Linda Rae Dornan, from Sackville, N.B., to call for new short films about Elizabeth Bishop. There will be launch screening of these films on Friday, 29 April, at The Music Room, 6181 Lady Hammond Rd., in Halifax, N.S., 7:00-9:00 p.m. We will post much more information about this event as this date approaches.



Art Exhibitions:

The EBSNS is working in partnership with the Truro Arts Society to mount two exciting EB Centenary art exhibitions.

Paint the village weekend:
Visual artists are invited to experience the Village that contributed so much to the art and poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. Artists are invited to spend the weekend of June 4 & 5, 2011, painting or photographing Great Village. The Elizabeth Bishop House and the Great Village Legion will also be open for indoor painting especially in the case of inclement weather. For artists outside of the Truro area, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia will arrange billeting in Great Village for Saturday night (including Sunday breakfast). There will also be a supper and a Saturday night mingling for all participating artists at the Joy Laking Gallery. Susan Tooke and Richard Rudnicki as well as Joy are participating artists. For full information about the art weekend, see Paint the Village Weekend page on the EBSNS website.

Paint your own village:
The other exhibition is entitled “In the Village.” One of Elizabeth’s Bishop’s most famous short stories, “In the Village,” is set in Great Village. As background to this exhibition, artist’s are encouraged to listen to the entire 55 minute story on the Elizabeth Bishop website – go to the Writing Competition page and scroll down to the bottom. Then artists are encouraged to visually recreate their own personal “Where I came from” art piece. This exhibition mirrors the “In the Village” writing competition. One submission per artist that interprets the artist’s own life or past, will be accepted and displayed at McCarthy Hall and at the Elizabeth Bishop Arts Festival. In addition, several will be chosen to be photographed and reproduced in a book that will be published in 2012. This book will feature the prize winning stories of the “In the Village” Writing Competition and some of the art from the “In the Village” visual art exhibition. For full information about this exhibition go to the Art Exhibitions page on the EBSNS website.


The sap is running in the maples. The snow is vanishing from the yards. The birds are singing their mating songs. With the vernal equinox just a couple days away, the tight grip of winter is easing and spring is finally coming to Nova Scotia. With it a burst of Elizabeth Bishop Centenary activity. We will keep you updated here about events, but you can check out the listing on the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Events website.

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