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

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A brief look at Elizabeth Bishop projects in 2013

Can it be that we are now well into another year? 2013. It will be a year when several Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Legacy projects fully manifest. All the effort and work of 2011-2012 will come to fruition.

The Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia is moving forward with three projects:

First, the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Writing Competition book is progressing. The EBSNS is working with Gaspereau Press in Kentville, N.S., and we are truly excited about bringing to a wider audience the wonderful pieces written by a wide range of writers, young people and adults. This book, Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop, will be launched at the EBSNS AGM in June 2013.

  "Looking Towards the Blacksmith Shop," photograph by Laurie Gunn
(will be included in Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop)

Second, “Images of My Village,” is a visual art project initiated by the EBSNS in the fall of 2012. We approached all the schools in Colchester County (about 25 schools representing all grade levels) asking for students to submit an image that represents the sense of home and one’s identity with place. The EBSNS is collaborating with the media students at the Nova Scotia Community College in Truro, N.S., to create a virtual exhibition of all the submissions. To date, we have hundreds of images. The EBSNS will choose one of the images for a permanent banner which will be put up in Great Village every summer. The virtual exhibition will be launched in Spring 2013.

Third, the Elizabeth Bishop Legacy Recording is well underway. The EBSNS continues its collaboration with soprano Suzie LeBlanc and her team of amazing musicians. The final recording session took place in November 2012. Editing and mixing will take place over the winter. The fund-raising for this project continues – both online and through direct appeal. The EBSNS and Suzie are excited to announce that the Canada Council for the Arts will provide substantial funding ($19,700) for the production and marketing aspects of this project. We want to thank all those who have supported this project so far. A launch date for the cd is still pending, but we will announce it as soon as it has been decided.

These projects are all part of the EBSNS EB100 legacy programme. There are other Elizabeth Bishop projects in the works. For example, film-maker John Scott (Magpie Productions) is working on a full-scale documentary about Bishop and continues to produce short films based on her poems. He will be shooting an adaptation of “In the Waiting Room” in Halifax in January 2013. The big Brazilian film, Flores Rares, will be released this spring, propelling Elizabeth and Lota into the stratosphere of cinema. Much of the music commissioned by Suzie LeBlanc for the legacy recording is now beginning to be performed in other parts of Canada and the world. Nova Scotia visual artist Carol Laing is working on a fascinating project about Bishop’s life, based on extensive research she has done with the archive of photographic images at Vassar College and Acadia University. Nova Scotia writer Rita Wilson is working on a book for children about Bishop's childhood in Great Village. Indeed, more books will be appearing in the coming year and we will try to keep track of this publishing programme, make note of them on the blog.

Stay tuned for announcement and notices about upcoming projects, events and activities. We hope your year will be rewarding.

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