Ondaatje, Thompson, Drawer Boy events planned for Munro Festival - May 4, 2017
The newly-renovated Blyth Memorial Hall will play host to two very important events that will be part of the Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story, set to take place at the beginning of June.
First, Blyth will set the stage for the official kick-off for the event, when it welcomes decorated author Michael Ondaatje to Memorial Hall for a special night of film and conversation.
Ondaatje is best known for his literary work as the author of The English Patient, Anil’s Ghost and In The Skin Of A Lion and the numerous awards he’s won over the years, including the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize and the Booker Prize. However, in the early 1970s, Ondaatje directed a film called The Clinton Special, a documentary on the making and production of The Farm Show nearly Clinton in 1972.
The film will be screened on Friday night, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. and it will be followed by a discussion between Ondaatje and Farm Show director and Member to the Order of Canada Paul Thompson.
Thompson will also be the subject of another film being screened that weekend when Theatre Beyond Walls is screened at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 3. The documentary that features on the work of Thompson has been created by his daughter, Rachel, and will span the entirety of his career.
On Saturday night, June 3, The Drawer Boy: From Stage To Screen take place at Memorial Hall, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the lower hall. The event will feature a discussion with the film's director, producer and some members of the cast.
The Drawer Boy film, created by Arturo Pérez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff, was filmed largely in Huron County – namely at the Lobb farm in Central Huron and the famous home of Ted Johns and Janet Amos in Belgrave that was the inspiration for the play I’ll Be Back Before Midnight.
This event will take place before the film begins making the film festival rounds later this year.
The festival will also include a number of events throughout the county, many of which will be in Wingham.
A master class will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning with an author panel entitled “Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunties” with authors Falen Johnson, Cherie Dimaline and Lee Maracle at the Wingham Town Hall Heritage Theatre. At 10:45 a.m., there will be an author reading by Marnie Jackson and Merilyn Simonds in the council chambers on the ground floor of the same building.
Also at 10:45 a.m., following “Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunties” in the Town Hall Heritage Theatre, Theatre Beyond Walls will be screened.
On Saturday, a lunch will be held to honour those who took home awards as a result of the festival’s annual short story writing contest. Following lunch, there will be an afternoon program with the film Al Purdy Was Here by Brian D. Johnson in the Town Hall Heritage Theatre at 2:30 p.m. and a master class with Merilyn Simonds at the Alice Munro Library, as well as author readings by Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life and Lee Maracle across the street at St. Andrew’s Church.
At 4:30 p.m., Eva Crocker and Falen Johnson will read at the church, while Marni Jackson conducts a master class in the Wingham council chambers.
On Sunday morning at 8 a.m., Kyo Maclear and local guide Roger Goddard will lead a birding walk along the Maitland Trail.
The weekend will wrap up with a “Books and Brunch” event at The Livery in Goderich from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Merilyn Simonds, Marni Jackson and Eva Crocker.
The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story has been a part of the early summer in northern Huron County for a number of years. Named after Wingham’s own Nobel Prize-winning short story author, the festival has sought to encourage people throughout the community and the province to both read and write at the highest possible levels.
Those buying a writer’s pass to the festival will be able to sit in on four master classes, as well as the festival’s events.
For more information on the Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story, or to buy tickets to events, visit www.alicemunrofestival.ca.