Tag Archives: Anne of Green Gables

Memo From the Boss

Canada 150 has arrived! As the national memorial to the founding of Canada, there is no better place to celebrate the sesquicentennial of our Confederation than right here. In the heart of Canada’s Birthplace visitors will find entertaining and expressive ways to honour this important anniversary across the complex, inside and out. Our ‘Centre for all Canadians’ has launched a diverse, accessible, and forward-thinking calendar of local and touring programming, entitled #Centre150. These exciting projects range from commemorative art exhibitions and a new commission in the Confederation Murals series, to expanded heritage programs, and an original touring production from some of Canada’s most gifted emerging performers.

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The Centre’s signature project is The Dream Catchers, a national touring production supported by the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Fund. This winter, an artistic team travels to each province and territory to facilitate workshops, engaging young people and their dreams for our country, focusing on the environment, inclusion, and reconciliation. Actual dreamcatchers will be created in each workshop and integrated by Indigenous visual artist Nick Huard into a stunning national dreamcatcher, which will exhibited here all summer long. These sessions will be led in collaboration with regional artists, including Fred Penner, Emm Gryner, Paper Lions, City Natives, and more.

Inspired by young people’s visions for a better and brighter Canada, The Dream Catchers creative team will produce a vibrant musical for an expanded 2017 Young Company. Two troupes of emerging artists will present this new show across the country and on P.E.I., premiering here at Confederation Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21st.

In 2016 we announced a major sponsorship with CN for the Confederation Players. CN has now extended sponsorship of the Players through 2020 and invited the troupe to perform in Ottawa this June for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference where 2,000 municipal leaders will gather. CN is planning additional events that will engage our heritage troupe, including tree-planting ceremonies across the country. In the earliest days of our nation’s Confederation, the Canadian railway bound this far-reaching country together and I cannot imagine a more ideal partner to aid us in commemorating the dreams of our founders and sharing the nation’s stories.

From May 12-14, we will play host to the 20th annual Canadian Arts Summit, bringing together arts leaders from across the country to imagine the future of Canada’s creative life. As we look ahead, issues around cultural diversity and inclusion, evolving digital technologies, cross-cultural intersections, and reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada are emerging as major drivers of cultural transformation. This event is Canada’s only national, cross-disciplinary gathering of arts leaders and this marks the first time the Summit has been held outside of Banff, Toronto, or Montreal. We are thrilled to welcome these thought leaders to their national memorial complex, many of whom will be enjoying their first-ever Island visit.

In other symposium news, we will present The Charlottetown Festival Conference in September, aligning with the dates of that famous 1864 conference. Celebrating new ideas and industry developments, this national gathering will include keynote lectures, workshops, a concert performance of the Dora-winning musical The House of Martin Guerre, and the world premiere of A Misfortune at The Mack.

On July 28, we will also revisit the classic Kronborg 1582, celebrating of one of our Festival’s most successful musicals. This hit show was produced here in 1975 before heading to Broadway and the Festival ensemble will deliver a concert performance at the world-renowned Indian River Church. This is just one highlight of a glistening summer calendar, which includes Adam Brazier’s debut directing our beloved Anne of Green Gables-The Musical TM, the East Coast premiere of the rollicking rock show Million Dollar Quartet, and the return of our cabaret theatre hits, Bittergirl and Glenda’s Kitchen.

As ever, the Centre is alive and buzzing in all corners. Our long-standing dance umbrella program is currently spearheading the creation of the inaugural DanceWorks Festival for this winter while the Confederation Centre Youth Chorus are preparing for their annual chorus tour, which will take them to Rome, Naples, and beyond this year.

As I commence my sixth year as CEO, I am immensely proud of the many innovations prospering across our departments, and am eager to see our organization embrace the central themes, inspiration, and reflection at the heart of Canada 150.

Jessie Inman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Confederation Centre.

Green Gables Quick Facts

Anne of Green Gables was an immediate success when it was first published in 1908. It sold nineteen thousand copies in the first five months.

It went into ten printings in its first year and was translated into Swedish as early as 1909.

It has since been translated into more than a dozen languages.

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It is believed that more than 50 million copies have been sold worldwide.

The term “Anne of Green Gables” is currently a registered trademark, owned jointly by the Province of Prince Edward Island and the heirs of L.M. Montgomery. Producers of Anne-related products outside of PEI pay a royalty to the family while Island producers make Anne items royalty free.

First staged at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown in 1965 as part of the inaugural Charlottetown Festival, Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™ now holds a Guinness World Record as the longest running annual musical!

About 3.3-million people world-wide have seen the musical – in Charlottetown and other Canadian cities, as well New York, London (England), and Japan. In Charlottetown alone, over 2.1-million people have seen the show (from 1965 to 2015)

Seventeen Canadian actors have performed the lead role of Anne Shirley since 1965.

Based on L.M. Montgomery‘s novel Anne of Green Gables, first published in 1908, the musical was written and composed by Don Harron and Norman Campbell respectively, with lyrics by Elaine Campbell and Mavor Moore.

On Canada Day 1999, the Dominion Institute and the Council for Canadian Unity held two Internet surveys (one in English and one in French) asking people to nominate their favourite Canadian heroes; L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, was voted one of the top twenty heroes of the Twentieth Century.

Anne of Green Gables and other works by Montgomery have been adapted for stage plays, radio dramas, musicals, movies, television miniseries and movies, and into an interactive CD-ROM.

CBC’s Road to Avonlea (based on Montgomery’s stories) held the record as the most-watched Canadian TV series averaging 1.97 million viewers in the 1989-90 season. (Surpassed by Canadian Idol in 2003).

Over 125,000 people visit Green Gables Heritage Place at L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site each year.

In Japan, Montgomery became part of the school curriculum in 1952. In 1939, when New Brunswick missionary, Miss Shaw, left Japan, she gave to her friend Hanako Muraoka her prized copy of Anne of Green Gables. Secretly, the respected Japanese translator rendered Montgomery’s text into Japanese, Akage No Anne (Anne of the Red Hair).

When the Second World War ended and officials were looking for uplifting Western literature for the schools, Muraoka brought out her translation of Anne. Ever since, Anne has been a part of Japanese culture, with her exotic red hair and comic outspokenness. Yuko Izawa’s recently published bibliography of editions gives some idea of the continuing popularity of Montgomery in Japan.

Today, there is an Anne Academy in Japan; there are national fan clubs; one nursing school is nicknamed “The Green Gables School of Nursing” and is sister school with the University of Prince Edward Island’s School of Nursing. Thousands of Japanese come to Prince Edward Island every year as visitors to Anne country and the Land of Green Gables. When Green Gables House caught fire in May 1997, the Japanese responded immediately by sending money to restore and repair the building. Dozens of glossy Japanese magazines have devoted whole issues to photographs of Island scenery and crafts and of course to the sites devoted to Montgomery and her works.

In Poland, Montgomery was something of a hero in war time and later, becoming part of a thriving black market trade for the Polish resistance. Polish soldiers were issued copies of a Montgomery novel to take to the front with them in the Second World War. The Blue Castle was made into a musical in Cracow in the 1980’s and its performances were sold out. Today, there is a new L.M. Montgomery School in Warsaw.

Montgomery’s work introduces many readers to Canada. For example, as a child immigrant from China, Her Excellency, Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General of Canada, understood Canadian customs and culture through reading Montgomery’s novels. In 2000, Her Excellency became the official Patron of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Every two years the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI hosts an international academic conference concerning Montgomery’s life, works, culture, and influence. Participants and presenters have come from Australia, Canada, China, England, Ireland, Israel, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and the United States. Montgomery scholarship is undertaken in countries around the world.

Korean Broadcasting System (the national network) has just aired a one-hour program on Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables. The broadcast is tied to the publication by the network of more than a dozen of Montgomery’s Anne novels as well as a promotion whereby 20 Koreans will win a trip to Prince Edward Island in Canada in May.
Montgomery saw the coming of the telephone, inexpensive Victrolas, wireless radios, cars, airplanes, motorized tractors, silent films and talking movies; she lived through the First World War and the beginning of the Second.

Her views–about culture and about women–changed with those of her times. Her own portraits of women grew sharper in some details–even Anne and Emily are worlds apart in their ambitions and in their resentment over the customary dismissal of women who write. The five published volumes of her journals reveal much about the complex woman behind the novels.

Readers of Nikkei Woman Magazine in Japan recently rated Anne of Green Gables as their number one favourite pick in the category of “My Favourite Book.”

Courtesy: PEI Tourism