On Wednesday, July 5 at 4:30 p.m., Meet Me at Green Gables and Rideau rouge et pignons verts, published by Bouton d’or Acadie, will be launched in Studio 1 at Confederation Centre of the Arts. Written by Michel Bourque and illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudel, the two children’s books – one publication in English and one in French – tell the story of Gracie Finley and Glenda Landry, who played Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical TM.
“It’s great that the books are being launched where the story actually took place – at Confederation Centre of the Arts,” reflects Prince Edward Island author Michel Bourque. “This is where Gracie and Glenda’s dreams of performing on stage all came true. And what a great way to celebrate Canada 150!”
Gracie Finley played the part of Anne from 1968 to 1974 and in 1984 and 1985. She remains the youngest to be cast in the title role of The Charlottetown Festival musical and was the first native Islander to do so. Glenda Landry played Diana between 1970 and 1991 and also played many other Avonlea characters in the long-running musical, including Mrs. Rachel Lynde and Mrs. Pye. Gracie and Glenda have played the parts of Anne and Diana more times than anyone else and have delighted fans around the world, from Japan to New York City, and at home on P.E.I.
In 1984, Michel Bourque had the chance to see Gracie and Glenda play the roles of Anne and Diana at The Charlottetown Festival. Thirty years later, he attended an event at the Centre where the two actors shared their memories of the Guinness Record-holding musical. Inspired by their beautiful friendship on stage and off, Michel started writing a children’s story as a tribute to both of them. “I love Jean-Luc’s illustrations!” enthuses Michel. “They beautifully capture the essence of Gracie and Glenda’s heartwarming story,” he adds.
This is not the first time that Quebec illustrator Jean-Luc Trudel has created illustrations to tell the story of a well-known Island artist. In fact, he illustrated the book Le pit à papa, inspired by the childhood story of singer-songwriter Angèle Arsenault. The picture book Ma petite boule d’amour, which he created with author, playwright and actress Jasmine Dubé, was shortlisted for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. More recently, he illustrated Diane Carmel Léger’s My Two Grandmothers.
All are welcome to attend the book launch on July 5 in Studio 1, which will include a book signing, refreshments, and remarks from Gracie and Glenda. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30.