Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Baltimore's Mansion

Great Big Sea were playing at the Calgary Folk Fest years ago ('97?), before I moved back to Alberta. I had one or two of the early CDs from trips to PEI and thought they were a fairly obscure Newfoundland Celtic band. But as the time approached for GBS to appear on the main stage, more and more people kept crowding in, many directly from the beer tent at the back of the listening area. And when GBS hit the stage it was like the Rolling Stones had arrived, with people rushing to the front and dancing from the first note. I figured it out when singer Alan Doyle yelled something like "Is there anyone from Newfoundland here today?" and an enormous, thunderous roar rose from the crowd. Yup, those expatriate Newfoundlanders and Labradorans (aka Newfies) really, really know how to support their own!

Perhaps the Canadian Literature Centre at the U of A hopes to get a little of that legendary Newfoundlander support with the second annual Kreisel Lecture tonight, March 5. Presenting will be noted Newfoundlander novelist and non-fiction writer, Wayne Johnson. And Johnson will be talking about Newfoundland in particular, speaking on "The Old Lost Land of Newfoundland: Memory, Family, Fiction and Myth."

The Kreisel Lecture is presented on March 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm at the Timms Centre (located at 87 Ave and 112 St - across from the campus Earl's). A reception and book signing will follow.

Johnston is well-known as the author of many fabulous, including the novels: The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (1998), The Navigator of New York (2002), and The Custodian of Paradise (2006). Closest to the theme of his lecture would be his excellent memoir, Baltimore's Mansion (1999).


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