L.M. Montgomery and Cultural Memory: Pre-Conference Day

I’m currently in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for the 10th biennial international conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island. This year’s theme is L.M. Montgomery and Cultural Memory, and as program chair I’m particularly excited about this conference because I’ve been reading about all of these papers for several months and finally this weekend I will get to hear them.

Unveiling of Epperly Plaza at University of Prince Edward Island, 20 June 2012
Unveiling of Epperly Plaza at University of Prince Edward Island, 20 June 2012

Today was the pre-conference day, which began with a special unveiling of the Epperly Plaza, a beautiful garden and pathway in front of the Robertson Library that was named in honour of UPEI’s fourth president, Montgomery scholar Elizabeth Rollins Epperly. As Dr. Epperly reminded us during her delightful speech, it was today in 1908 that L.M. Montgomery received her author’s copies of her first novel, Anne of Green Gables.

Truck featuring Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, in downtown Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Truck featuring Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, in downtown Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

In the afternoon my friend Vanessa and I went wandering around Charlottetown in search of secondhand books and other collectibles. Once again, Anne was everywhere.

Finally, in the evening, we had our opening reception where I bumped into several old friends. One of the things I’ve always liked about this conference series is the feeling of community that has developed over the years. I’ve been attending this conference series since 1996, and what I’ve really appreciated is seeing friends and colleagues again as well as meeting new people. In a way, it feels a lot like coming home.

The conference is on until Sunday, and if past conferences have taught me anything it’s that it’s bound to be an intense few days. To shake things up a bit on this website, I’ve asked some of my old friends to join me on this blog and write about their impressions of the conference. So stay tuned!