Elizabeth Perreault

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The Morrin Centre explores a British love affair

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James Quebec City, June 2, 2014 – The Morrin Centre launched its new summer activity this morning. At a press conference in the Library, President Sovita Chander observed that the Centre’s Victorian decor is the ideal setting to experience afternoon tea, an English tradition that grew in popularity in the 19th century and is making a comeback as one of the number one food trends in 2014, according to NPR’s Bonny Wolf. She added that the Centre is “looking to build its programming around the history of the building and the multiple functions that is has had over the centuries.” From June 7 to September 1, the Morrin Centre will carry local and out-of-town visitors back to when Britain’s love affair with tea first swept through all the social classes of the nation and beyond. There will be two sittings each Saturday and Sunday at 4 and 5 p.m. An enchanting decor Participants will be able to sample traditional teas and pastries in keeping with Victorian customs and etiquette in this historic library which boasts a collection of over 20,000 books, a spiral staircase reminiscent of the library in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and artifacts dating back to a time when teatime came into fashion. “We are very proud to be launching this new activity. Afternoon tea at the Morrin will be the opportunity to celebrate special occasions or simply discover the English heritage that is part of the unique history of our fortified city,” commented Executive Director, Barry McCullough. It is highly recommended to reserve online (www.morrin.org) or by phone (418-694-9147). About the Morrin Centre The Morrin Centre is an English-language cultural centre that promotes the heritage of the English-speaking community of Quebec City, fosters cultural exchange and offers a wide range of activities including library services, guided tours, readings by prominent authors, writing workshops, a writers’ festival and much more. This 200 year-old building, listed as a National Historic Site, is managed by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.

ImagiNation 2014 – Up close and personal with bestselling Canadian authors

Quebec City, March 19, 2014 – The Morrin Centre’s fifth annual writers’ festival includes both well-established and newly-acclaimed authors, including Miriam Toews, winner of a Governor General’s Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, who will be reading from her yet-to-be-released novel, All My Puny Sorrows; Terry Fallis, winner of two Stephen Leacock medals for humour and whose first novel, The Best Laid Plans, has been adapted for TV in a new CBC mini-series; Jonathan Goldstein, host of CBC Radio’s Wiretap; celebrated food critic Jacob Richler; historical fiction writer and winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, Annabel Lyon; and many others whose readings and discussions will touch on themes such as the environment, translation as an art form, family secrets, identity and poetry. Sponsored in part by La Maison Anglaise et Internationale bookstore and Le Soleil, the Morrin Centre’s fifth annual English-language writers’ festival will be held from April 9 to 13, 2014. ImagiNation contributes year after year to helping the general public become better acquainted with Canadian authors through public discussions, readings and performances. The Morrin Centre would like to thank its partners, namely Canadian Heritage, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Entente de développement culturel (a partnership between the City of Quebec and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications), the Centre local de développement de Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. The complete program is available at www.morrin.org/imagination. Please contact Elizabeth Perreault for interview requests with the authors or organizers at 418-694-9147 or elizabethperreault@morrin.org.

Farewell… not goodbye

Maxime Chouinard was the Centre’s curator for the past five years. It is with regret that we shared his last day with us on Monday, March 31. He had been in charge of the preservation aspects of the Morrin Centre’s over 200-year-old building, and was instrumental in putting together our permanent exhibition on prison life in the 19th century. He managed the archives and artifacts of the Centre, as well as organized meetings of the acquisitions committee. Maxime also played a large role in developing the Centre’s guided tours, including training guides.  We would like to thank Maxime for his hard work and dedication. The entire team and Council wish him the best of luck in his projects to come!

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2013 Literary Feast – Desjardins Group gives Morrin Centre $100,000

Guests discover Desjardins’ connections to the English-speaking community On a chilly evening in late fall, people began arriving at the Morrin Centre for its fifth annual Literary Feast, the main fundraising event of the year. A glass of champagne was served in the front hall and a harp played by Fara Almond drew guests up the steps to the Victorian library. For the first time, guests could also climb up to the mezzanine and make the acquaintance of some of the Library’s most ancient books. Following the cocktail, the guests then proceeded to College Hall, where what had been dubbed the Leroux-Lambert banquet was to be held. Lit and His’ president, Sovita Chander, set the tone by quoting the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde. Commenting on Iceland’s recovery from the 2008 economic crisis, Lagarde said that when their economy crashed, “the banks, the funds, the government—everything was taken over by women. So when it’s messy, you get the women in. But when the mess is sorted, keep the women!” The evening honoured and celebrated women in business, culture and the arts—women who get the mess cleaned up. Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of the Desjardins Group, was Honorary Chair, and world-renowned architect Phyllis Lambert was keynote speaker. In her speech, Ms. Leroux told the audience how Desjardins, like the Morrin Centre, is an inclusive institution and that it had ties to the English-speaking community at its origins. Alphonse Desjardins was a member of many learned societies, and co-founded the Société de géographie de Québec with W. Simons, the brother of the founder of La Maison Simons. His acquaintance with Anglophones also had an impact on the North American Cooperative movement: he inspired the foundation of many savings banks and credit unions in Canada and in the United States. He was also friends with Earl Grey, who was the first Governor General invited to become an honorary member of Desjardins. Today, Desjardins is still invested in the English-speaking community and has supported the Literary Feast since the beginning. Monique F. Leroux was therefore happy to announce that Desjardins, in addition to its support of the event, would be donating $100,000 to the Morrin Centre’s 2013-2016 fundraising campaign. Canadian Icon of Architecture charms Literary Feasters Following this wonderful news, Phyllis Lambert revealed how she became the director of planning of the Seagram Building at 27 when she convinced her father to not only put her in charge of finding the architect for the project, but also of the building’s construction. She had no experience in this field, yet this skyscraper is still regarded as the pinnacle of New York’s postwar architecture. Seagram and Lambert “changed the face of American urban architecture.” An example of what makes this deceptively simple 38-storey tower stand apart is its plaza, the first of its kind, which set the building back from the avenue and created an urban oasis for citizens. At 86, Lambert impressed the audience with her energy and passion […]

Archaeology and conservation talk at the Morrin Centre

As part of Archaeology Month activities, archaeologist André Bergeron gave a talk at the Morrin Centre on August 21 about his recent findings, projects and written works concerning dig sites in Quebec. Bergeron began by explaining the difference between archaeology and conservation. Source : Cassandra Kerwin, Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph http://www.qctonline.com/archaeology-and-conservation-talk-morrin-centre

Bilingualism a “mixed bag” for Quebec City author

Thursday, August 15, the Morrin Centre hosted a special off-festival event with author Kathleen Saint-Onge. Originally from Quebec City, the author grew up in a French-speaking home and attended English schools. In her presentation during the Quebec launch of Bilingual Being: My life as a hyphen, she explained how this duality played an important part in her story. Source : Bill Cox, Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph http://www.qctonline.com/bilingualism-mixed-bag-quebec-city-author Photo: Bill Cox

ImagiNation off-festival event at the Morrin Centre

On August 15, the Morrin Centre will host a special ImagiNation off-festival event with author Kathleen Saint-Onge. The Montreal Gazette has described her book, Bilingual Being, as a memoir that will “interest anyone who cares about language or the history and culture of Quebec. Saint-Onge has other readers in mind, too: those who move through life ‘with odd snippets of memory and a sense of intimate strangeness, like a haunting.’ To them, above all, she offers a story that is haunting indeed.” Originally from Quebec City, Kathleen Saint-Onge grew up in a French-speaking household and attended English-language schools. At her Morrin Centre book launch, Saint-Onge will explain how this duality played an important part in her story, why English was the language in which she took refuge, and what the emotional gains and losses are of a life that straddles two languages. A victim of childhood abuse, Saint-Onge describes the influence of her mother tongue in the formation of her identity, as well as the role her second language played as a psychological sanctuary. Saint-Onge is a doctoral candidate in education at York University and a full-time language teacher in the Greater Toronto Area. She is particularly honoured to launch her book in her hometown. Please join her at the Morrin Centre on Thursday, August 15, at 7:30 p.m. for her very public narration of a very private journey. Souce : Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph http://www.qctonline.com/imagination-festival-event-morrin-centre

Everest: From the top of the world to St-Romuald

He has seen Everest so bottlenecked, it lead to disaster. It’s a mountain he’s climbed no less than eight times, and now he’s talking about some of the issues at stake in the world of commercial climbing. Dr. Rob Casserely showed his breath-taking photos Tuesday evening at the Morrin Centre. From England, he now lives in St-Romuald with his wife, Marie-Kristelle Ross, originally from Sept-Iles. Source : CBC, Breakway http://www.cbc.ca/breakaway/2013/05/14/he-has-seen-everest-so/

Everest: A Photographic Journey to the Top of the World

On Tuesday, May 14, the Morrin Centre invites you to climb the world’s highest mountain with a man who has conquered it, Dr. Rob Casserley. A family and emergency doctor on Prince Edward Island, Casserley has reached the summit of Mount Everest eight times – and is clearly still undaunted. Source : Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph http://www.qctonline.com/everest-photographic-journey-top-world