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Open Studio Days

Artisan PEI proudly hosts a Fall PE Island–wide tour of Open Studio Days with live demonstrations, [ ... ]

BUD’s Belfast Uke Drop-ins

BUD’s—Belfast Ukulele Drop-Ins is a group of local Belfast area folk who are learning how to pla [ ... ]

Miss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles

Anne McDonald

Miss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles—Anne McDonaldMiss Confederation: The Diary of Mercy Anne Coles, by Anne McDonald, has just been released by Dundurn Press. A launch will be held August 12 at 2 pm with the Bookmark at Confederation Centre of the Arts Library in Charlottetown.

Miss Confederation chronicles a young unmarried woman’s experiences in the social whirlwind of Confederation. A unique historical document, her diary is now being published for the first time, offering a window into the events that led to Canada’s creation, from a point of view that has long been neglected. Author Anne McDonald has transcribed and given context to the diary for Miss Confederation.

Amidst the grand and heady spectacle of the balls, banquets, and events of the Confederation conferences Mercy Coles was seeking adventure and love. She wasn’t concerned with writing for posterity, or with propriety. Miss Confederation shows history being made, without the veneer and polish time creates.

Anne McDonald is an author whose books have focussed on PEI. Mercy Coles was also a character in her novel, To the Edge of the Sea ( Thistledown Press, 2011).

Unpacked: From PEI to Palawan

Mo Duffy Cobb

Unpacked: From PEI to Palawan—Mo Duffy CobbUnpacked: From PEI to Palawan, a memoir by Mo Duffy Cobb, has been recently published by Pottersfield Press. The book is a travel memoir of a young family, brokenhearted and hungry for change, that take off on an around the world journey of love and redemption. The launch will be held at 7 pm on June 22 at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown. Special guests will include David Weale, Jill MacCormack, and musician Robert Pendergast.

Narrative driven, Unpacked is the passionate and candid story of a family struggling to cope with the stillbirth of their second daughter and the bewildering months that came after, and follows their decision to pack up their two-year old daughter and to travel through Southeast Asia.

Broken-hearted, they leave the Maritimes to fill the silence of their grief with the noisy spice markets of Bali, the crashing waves of the Philippines, and the golden surrenders of Borneo’s hot sun. The inspiring story of a mother in search of herself, a husband and wife fighting for their marriage, and the toddler who rises from the confusion, Unpacked reveals the scenes that bring the narrator out of the pain and into the perspective of a new world. 

After twelve countries, nine months and one unforgettable journey, this family begins to find acceptance in the humanity that surrounds them, the inspiration in each other to continue, and the courage to come back from their complicated grief.

Mo Duffy Cobb lives in Charlottetown. She has been published in The Rumpus, Literary MamaRedDamselfly Press and more. Mo is the Founder and Editor of Cargo Literary, an online magazine that publishes transformational travel experiences ( Unpacked: From PEI to Palawan is her first book.

RED—The Island Storybook

RED—The Island Storybook Volume 14RED is back with a brand new batch of your Island stories. Volume 14 will be hitting stores all over PEI the first week of June. As usual, RED offers an abundance of Island tales including Margie Carmichael’s recounting of an Urban Carmichael prank at the expense of a group of teenage hitch-hikers. RED regular Sylvia Poirier spins a lighthearted story of her first impressions attending the Charlottetown Hospital School of Nursing, complete with stern sisters and late night covert excursions to a certain famous Charlottetown night club. Author Dale Small waxes eloquent about smelt spear craftsmanship. Davy Weale draws your attention to a deep Island connection to one of the best big league baseball players in the world. And for the cover story, “Citizen Matilda,” Keith Milligan paints a vivid picture of a unique Mi’kmaq woman and her life’s journey on Lennox Island. All of that and a whole lot more. Remember, don’t leave your stories on the shelf collecting dust; send them to RED, they’re all ears. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Murray Harbour Farmers Market and the Murray Harbour Public Library will host the launch of the Spring and Summer 2017 edition of RED—The Island Storybook at 7 pm on June 2 at the Murray Harbour Community Centre. Founder David Weale and a group of storytellers and writers capture the essence of Island life, past and present, in RED—The Island Storybook. The launch will include some readings from the latest edition. Refreshments will be served.

Double Book Launch

The Slip—Mark Sampson

The Slip by Mark Sampson
So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

Husband and wife authors Mark Sampson and Rebecca Rosenblum will launch their new novels at the Confederation Centre Public Library in Charlottetown on June 29 at 6:30 pm. All are welcome.

Born and raised on PEI, Mark Sampson has just published his third novel, The Slip, with Dundurn Press. The book has already received advance praise from Publishers Weekly, Quill & Quire and Booklist, and it was named by Canadian librarians via their "Loan Stars" program as a top pick for the month of May. Mark is also the author of Sad Peninsula, which launched in Charlottetown in 2014, as well as a collection of poetry, Weathervane, and a collection of short stories, The Secrets Men Keep.

Rebecca Rosenblum’s debut novel, So Much Love (McClelland & Stewart, March 2017), has just been shortlisted for the $40,000 Foundation First Novel Prize, and recently received a starred review in the May issue of Quill & Quire. Rebecca is also the author of two critically acclaimed short story collections, Once (2008) and The Big Dream (2011), both from Biblioasis. She has won or been nominated for numerous other prizes, including the Metcalf-Rooke Award, the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. 

So Much Love—Rebecca RosenblumMark and Rebecca now live in Toronto.

Lead Like a Superhero

What Pop Culture Icons Can Teach Us About Impactful Leadership
Sebastien Richard

Lead Like a Superhero—Sebastien RichardSebastien Richard has released his second new nonfiction book, Lead Like a Superhero—What Pop Culture Icons Can Teach Us About Impactful Leadership. It’s published by Morgan James Publishing N.Y.

Sebastien Richard was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1974. He is a John Maxwell Team Certified Speaker, Coach, Trainer and he is the founder of Thriving on Purpose (T.O.P.) a leadership training and coaching company. He currently resides with his wife, Elisabeth, and his three children in Prince Edward Island.

He has also wrote Thriving on Purpose—8 Stepping Stones to a Successful and Fulfilled Life. The product of a troubled, poor, and unstable childhood in Montreal, Sebastien grew up aimless and depressed in his teens and early twenties. Nevertheless, he found an anchor in the Christian faith and became a lay preacher at his local Church in his mid-twenties. He eventually joined the John Maxwell team to further his training and influence. Today, Sebastien is the Founder of Thriving on Purpose. He is a successful speaker and author.

The goal of the new book, says Richard, is to help you develop your leadership skills, to become a better and stronger leader by following the example of Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman or Optimus Prime. The book asks “What would Batman do?” or “What would Optimus Prime do?”

Superheroes play a huge part in popular culture, and beyond. Lead Like a Superhero goes into the psyche of well-known Comic Book Icons, analyzing their leadership strengths and weaknesses, and what makes them tick. Sebastien Richard’s deepest desire for Lead Like a Superhero is that “it will inspire a younger generation of leaders to embrace the values modelled by the likes of Superman, Spider-Man, or Wonder Woman to better lead their own lives.” Ditch the suit, embrace the cape, and lead like a Superhero.

Always be a Wolf


Always be a Wolf—MimaThe Canadian author known as Mima recently published her seventh book, Always be a Wolf, the sequel to We’re All Animals, released in 2016.

In Always be a Wolf, Chase Jacobs moves to Toronto with his Colombian bosses, Diego and Jolene Silva, where they expand their élite sex party business. The underground’s best-kept secret is going legit but just as Chase starts a brand new life, tragedy strikes. The heartbreaking lessons ahead of him are the most difficult he’s ever had to face and Chase must rely on his new family to help him through. But will his blind faith in Diego and Jolene prove to be a mistake and has he underestimated just how far they are willing to go to prove their loyalty? He learns there are times when passion and anger cause you to throw away the rulebook, even in the face of deadly consequences.He learns that words have a great deal of power but not as much power as silence. But most of all, Chase learns that in a world full of sheep, always be a wolf

Mima novels are available at all online retailers, including Chapters, Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and more.

Lady and the Plant(s)

Kathy Birt

Lady and the Plant(s)—Kathy BirtCrime novel spoof Lady and the Plant(s), by Kathy Birt, will be launched June 10 at 2 pm at The Haviland Club in Charlottetown.

While well-known Island author Kathy Birt has penned nine books to date, getting her first novel to print is what she terms a “major accomplishment.” “I didn’t think I had a novel in me,” says Birt when talking about this book that came about when she wished she had garden space while living in a basement apartment in Charlottetown. “I saw a wegelia in front of a government building and thought I’d like to have it. Right away my imagination went to work and I wrote the first two chapters of Lady and the Plant(s),” she explains.

“The main character in my novel is a 60-something woman I have aptly named Corrigible,” says Birt. “She is the head of the Plastic Police Unit in Charlottetown. The unit is simply called, in most cases, the PPU, or phew!” The story has Corrigible Clark and her cohort Constable Hawkins working out of what used to be the Kent Street (police) Depot, putting their talents together to approach local businesses to get rid of plastic. Constable Hawkins has other duties that include handing out parking tickets and taking care of petty crime in the greater Charlottetown area. And Corrigible, in her after-midnight-disguise, adds too Hawkins’s law enforcement duties when she embarks on a crime spree around government buildings in the wee hours.

 “You’ll meet a few other characters in this novel…some good, some not-so-good. As well, the police chief plays a major role and we might even hear from the mayor,” notes Birt. The Island author says despite the fact it is a spoof, she had to interview city police and RCMP officers to be accurate on charges and sentences. 

Copies of the new book will be available at local books stores, The Charlottetown Farmer’s Market and at some gift shops during the tourist season.

Tin-Can Canucks: A Century of Destroyers

S.D. Campbell

Tin-Can Canucks: A Century of Destroyers—S.D. CampbellTin-Can Canucks: a Century of Canadian Destroyers is written by S. D. Campbell and published by Kay Cee Publications. It includes a foreword by Vice-Admiral M.F.R. Lloyd, CMM, CD, the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Tin-Can Canucks details each of the sixty-two destroyers that served in the RCN from 1920 up until today. Called “An exhaustive history of the Canadian destroyer warship, a portal into the development of the nation’s navy as a whole” by Kirkus Reviews, the book is rich in detail—with one of the destroyers bearing an unique tie to Prince Edward Island.

“The World War Two destroyer HMCS Assiniboine went aground just south of East Point—not far from where I grew up—while being towed to the ship breakers after the war,” says the author. “It was interesting to learn of this story—a part of P.E.I. history not often told. There are a lot of stories like that in this book.”

It took five years to research and write the book, but inspiration for the book came several sources, according to Campbell. “Being an Islander means you’re never far from the sea.” He says, “So many of these stories are about men and women who spend their life on it, protecting our country; many of those stories aren’t widely known. It was time to tell them.”

Sean Campbell is a former member of the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve and is currently a Civilian Instructor with a Calgary Sea Cadet Corps. He was raised on Prince Edward Island and moved to Calgary in 1995. Sean is an award-winning ship modeler and has several models on public display, including HMCS Summerside (MM711) at Town Hall in Summerside. A published short-fiction writer and former software engineer, he currently works as a digital marketing consultant. This is his first non-fiction book.

Tin-Can Canucks: a Century of Canadian Destroyers is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as select independent booksellers.

L. M. Montgomery and War

Edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell

L. M. Montgomery and War—Edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane LedwellWar marked L.M. Montgomery’s personal life and writing. As an eleven-year-old, she experienced the suspense of waiting months for news about her father, who fought during the North-West Resistance of 1885. During the First World War, she actively led women’s war efforts in her community, while suffering anguish at the horrors taking place overseas. Through her novels, Montgomery engages directly with the global conflicts of her time, from the North-West Resistance to the Second World War. Given the influence of her wartime writing on Canada’s cultural memories, L.M. Montgomery and War restores Montgomery to her rightful place as a major war writer, say the book’s editors.

Reassessing Montgomery’s position in the canon of war literature, contributors to this volume explore three central themes in their essays: her writing in the context of contemporaneous Canadian novelists, artists, and poets; questions about her conceptions of gender identity, war work, and nationalism across enemy lines; and the themes of hurt and healing in her interwar works.

Drawing on new perspectives from war studies, literary studies, historical studies, gender studies, and visual art, L.M. Montgomery and War explores new ways to consider the Canadian writer and her work. The book is published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Andrea McKenzie is an associate professor at York University and the editor of War-Torn Exchanges: The Lives and Letters of Nursing Sisters Laura Holland and Mildred Forbes.

Jane Ledwell is co-editor of Anne around the World: L.M. Montgomery and Her Classic. She lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Finding Forgiveness

Adrian Smith

Finding Forgiveness—Adrian McNally SmithFinding Forgiveness, a memoir by Adrian Smith, has been recently published by Acorn Press.

Adrian Smith was raised in what seemed to be a very traditional, Roman Catholic upbringing. His father, Adrian Smith Sr, was very religious. He had studied to be a priest and left the seminary only 6 months before his ordination. After he left the seminary, Adrian Sr then worked for 30 years as a child psychologist for PEI’s Department of Education. He died at the age of 58 from a brain tumor. A week later after his death, Adrian Jr discovered that his father had been living a lie and that he was homosexual; he had kept it hidden his whole life.

Adrian kept his father’s sexuality a secret until his mother died. At that time, he decided to make a conscious effort to face his and his father’s story. Because of his father’s stature in the community, says Adrian, he ended up having to travel away from PEI to get counselling to help him get over the lies of his past. He was finally making progress, explains Adrian, when allegations of sexual abuse against his father surfaced.

The book details a son’s experience coming to terms with secrecy and betrayal. But it is also a story of redemption as after years of hard work Smith says that he could finally find forgiveness.

Adrian Smith recently retired after thirty years of work in education, twenty-five of those years devoted to counseling and student services. He has previously written an e-book on family secrets and sexuality. 

The launch for Finding Foregiveness will be held at The Pourhouse at the Old Triangle in Charlottetown on May 25 at 7 pm.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Culture days

Free activities on September 29 at the Confederation Centre Culture Days is a three-day nation-wide [ ... ]

Forage PEI

First annual food industry symposium in Charlottetown October 18 & 19
Various locations A new a [ ... ]

The Thank You Canada Tour

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Patrick Chan and more in Summerside November 15
Credit Union Place Canada [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]