Anne of Green Gables First Edition Sets A Record

A first edition of the 1908 classic Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery has fetched $37,500 at an auction in New York City.  See the Montreal Gazette for details.

Although this “record” is for a “classic children’s novel”.   It was not the intent of the author to write a children’s novel so perhaps we can take this record with a grain of salt.

Everything Anne

It’s Everything Anne time again in Ontario!

A fun Anne of Green Gables event at Bala's Museum

A fun Anne of Green Gables event at Bala's Museum

On July 24th 1:30 to 4:00 pm at Bala’s Museum we are in for a treat.

3 Legged Races & Sack Races

Egg-on-a-spoon Races

Free Popcorn & Cake

Prizes for Best Character Costumers (cosplay)

Bala’s Museum – With Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery is home to one of, if not the most impressive historical collections of Anne of Green Gables memorabilia in the world.

Their name shows local pride and respect for the author, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they are like on our favorite heroine.

Everything the classic hardcovers, collectibles, family heirlooms and even the Lady of Shallot boat from the motion picture.

As we found out last week, it is certainly worth ride to Bala’s Museum in the Cranberry Capital of Canada.

Amy Wallis brings Charm of Anne of Green Gables to Toronto

Amy Wallis brings charm of Anne of Green Gables to Toronto

VINCENT TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR
“Mom and dad didn’t want me to go into theatre at all,” laughs Amy Wallis. But the young actor, who has already played several lead roles, is hooked. (April 28, 2009)
Director knew she had found the right one after Wallis auditioned for musical

May 02, 2009


THEATRE CRITIC
When you’ve spent the last four years of your relatively short life alternating between playing one of Disney’s most beloved heroines and one of Canada’s most revered literary figures, you might think it could turn a young lady’s head.

But, judging from a recent conversation, Amy Wallis is doing just fine in the modesty department with none of the arrogance that both her onstage prototypes – Anne Shirley and Belle – have sometimes displayed.

Wallis, 26, is currently in Toronto rehearsing with the Charlottetown Festival Company to begin her fourth season as the title character in that best known of all Canadian musicals, Anne of Green Gables. What makes this time around even more special for her is that the show is going to begin on May 7 with a run at the Elgin Theatre, courtesy of Dancap Productions.

“I’m incredibly excited to be appearing in the city that I hope to build a career in,” says Wallis. “I really want to do well here.”

The chances are that she will. The reviews from her first three summers as Anne have all been glowing – the same kind of response in her native Vancouver, where she’s starred for the past four Christmases in the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

This might be the time for a bit of total disclosure. I directed Wallis’s mother, Valerie Easton (who is now a noted choreographer) and my wife, Pamela, appeared on stage with her father, Ray Wallis (who has left the business for a career in financial planning), when we were all young and foolish in Vancouver, back in the 1970s. But the Ouzounians had moved East by the time Amy was born on Sept. 16, 1982.

“Mom and dad didn’t want me to go into theatre at all,” she laughs. “They tried to get me interested in sports, but all I wanted to do was perform. I would force my parents to watch me put on these long, involved plays I had created when I was only four. I was always running around doing numbers from Cats and driving them crazy.”

By this point, Wallis’s father had quit show business “cold turkey,” in his daughter’s words, and was enjoying working in the financial sector. “Dad would try to get me interested in the things he was doing,” Wallis confesses, “and I would just stare at him with drool coming down from my mouth. I was such a Broadway baby!”

But the Wallis family still held the line, making sure Amy would have something approaching a normal existence. “I got very involved in high school drama,” shares Wallis, “and so I asked my mother if I could have an agent. She said `no.’ It was okay if went to dance classes and acted in community theatre, but she wanted me to have a real life.”

Eventually she spent a few years at York University, but dropped out, feeling that “I was ready and I knew what I wanted.”

After a year on a cruise ship (“just so I could see the world”), she wound up in her old hometown and got her first professional job as Anybodys in the Arts Club Theatre production of West Side Story.

Since then, she’s kept busy across the country in various shows, but there’s no doubt in her mind that the cherry on the sundae has been playing Anne Shirley.

“I flew out to Toronto to audition for it,” she remembers, “and I had no idea how I did at first. I wanted the part so badly! I had read the books as a little girl and the first song I ever sang at a concert was `Gee, I’m Glad I’m No One Else But Me.’ I had the VHS copy of the Megan Follows TV version and I’d watched it so much over the years that the tape had literally worn out. That’s how much I loved Anne of Green Gables.”

So her heart started beating just a bit faster when director Anne Allen stopped her after her audition and asked if she was planning to stay in Toronto a few more days.

“I told her `no,'” says Wallis, “that I was flying right back home. She just looked at me and said `Oh, I’d stay around.'”

Wallis was called back several times, and when she got to her final audition she remembers thinking she had blown it because she saw Allen turn to whisper to someone during her song.

“`Oh great, I thought, `She’s talking while I’m singing!'”

What she only found out later was that the person Allen was whispering to was author Don Harron, and what she was saying was “I think we’ve finally found our Anne.”

Things are busy for Wallis right now, but what about life after Anne?

“I see myself playing as many different roles as possible. I really want to do My Fair Lady. And I’ve always hoped to be in a production of Les Miserables. I’d be anyone … even the third whore from the left!”

I wonder what Marilla would have to say about that!

GETTING PERSONAL

Q: What was the first musical you ever saw?

Marilyn Dalzell, Peterborough

A: It was a Vancouver production of Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby and Long John Baldry. Cathy Rigby threw fairy dust on me so I went home and tried to fly. I couldn’t. I didn’t get hurt, but I was very sad.

Q: How old were you when you first came across Anne of Green Gables?

Jean-Anne Moors, Whitby

A: I think I was 9 when I first started reading one of the books. Then I learned the songs from the musical and next came the TV show on tape.

Q: Why do you think Anne of Green Gables is still so popular in Charlottetown after all these years?

Eleanor Vineberg, Halifax, N.S.

A: First of all, it’s a wonderful show, but I also think people love coming to see Anne’s story near her home.


ANNES WITH AN ‘E’

Fourteen actresses have played Anne Shirley in the Charlottetown Festival production of Anne of Green Gables since it premiered in 1965. Here’s a few:

Susan Cuthbert (1979-1980): She went on to become the first alternate for Rebecca Caine’s Christine Daae in the original Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera, playing the role at least twice a week.

Glynis Ranney (1991-1992): Known for her soulful, wide-eyed stare and crystal-clear voice, Ranney has been seen for many years at the Shaw Festival.

Tracy Michailidis (1994-1996): One of the most serious and emotional of all Annes, Michailidis has gone on to star at Shaw and Stratford as well as theatres around North America.

Chilina Kennedy (2000-2001): The feisty, sexy Kennedy went far beyond Anne Shirley, starring as Sophie in the national tour of Mamma Mia! and is currently at Stratford, in West Side Story.

Coloring Contest for Anne of Green Gables – The Musical Tickets

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Charlottetown Festival’s perennial favourite, Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ is Canada’s longest-running musical seen by more than 3 million people worldwide. Dancap productions is presenting the family classic from May 7 to 31 at the Elgin Theatre. For a chance to win a family pack of four tickets to the show, enter our colouring contest and mail your entry to City Parent Anne Contest, 447 Speers Rd. Suite 4 Oakville, ON L9T 3S7. Submissions must be received by Monday, April 27.

With her fiery temper, passion for melodrama and romance, and penchant for misadventures, Anne brings laughter, love and more than a little consternation to the village of Avonlea. Based on the novel Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, this story is loved by millions around the world and in 2008 is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its original publication. For details about the show or for tickets call 416-644-3665 or visit www.dancaptickets.com/shows.

Click HERE and print out the colouring contest image.

ISPEI welcomes The Anne of Green Gables and L. M. Montgomery Lexicon to the Blogroll

We are very happy to introduce The Anne of Green Gables and L. M. Montgomery Lexicon to our Blogroll.

The Lexicon has become a leading clearinghouse of Anne and Montgomery content.

If you ever wanted to explore Anne’s World and the writings of Montgomery online this is one site you don’t want to miss.

The menu includes:

  1. About the author
  2. list of e-texts
  3. bibliography
  4. flimography
  5. creation and publication
  6. locations
  7. timelines (by leading character)
  8. library
  9. recipes (scrumptious?  The names sound nice for sure.)
  10. book cover gallery ( a MUST see!)
  11. Famous fans
  12. book mentions
  13. memorabilia
  14. quizzes
  15. games
  16. and e-cards
  17. blog
  18. links to other LMM sites
  19. shop
  20. guestbook

Check it out.

The Rothesay-born mezzo soprano who lives in Toronto says she’s a fan of Anne of Green Gables. ‘She is such a feisty, strong-willed character.’

Click to Enlarge
Candace McLean/canadaeast news service
q Age?

a 23

q Provenance?

a I am from Rothesay, but I currently live in Toronto. I am finishing my masters in opera performance and performing at the University of Toronto.

q Why opera?

a I love singing, acting, learning languages and have always been at home on the stage. My voice has a classical and operatic quality, which was evident even before my voice started to develop from voice lessons. I also love musical theatre – anything with singing, acting and dancing.

q What was your breakthrough moment?

a After my first year of university, I went to Mozart’s most famous opera, Marriage of Figaro, in New York City with The Acadia Vocal Ensemble. I became very passionate about opera and vocal technique. I always loved the theatre, but opera really seemed to fit.

q What would you be if you weren’t an opera singer?

a An actor; I love impersonating a character and using my emotions to communicate to an audience. Or a yoga teacher; I may even do it in conjunction with opera singing. Or a psychologist, because I love listening to people and their stories, analyzing situations and learning about behaviours.

q What are you working on next?

a The role of the child in Ravel’s French opera L’enfant et les sortileges.

q What place on earth inspires you?

a I love Italy – Rome, Tuscanny and the Amalfi coast. There is so much beauty in that country, so much history.

q Your current obsession?

a Balancing healthy eating with my love for sweets.

q What place in New Brunswick inspires you?

a Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the Saint John City Market. With a ceiling shaped like the bottom of a ship, the long building is filled with artisans, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and poultry, crafts, bustling people – both artistic and business types. In memories, it is always there; it doesn’t leave with the changing of the seasons, and it is home. There really is no place like home … and I have a pair of bright and shiny red shoes to get me there.

q Secret indulgence?

a Toffee, chocolate and caramel, pies and cookies, but I am not sure how much of a secret it is.

q Your favourite hero of fiction?

a Anne of Green Gables, because she is such a feisty, strong-willed character who knows what she wants. And she is a well-known and loved Maritime fictional character.

q What is your greatest extravagance?

a Clothes. I love to dress nicely and have a classy wardrobe.

q What is your greatest fear?

a Failure. I want to succeed in my career, my relationships and my finances, have good health and still have time, energy and money to give to society.

q Greatest joy?

a To love and be loved in return – in my personal and professional life.

q Your favourite opera?

a Carmen. It is filled with passion, tragedy, wit, humour, sensuality, dancing and high drama. The orchestration, vocal writing, libretto, language and style are an absolutely spectacular package. It is the perfect musical drama, in my mind. I would love to perform the role someday.

q Favourite paintings on Earth?

a Impressionist paintings by Monet, Degas and Renoir because they are very beautiful, but they depict nature or people in a way that is not exact or defined; the artist interprets a scene and is free to colour outside of the lines. Reproductions of paintings by Degas on notebooks and posters have been cherished gifts since I was a little ballerina.

q Favourite painting by a New Brunswick artist?

a A drawing of a circle of dancers by my uncle, Brian Perkins, who worked for Festival-by-the-Sea. The festival is no longer active, but it is a part of my fond memories of summers in Saint John.

q What are you reading?

a Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert

q What’s on your iPod?

a Dance and pop music, a bit of R&B, several opera albums and some rehearsal recordings of myself.

q What is the greatest public misconception about opera?

a That is is stuffy and boring and only for old people. It is entertaining, sexy and high drama!

q Your most treasured possession?

a A beautiful diamond ring from my great, great aunt Jennie Fitzgerald who was 111 years old when she died. She was a vibrant and cheerful lady, and I enjoyed visiting her at the Loch Lomond Villa, where she lived for 25 years.

q What is your favourite performance venue?

a In Rome, Italy, there is a magnificent courtyard near Piazza Navona, where I performed with Operafestival di Roma, called the Palazzo della Sapienza. The façade of the church provides an ideal scenic background for the opera, and the four-sided courtyard is a vibrant acoustical space.

Built in the 15th century and for nearly 500 years the seat of the original University of Rome, the Palazzo now houses the library of the Senate of the Roman Republic. The famous church, S. Ivo alla Sapienza, built inside the courtyard, is considered one of the architectural masterpieces of Rome.

q What is your motto?

a Life is a daring and bold adventure. Cherish yesterday, live today and dream tomorrow.

q What opera singer would you like to hear in person before you die?

a More like, who would I like to hear before they die?! lol or stop singing … Frederica von Stade. She is a beautiful mezzo soprano that has achieved abundant international acclaim and has made many recordings. I think my voice is a lot like hers and she is definately one of my role models.

Source: The Telegraph Jounral

Published in: Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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‘Anne of Green Gables’ is an evergreen

COMMENTARY

The sheer vitality of L.M. Montgomery’s adventure-seeking 1908 title character is as fresh as ever at 100.

The planks that made up her bedroom wall did not fit together properly, so when she would wake up on winter mornings in an old house on Prince Edward Island, Canada, often there were snowdrifts on the floor. To keep warm while she wrote her stories, she had to curl up her legs and sit on her feet. Her secondhand typewriter lacked a “w” key.

Still she wrote. (Or “rote,” as it would have appeared in her typewritten version.) Obstacles, hardships, setbacks, impediments — they counted for nothing. Lucy Maud Montgomery, who roomed with relatives because her mother had died when she was an infant and her father left to seek his fortune elsewhere, was a small woman with a staggeringly strong will. Her imagination was a driving force that would not be denied.

When Montgomery finished her first novel, she mailed it to publisher after publisher. The rejection slips piled up like the snowdrifts in that bedroom.

And then, after more than two dozen publishers had said no, one finally said yes, and the young orphan known as Anne Shirley — don’t forget the “e” at the end of “Anne,” or she’ll let you know about it — was born into the world of readers.

“Anne of Green Gables” was published in June 1908, which means that soon it will be a century old. Yet “old” doesn’t go with the character, because if there is one thing we know about Anne, it’s that this lively, redheaded streak of exuberance, no matter her chronological age, is now and forevermore associated with youth.

Montgomery ultimately would write 24 novels, including seven more about Anne’s adventures on the ruggedly beautiful island that constitutes Canada’s smallest province. She’d also account for 530 short stories and more than 500 poems. Anne, however, was easily her most famous creation. Before Montgomery’s death in 1942 at age 67, she saw the child of her imagination — the plucky, fearless, boundary-pushing girl who was a perpetual magnet for trouble — become an international sensation. Her story was made into several movies and it inspired fan letters from around the world.

A paperback copy of any volume in the series will cost you about $5, which means that you can jump into Anne’s world for the price of a Starbucks venti latte. Trust me: After a few rollicking, helter-skelter chapters, you won’t need the caffeine anyway.

Anne has a habit of getting into “scrapes,” as her guardian, the dour Marilla, puts it. In fact, that is the chief pleasure of the Anne books: They recognize, as so many other books with young females as protagonists do not, that girls like to run and jump and get dirty and explore the woods and have adventures just as much as boys do. A century after Anne got herself tangled up in scrape after scrape, the lesson still hasn’t sunk in. The recent bestseller “The Dangerous Book for Boys” (2007) is great — but its prejudice is plain in its title. Don’t bother telling me about “The Daring Book for Girls” (2007), a thin attempt to play catch-up; all you need to know is that when USA Today reviewed the latter, the headline was: “Books for Girls Chase After the Boys.” Can’t you see Anne cringing at that?

Source: The Los Angles Times

Leisa Way – Anne of Green Gables Musical lead for 6 Years in Sweet Dreams: A Tribute to Patsy Cline

Posted By KATHLEEN HAY, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER

Posted 4 days ago

It’s a phrase you usually only get to see in big city theatres: “NEW BLOCK OF TICKETS ON-SALE!”

Such was not the case this time though when the spring show, Sweet Dreams: A Tribute to Patsy Cline, resulted in seats being snapped up faster than you could say walkin’ after midnight. Originally scheduled for a run April 22-26 and May 1-3, it sold-out so quickly four more shows have been added for May 8-10.

Starring Leisa Way (who captivated Playhouse audiences in The Love List two years ago) as the legendary country singer, she’s backed-up by the Wayward Wind Band (Bruce Ley, Dave Wilson and Michael Mulrooney) who are some of this country’s finest musicians.

Way, who was raised on country music, initially began her studies at the University of Toronto’s prestigious opera school in the early 1980s. Opera at that time, however, she explains had a rather “chi-chi” reputation and when her teachers were trying to persuade her to focus solely on that genre, her natural impulse lead her elsewhere.

“I had so many different interests,” she explained from her home in Orangeville. “I wanted to sing jazz, do musical theatre. I have a big voice, but I wasn’t so sure about opera.

“I’m a lead in musical theatre, but not in opera. Still, you wonder.”

Following her heart, she successfully auditioned for the lead in Anne of Green Gables at the Charlottetown Festival. For the six next years, she travelled the globe (including six tours to Japan) performing as the red-haired girl, including performing for the British Royal Family on three occasions.

Her other musical theatre credits are no less impressive. Leading roles in productions such as Showboat, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, Cats and Camelot, have seen her travel across North America and to 50 countries worldwide.

In 1997, she was asked to perform in Drayton Entertainment’s production of A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline. She took this show as far afield as Dubai and France where the universal appeal of the country star found ready fans everywhere.

“Originally, my greatest fear was performing the role of a real person, not an imaginary character in a play,” stated Way. “I thought, ‘If I don’t nail this, people are going to know it.’

“But there’s so little live footage of her as her career was so short.”

In fact, she continues, Cline’s career really only lasted six years, from 1957-63. Her first huge hit Walkin’ After Midnight was in 1957, then there was nothing again until 1960.

“She struggled and struggled,” says Way. “So many of her songs came out posthumously following her death in ’63.”

It was this show that gave Way the momentum to create her own tribute to the singer in Sweet Dreams: The Songs of Patsy Cline. The two-hour production is set on the eve of her final concert in Kansas City before a fatal flight home during nasty rainstorm in 1963. In it, she sings 27 of Cline’s hit songs peppered in between with dialogue to give a glimpse of the singing legend.

“I thought, ‘Why don’t I research this?'”Way said. “I started gleaning information from various books, I spoke to people who had recorded her live.

“I wanted to tell Patsy’s story.” What a story it was, she added.

During that era, said Way, there were hardly any women who were headline acts, much less any who would command a Las Vegas gig for $1,000 a night. Her husband beat her, but that wasn’t talked about. Instead, Cline was always the breadwinner in her relationships.

“She was so generous,” she She would help out other singers, like Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee and Dottie West . . . she would give the shirt off her back, and then not be able to pay her own bills.

“She paved the way for other women. I love talking about her.”

Although known for her country stylings, Cline was all-around performer.

“Patsy was the first to have a cross-over hit to pop from country,” said Way. “She played Carnegie Hall, Las Vegas . . . she was not a country singer.

“She was a singer who could sing anything.”

Way’s own performance of numbers like Crazy, Walkin’ After Midnight, Sweet Dreams, Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey, I Fall to Pieces and others have been critically hailed as a “strong clear voice and heartfelt singing to thrill any Patsy Cline fan.”

Her staggering success portraying the legendary singer inspired Way and her band to go into the studio and recapture the magic of that live performance. The CD, Sweet Dreams: The Songs of Patsy Cline, has thrilled her fans and resulted in two European tours, as well as ones to Asia and the South Pacific.

“Everything I say in the show is something Patsy said. Performing this tribute to her is an honour. I’ve been told that within five minutes, people forget and think they are at a Patsy Cline concert. That was my goal. To take them away for two hours. What better gift do you give people?” Way said.

– – –

SWEET DREAMS:A TRIBUTE TO PATSY CLINE

WHAT:Musical theatre sensation Leisa Way takes you on a two-hour journey of the late singer’s life that’s filled with hit songs and insight into what made Patsy Cline such a special person.

WHEN:May 8 to 10, in addition to previous sold-out dates of April 22- 26 and May 1-3.

WHERE:Upper Canada Playhouse, Morrisburg.

COST:$28 (adults); $24 seniors (60 and up)/students. Groups of 10 or more are $23 per person. To book tickets, call 613-543-3713.

SHOW TIMES:May 8 and 9 at 8 p. m., plus 2 p. m. matinees on May 9 and 10.

Tourism looks promising for summer season – In this recessionary year not everything is doom and gloom for Islanders

The Guardian – Prince Edward Island’s provincial newspaper. 07/03/09
Editorial

Tourism operators, along with industry and government officials, are all brimming with optimism as they look forward to the coming 2009 tourist year on P.E.I. That outlook seems well placed despite the current economic situation facing the province. Last season was disappointing, but could have been worse. Despite the high dollar, high price of gas, and record rainfall in August, the overall decline was in the single digits. Now the price of gas has dropped significantly, the dollar in below 80 cents U.S. and a lot of big things are planned for P.E.I. this summer.

Those factors may persuade more U.S. visitors to head north. We always hear that U.S. tourism drops in an election year and that proved correct in 2008. With a new president installed, maybe his stimulus package will have the desired effect of increasing the spending and purchasing habits of Americans, and boosting the optimism for our neighbours to the south.

All things point to a strong tourism year this summer across Prince Edward Island. The 2009 Canada Summer Games, scheduled for the last two weeks of August, will attract thousands of athletes, officials, family members and spectators. There will be national media coverage and that might provide a boost heading into the fall shoulder season as well.

Old Home Week is celebrating a milestone this August with the 50th running of the Gold Cup and Saucer harness race. There is sure to be extra marketing and hype associated with the race, along with the durable provincial exhibition which underwent considerable modernization efforts in 2008.

July received a big boost earlier this week with the announcement of a major three-day country music festival in Cavendish, coming to a close at the start of the Summerside Lobster Carnival Week. Maybe music fans will stick around for some extra days to enjoy the weather and the big fair in Summerside.

The 2009 tourism marketing, media and public relations plan was unveiled Thursday in Charlottetown and was well received. The TIAPEI meeting was told that a banner year in meetings and conventions is coming up. P.E.I. is already known as Canada’s top golf destination and the airing of the Golf Channel’s Big Break Prince Edward Island next month, will be sure to draw increased interest from golfers across North America and beyond. All these developments present guaranteed opportunities to grow tourism for the province.

But it will be hard to replace the big boost that the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables brought in last year. That anniversary is credited with almost single-handedly salvaging what could have been a very disappointing tourism season.

The current recession has been diagnosed as almost being the result of a false state of mind. We hear so much bad news from other parts of Canada, the U.S. and beyond, that we feel the same must be true here. But our economic indicators are much more robust and we have to think ourselves out of this rut we seem to be in. We had a strong holiday shopping season, car dealers had a big year in 2008, and good things are happening with construction and infrastructure projects.

If the good news and optimism coming out of the tourism conference can be converted into changing the mind-set of Islanders that not all is gloom and doom, then things will indeed be rosier in the days ahead.

Now, if only Mother Nature will co-operate and bring us some better weather, everything should fall into place for a banner 2009 tourism year.

[God bless America and Island optimizim.  We need both.]

Island Students Archiving Anne’s Days

History goes high-tech print this article
A Living Archives education project provided the platform for students in three Prince Edward Island schools to pair web-based technologies with the study of the province’s heritage
MARY MACKAY archiving
The Guardian

Students in three Prince Edward Island schools used something new to bring something old to life in this school session.

A new Living Archives project taught Grade 7 students at Stonepark Intermediate in Charlottetown, Ecole Evangeline in Abram-Village and Kensington Intermediate Senior High how to use web-based technologies to document and digitize the social history and historical artifacts relating to early 20th century life and showcase them on the web.

“This is the first time this has ever been done,” says a super enthusiastic Sam Preston of Covehead, 12, who was one of many Stonepark students who worked on the joint UPEI/Department of Canadian Heritage project.

The interwoven layers of the website features student writing, photography, videos and interviews related to their historical research which focused on a 50-year period between 1875 and 1925.

“It is like a virtual online textbook mainly,” says Sam of A Living Archives, which was implemented through UPEI’s Faculty of Education and supported by a contribution from the Canadian Culture Online Partnerships Fund.

Dave Cormier, web specialist for integrated promotions at UPEI, came up with the Living Archives concept, which uses Anne of Green Gables as a springboard.

“Anne is the context for the project,” he says.

“We started with seven excerpts from the Anne novels. We pulled out some general themes from the book and one of them was horses and transportation. So each one of the posts that the kids have done (on the website) is in some way connected to one of those seven excerpts.”

For instance, the horses and transportation theme used by Stonepark stems from Matthew’s and Anne’s carriage ride from the train station to Green Gables. Kensington focused on a general store theme. Ecole Evangeline did Acadian life.

“It’s the context they’re building from. It’s not like they’re studying Anne. They’re contextualizing Anne so they’re learning history,” Cormier says.

Research was a big part of the project, so students embarked upon field trips to the Public Archives and Records Office and the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation’s Artefactory to find the information and images they needed for their website postings.

“We would take pictures from the provincial archives and we would put them online and write stuff about them, my partners and me,” says 12-year-old Stonepark student Andy MacPhee of Stratford, whose topic was harness racing.

Other Stonepark themes included bicycles, trains, early autos and iceboats.

“We had to have three or four blogs each and then after that you put context pieces and link them to each other’s blogs. The context piece is basically telling what our project is and what you need for horse racing; like you need a sulky, what a sulky is and what it’s made of.”

Jerry Campbell is the Grade 7 social studies teacher at Stonepark whose class of 28 was involved with A Living Archives.

“The idea was that the lure of using technology to study the past would be a different, unique way for the kids to get turned on to history and their heritage, as opposed to

just the regular sit-down-open-a-book (way),” he says.

“We didn’t know exactly what was going to happen and what kind of interest the kids were going to have, but it has turned out to be pretty successful.”

Students have been working since early in the fall on their projects. The website is for the most part up and operational.

Bonnie Stewart, who is a A Living Archives project manager, says the project also allowed students to expand their literary skills in a whole new way.

“You give them the opportunity to both take ownership of their learning by the fact that they’re making something themselves — they were really proud of

the fact that they were

making an (e-)textbook themselves — and a chance to work within a virtual

world and stuff like that,” said Stewart.

“Then you get a high level of engagement, even from students who aren’t traditionally super readers in school in general or in the subject of history.”

A half-hour documentary video on the making of A Living Archives will be paired with the University of Prince Edward ?Island Faculty of Education research to document the learning potential of this cutting edge project so that other teachers and students down the road can adapt the project to their own needs.

For Sam, his exploration into his A Living Archives topic of bicycles on Prince Edward Island from 1875 to 1925 was a wonderful exploration into history and high-tech.

“I think it’s a lot better way of learning than just taking a textbook off the shelf and reading it,” he said.

It’s more interactive and you get to use a lot of technology.”

Fast facts

A Living Archives

n A Living Archives project is located at http://www.livingarchives.ca.

n Schools involved were Stonepark Intermediate in Charlottetown, Ecole Evangeline in Abram-Village and Kensington Intermediate Senior High.

n Archives themes are horses and transportation, the general store and Acadian life, all of which focus on a time period between 1875 and 1925.

n The project was a partnership between the University of Prince Edward Island, Canadian Heritage, Department of Education, Canada Culture Online Partnerships Fund, Museums and Heritage P.E.I., and Public Archives and Records Office of P.E.I.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=121436&sc=100