17 Jun 12 Ways to Experience L.M. Montgomery and Prince Edward Island From Away!
While we wait to welcome you.. Here are 12 Ways to Experience L.M. Montgomery and Prince Edward Island From Away!
By Abbey McRoberts (Student Assistant L.M. Montgomery Institute, UPEI)
Anne of Green Gables author L.M. Montgomery is a staple of Prince Edward Island’s history and the reason why so many have experienced our gentle island. Whether through travels to Prince Edward Island or from reading her breathtaking descriptions of place and nature, many feel connected to PEI through Montgomery. Despite the new normal brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many resources are still available for L.M. Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables readers and fans to get the Prince Edward Island experience, even from afar. Many of these have been created by the L.M. Montgomery Institute and its partners. The LMMI is housed in the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island and is dedicated to researching and celebrating the life, writing, and legacy of L.M. Montgomery.
1. Who is L.M. Montgomery?
Would you like to explore more about L.M. Montgomery and her creations right from the comfort of your home? Lucky for you, the University of Prince Edward Island has produced videos that allow us to feel closer to Montgomery by learning more about her life, works, and legacy. By asking Who is L.M. Montgomery?, Kate Scarth introduces Montgomery and shows how “L.M. Montgomery has inspired her readers and even changed lives.” That impact has been long-standing and international and Scarth explores how Montgomery book covers from around the world evoke a sense of place (including of course of PEI!) in the video Exploring L.M. Montgomery’s Book Covers.
(Videos created by Neal Gillis, Marketing and Communications at the University of Prince Edward Island and Kate Scarth, Chair of L.M. Montgomery Studies at UPEI).
2. Map of Montgomery’s PEI
The Map of Montgomery’s PEI pinpoints locations across Prince Edward Island related to L.M. Montgomery, her works, and her impact. Whether you find yourself in Cavendish or Charlottetown, Summerside or Bedeque, you can discover aspects of L.M. Montgomery’s life from her childhood to adulthood that may not be found in standard tourist guides. Several of these sites are located in the heart of downtown Charlottetown where you can discover Zion Presbyterian church where Montgomery attended services or even Carter’s General Store where she and her friends would spend their spare cash on caramels. Exploring these sites feels like walking in Montgomery’s footsteps!
(Created by former L.M. Montgomery Institute student assistant Heidi Haering).
3. #foundlmmmontgomery Challenge
References to L.M. Montgomery and her works can be found in unexpected places. On your travels through Prince Edward Island and beyond, you can participate in the #foundlmmmontgomery Challenge on Instagram. This account posts “sightings of Montgomery in the wild” and archives these references to Montgomery and her world. References to Montgomery and tributes to Anne of Green Gables have been found on Netflix and TikToks, in the theatre and in novels, on the street and on commercial products. This challenge showcases that we should always keep our eyes peeled for Montgomery. Sightings can be sent directly to the Instagram page @foundlmmmontgomery or by using the hashtag, #foundlmmontgomery. You can also reach Alyssa, who runs this Instagram account and who is the editorial assistant at the LMMI’s Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. 2020 Virtual Tour of L.M. Montgomery Sites on PEI
Suppose you want a sneak peek into the life and literature of L.M. Montgomery on Prince Edward Island without leaving your couch. In that case, you can check out this virtual tour by Carolyn Strom Collins and Bernadeta Milewski, part of the LMMI’s 2020 Vision Forum, which is the virtual replacement for the 2020 biennial L.M. Montgomery Institute conference cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual tour resembles the in-person tour at the end of each L.M. Montgomery Institute conference, conducted by Montgomery expert Collins herself! In addition to Collins’ narration, Milewski’s breathtaking photos of Prince Edward Island allow everyone the chance to experience the Island and imagine themselves here in the future.
5. The MaudCast: The L.M. Montgomery Institute Podcast
Podcasts have become the perfect entertainment for anyone on the go or looking for a way to unwind. Now, we all can listen and learn about L.M. Montgomery from special guests through The MaudCast. Hosted by Brenton Dickieson, the MaudCast dives deep into Montgomery’s life by welcoming and interviewing guests, including academics, researchers, readers, and writers. Whether you’re en route to the Island or want to hear these fascinating interviews relaxing at home, the MaudCast welcomes all to explore one of Canada’s most loved authors. By the time you visit Prince Edward Island, everyone will be impressed with your knowledge of L.M. Montgomery!
6. Unearthly Pleasures: The Artful Astronomy of L.M. Montgomery
Did you know Montgomery was interested in astronomy? “The Artful Astronomy of L.M. Montgomery” by Dave Hickey highlights Montgomery’s interest in star-gazing and her use of the night sky as a source of creative inspiration throughout her works. Hickey explains how “Montgomery…found comfort in those rare moments when celestial companions, such as the evening star, felt near,” much like how she encourages readers to take comfort in the natural world. This project acknowledges Montgomery’s wide-ranging interests including astronomy, photography, and new technology more generally.
7. 2020 Vision Forum
Have you ever been interested in attending a conference completely dedicated to L.M. Montgomery? Since 1994, the L.M. Montgomery Institute has held a conference every two years and now is your chance to attend even if you can’t make it to PEI! Due to the in-person 2020 L.M. Montgomery Institute biennial conference being cancelled because of COVID-19, the Institute responded by creating the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s 2020 Vision Forum. This forum showcases pieces from scholarly presentations to creative projects on topics as varied as visual descriptions and aesthetics, book cover art, fashion, and Instagram (and #Annestagram). For example, Jessica Brown in “Eyes for Avonlea: Montgomery’s Affective Vision for Nature” explores the theme of vision through analyzing descriptions of nature in Prince Edward Island from Anne of Green Gables. The virtual 2020 Vision Forum means you’re never too late to attend a conference entirely focused on Montgomery! And we hope to see you on PEI for the 2022 conference–learn more on the LMMI website here. (The 2020 Vision Forum was co-edited by Lesley Clement and Kate Scarth)
8. Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon Read-alongs
Do you need an excuse to revisit a classic novel or perhaps begin a new one? Readers can visit the L.M. Montgomery Institute website to explore two of Montgomery’s classics, Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon, through completed read-alongs. Readers will feel like they have a guided tour through the novels as each chapter is accompanied by a Montgomery expert’s reflection on that chapter. This is an excellent opportunity for any bookworm anticipating a trip to Prince Edward Island. (Coordinated by Melanie Fishbane)
9. L.M. Montgomery Literary Tour Plaque
Audiences can now experience a stop on the L.M. Montgomery Literary Tour, a tour that explores places that inspired Montgomery throughout her life, from anywhere with only a few clicks. This post showcases the L.M. Montgomery Literary Tour plaque just outside the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island. The plaque celebrates Montgomery’s legacy at UPEI–she was a graduate of Prince of Wales College, one of UPEI’s predecessor institutions. This plaque set in Epperly Plaza also celebrates Elizabeth (Betsy) Rollins Epperly and the L.M. Montgomery Institute. Epperly was the founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institution in 1993 and the only female president of UPEI to date. By sharing pictures and insight on this tribute to Montgomery, this post is perfect for anyone who can’t experience the tour in person.
(Post written by Alyssa Gillespie)
10. Your L.M. Montgomery Story project
Are you a fan of L.M. Montgomery’s world? Whether it’s the irrepressible Anne, the writerly Emily, the gorgeous landscapes within The Blue Castle and The Story Girl, one of the many stage or screen adaptations of Montgomery’s work, or something else entirely, we want to hear from you! Please help current, and future scholars study the international appeal of L.M. Montgomery and her work by answering a few questions about yourself and your love of LMM’s world. You can even share the “origin story” of how you discovered the world of L.M. Montgomery in the first place! Visit yourlmmstory.com for more information and here to share your story (age over-18 only, though parents/guardians can share a LMM story with or on behalf of their children). (The Project Coordinators are Trinna S. Frever (trinnafrever.com / @trinna_writes on Instagram) and Kate Scarth (katescarth.com / @katescarth on Twitter).
11. The Return of Long-Lost L.M. Montgomery Postcards
It’s always exhilarating to discover unknown aspects of Montgomery’s life and work, and this new discovery is no exception. In November of 2019, Betsy Epperly, founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, was contacted by Montgomery’s granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler, and was given the breathtaking news that the McMillan family had discovered a batch of Montgomery’s postcards to George B. MacMillan in Scotland. This was later announced publicly in 2020 alongside the news that the seventy-plus postcards were gifted to the L.M. Montgomery Institute by Donna Campbell! Mary Beth Cavert worked tirelessly to transcribe eighty-eight postcards, and now anyone can view these fantastic artefacts digitally. In this article by Cavert, audiences can grasp the history behind Montgomery and MacMillan’s correspondence, read transcriptions of what’s written on these cards, and view the priceless images of the postcards. A particularly notable postcard is Montgomery writing to MacMillan that her first novel, Anne of Green Gables, was accepted by a US publisher. Exploring these postcards unveils valuable insight into Montgomery’s life for all to enjoy!
12. Coming in 2022: Major Digital Exhibition of Anne Manuscript
For the first time ever, in 2022, the original handwritten manuscript of Anne of Green Gables will become available for everyone, anywhere in the world, to experience and enjoy. The Confederation Centre of the Arts, L.M. Montgomery Institute, and Robertson Library have come together to present “Exploring a National Treasure: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Manuscript.” At the centre of this online exhibit will be an interactive digital version of the original Anne manuscript. This is a highly anticipated project as prior to this project, only a handful of scholars have had the opportunity to experience the original manuscript. Now anyone with an internet connection will be able to access this historic Canadian document from their home virtually. Mark your calendars and get excited! (Emily Woster and Elizabeth Epperly of the LMMI are leading this project. More details can be found in the press release from the University of Prince Edward Island). While you wait, learn more about the Anne manuscript in Carolyn Collins’ presentation, “Envisioning Anne: How L. M. Montgomery Created a Classic.”
Bonus! Coming in 2022: L.M. Montgomery Institute 15th Biennial Conference
Are you looking for activities to add to your itinerary for a trip to Prince Edward Island in 2022?
An exciting event coming up is the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s 15th Biennial Conference (in person!) at the University of Prince Edward Island from June 22-26, 2022. Co-organized by Lesley Clement and Alan MacEachern, the conference follows the theme of “Montgomery and Re-vision,” inspired by the “Vision” theme of the conference cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. “Montgomery and Re-vision” also stands on its own as participants are encouraged to explore adaptations of Montgomery’s life and works, metaphors of change in her work, and many more topics. Not only is this the perfect opportunity for Montgomery fans, but also for anyone who has been craving a trip to Prince Edward Island. You can use this list throughout your travels to ensure you make your trip to the Island one you’ll never forget!
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