Book launch will be July 5

Com­pan­ion books hon­our kin­dred spir­its

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/FEATURES -

Two books, “Meet Me at Green Gables” and “Rideau rouge et pignons verts”, pub­lished by Bou­ton d’or Acadie, will be launched on Wed­nes­day, July 5, 4:30 p.m., in Stu­dio 1 at Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts.

Writ­ten by Michel Bourque and il­lus­trated by Jean-Luc Trudel, the two chil­dren’s books – one pub­li­ca­tion in English and one in French – tell the story of Gra­cie Fin­ley and Glenda Landry, who played Anne and Diana in “Anne of Green Gables—The Mu­si­cal”.

“It’s great that the books are be­ing launched where the story ac­tu­ally took place – at Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts,” says Bourque. “This is where Gra­cie and Glenda’s dreams of per­form­ing on stage all came true. And what a great way to cel­e­brate Canada 150!”

Fin­ley played the part of Anne from 1968 to 1974 and in 1984 and 1985. She re­mains the youngest to be cast in the ti­tle role of The Charlottetown Fes­ti­val mu­si­cal and was the first na­tive Is­lan­der to do so. Landry played Diana be­tween 1970 and 1991 and also played many other Avon­lea char­ac­ters in the long-run­ning mu­si­cal, in­clud­ing Mrs. Rachel Lynde and Mrs. Pye. Fin­ley and Landry have played the parts of Anne and Diana more times than any­one else and have de­lighted fans around the world, from Ja­pan to New York City and at home on P.E.I.

In 1984, Bourque had the chance to see Fin­ley and Landry play the roles of Anne and Diana at The Charlottetown Fes­ti­val.

Thirty years later, he at­tended an event at the Cen­tre where the two ac­tors shared their mem­o­ries of the Guin­ness Record-hold­ing mu­si­cal. In­spired by their beau­ti­ful friend­ship on stage and off, Bourque started writ­ing a chil­dren’s story as a trib­ute to both of them.

He’s also in­spired by Trudel’s il­lus­tra­tions. “They beau­ti­fully cap­ture the essence of Gra­cie and Glenda’s heart­warm­ing story.”

This is not the first time that Trudel has cre­ated il­lus­tra­tions to tell the story of a well-known Is­land artist. In fact, he il­lus­trated the book “Le pit à papa”, in­spired by the child­hood story of singer-song­writer Angèle Arse­nault. The pic­ture book “Ma pe­tite boule d’amour”, which he cre­ated with au­thor, play­wright and ac­tress Jas­mine Dubé, was short­listed for the TD Cana­dian Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Award. More re­cently, he il­lus­trated Diane Carmel Léger’s “My Two Grand­moth­ers”.

Ev­ery­one is wel­come to at­tend the book launch, which will in­clude a book sign­ing, re­fresh­ments and re­marks by Fin­ley and Landry.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

This is the cover for “Meet Me at Green Gables”, one of two com­pan­ion books that will be launched Wed­nes­day, 4:30 p.m., in Stu­dio 1 at Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts. They cel­e­brate the kin­dred spir­its Gra­cie Fin­ley and Glenda Landry.

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