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Local author will reveal Lucy Maud Montgomery's local connections

Rachel McMillan will be the guest speaker at Orillia Museum of Art & History event March 20
2019-03-15 rachel mcmillan
Orillia author Rachel McMillan will be the guest speaker at the March 20 History Committee event at the Orillia Museum of Art & History. Contributed photo

The History Committee of the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) welcomes acclaimed author Rachel McMillan as guest speaker on Wednesday, March 20 with her talk “Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Muskoka: Exploring the Local Regions that Inspired Her Life and Work.”

McMillan grew up in Orillia and is a life-long Montgomery enthusiast.

Lucy Maud Montgomery is renowned for putting Prince Edward Island on the world map with her books about Anne of Green Gables, yet she spent most of her life and wrote most of her books in Ontario.

Montgomery’s Ontario connection is a subject of fascination to enthusiasts and scholars alike, and explored deeply in the published personal journals of her life as a rural minister’s wife during the first half of the century.

McMillan will highlight Montgomery’s special connection with Muskoka, her mentions of Orillia, her view of Stephen Leacock and her abiding passion for our Lake Country.

Montgomery’s book The Blue Castle is a personal favourite of McMillan’s and is the only one of Montgomery’s works set completely away from P.E.I.

The book was inspired by her holidays in Muskoka and paints nearby Bala and Gravenhurst in beautiful detail. McMillan has written extensively on The Blue Castle and Montgomery’s love for Muskoka.

She presented a paper on The Blue Castle at the bi-annual conference at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown in 2016 and is a member of the LM Montgomery Society of Ontario.

McMillan is the author of eight historical mysteries and three contemporary romances. She has been featured in publications such as the Strand Magazine, Booklist, BookPage, Library Journal, the Globe and Mail and Publisher’s Weekly.

Her most recent book was a featured title at the American Library Association Conference in New Orleans. While McMillan lives in Toronto, she can be found typing away at Mariposa Market and Brewery Bay during her visits home to Orillia. Please join us for an engaging evening.

On Wednesday, April 17, OMAH welcomes students from Orillia Secondary School.

They will share plans for their journey this spring during which they will be tracing battles, including Ortona Beach, Juno Beach, Vimy Ridge and Brussels. The importance of keeping the memory of both WWI and WWII is keenly appreciated by the students as is remembering Orillians who served.

Admission to the History Speakers Evening is free, donations to OMAH are appreciated. The talk starts at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.