Foley Barn to host Authors in the Hills of Mulmur

August 12, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

For the fifth year, Authors in the Hills of Mulmur is returning with three fine authors, this weekend. It takes place Sunday in a beautiful barn at 587146 Sideroad 10 and First Line East.

“I really like to doing this event.” said Nancy Frater, owner of BookLore. “It’s unique because it’s in a barn – the Foley Barn – and the Foleys are so generous in letting us use it again this year – this barn has never seen animals.” 

Giving us a bit about the history of the event, Mrs Frater told the Citizen, “It was originally started by Janet Horner, who was, at that time, a counsellor in Mulmur. She called Nancy at BookLore with the idea and said ‘what do you think?’ and Nancy said ‘I’m in!’ 

“There are three authors. Terry Fallis’ book is part funny, part serious; it’s called Albatross. It’s meant to be released the day after this event and we’ll have copies. It’s already been very well reviewed. He’s such an entertainer. He’s turned a lot of people on to reading.”

She remarked, “He still has an ad agency. This is a book that’s really truly hot off the press!

“Tish Cohen, at one time she lived in the Creemore area but she now lives in Toronto.,” Mrs. Frater went on to say. “Her new book, The Summer We Lost Her, is going to be made into a Hollywood motion picture. It’s about time they made a good movie. We want thoughtful, intelligent movies about real life and we want that for books too!”

Finally, but not least, “Our third author, Bianca Marais, whose last book, Hum if you don’t know the Words, was our One Book One County. Bianca has been to our area three times for that book. I love her interesting titles. This one is, If You Want to Make God Laugh. It’s set in her native South Africa, in the time of African resistance and Mandela’s time. 

“What I like about her books, she really makes history come alive. You’re learning a lot about that time. She can remember how she felt about her nanny – her last book was based on her nanny. Being white, she couldn’t understand why her nanny couldn’t go to the events her family could go to. She has shared the success of her book with her nanny, who is in her 90’s. She just knew that things weren’t right the way they were. 

“She now lectures at University of Toronto. Her new book came out in July. It’s had great reviews. She has just finished a big tour in the U.S. As we say, in preparation for her appearance in Mulmur.”

“These authors know each other,” Mrs. Frater commented.

“How we pull this together,” she began, “there are only five of us. Everybody’s in charge of different parts of the strategy. I’m in charge of getting the authors. Each year we have a theme; this year, it’s all about how life can change in one single moment. We’ve all made decisions that propel us through into something else. Terry’s book is about a person that has that happen, then he had big decision to make.”

Next: “We have to clean the barn. The Mulmur event committee is helping us. Everything has to be set up, even to the point of getting the chairs. They come from the Council and they’re pretty hard. This year, we’re going to give an ‘seventh inning stretch.’ The hard chairs are part of the fun of having it in a barn, in the country. 

“One person organizes the catering. It is a great collegial effort. It’s a small committee but I love working with them.

“Tickets this year are $35, which includes an elegant after party, catered by Anna Hannah-Clairman from Creemore. Served with cold beer and local wine – it’s wonderful to keep things local.

“There’s a different theme each year but always quality authors. There’s everything and we’re really appreciative of all the support the event gets.” 

As moderator this year, Bernadette Hardaker, General Manager for Theatre Orangeville and a former CBC journalist, told the Citizen, “I love it [moderating the authors’ events]. It’s one of the highlights of my year. They have a life of their own. You prepare, read the books and then get the authors on the stage and there is a chemistry that happens on the stage . 

“Nancy is wonderful about this. We have some food before to develop the camaraderie. This will be my third take with Bianca – I looking forward to seeing her again.”

Of the event itself, she remarked, “They put on the best spread. I’ve attended some of the Mulmur author events. This is my first year as moderator. These are great summer reading books. It’s a wonderful day to hear these wonderful authors in this beautiful venue.”

The Foley Barn was built in 2012 on the restored foundation of the original barn, replacing the old building with new pine. If Pat and David Foley wondered what they might do with this beautiful building, the authors’ afternoon there is certainly an example of using it well.

Authors in the Hills of Mulmur is this weekend on Sunday, August 11, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 587146 SideRoad 10 and First Line East, Mulmur.

For tickets, go to BookLore, 121 First Street, Orangeville. phone 519-941-3830; Mulmur Township Office, phone 705-466-3341 and Shelburne Public Library, phone 519-925-2166. Online

Said Nancy Frater, “We just want to do something, so that people have a wonderful time out. Doing things for the community is a great thing in itself.”


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