Four artists on hand Sunday at re-modelled Mulmur barn

August 18, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Welcome back to another adventure in the literary world, hosted by BookLore and held in a re-modelled barn in the beautiful countryside of Mulmur this Sunday, August 20.

Over coffee, we joined Nancy Frater, owner and co-founder of BookLore, to talk about this coming event and look forward to the fall season. Now in its third year, the theme for this event is Canada, 150 years since Confederation, and the four authors with their books focus “on the diversity of stories and experiences that defines us as Canadians.”

As always, Mrs Frater’s enthusiasm for the authors is thrilling. She reads everything on offer and is fulsome in her praise of the books and the writers.

A little history of the event first: “Janet Horner wanted to do something literary in Mulmur,” Mrs. Frater began. “We would bring in authors while acknowledging the talent in Mulmur.”

The first two Authors in the Hills of Mulmur were held in two venues but, this year there was the opportunity to produce it in the Foley Barn, which has been “beautifully” re-modelled for such purposes, still keeping exposed the beams and the stately structure of the old barn, north of Shelburne on Mulmur’s 10 Sideroad.

“The theme is naturally 150 Canada’s history but we wanted to call it 150 years since Confederation,” she commented. “Canadians telling their stories. There are four authors, unique in their own stories; there are two fiction, one kids’ book and a non-fiction.”

She started the count with Sandra Perron, the first female infantry officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. This remarkable woman has led the way for women in the military, specifically in the infantry – that first line of battle. Up until the 1990’s, no woman had been made an officer.

Said Mrs. Frater, “We wanted a story of firsts for Canadians. I loved her book – it’s not a ‘woe is me’  sort of book at all. She paved the way for women. She is a retired Major and she still loves the Military Van Doos.”

We talked about Drew Hayden Taylor next and his wild collection of short stories: science fiction within the aboriginal communities – whimsical and funny.

“Drew is so prolific; he’s written plays, essays and articles for magazines and television scripts, books,” She commented. “And he’s always takes the humorous approach. He is the Aboriginal part of our day.”

Drew Hayden Taylor is a major force in Canadian literature, blending their stories with humour and a leading representative of the Aboriginal cultural renaissance emerging since the 1980’s.

“I mixed humour in with it all and saved myself an ulcer,” he once said in an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos.

Mystery writer Robert Rotenberg, was next in our review the four and about him, Mrs. Frater remarked, “He’s a criminal lawyer in Toronto. This is his fifth novel in the heart of Toronto. It takes place in Kensington Market and you really get a sense of place. The main character in his books is Jewish. So, the aspect of immigrants is included with this book.”

Mr Rotenberg’s focus is on Toronto where he lives and works. The familiar places are part of the fabric of  the books and his own history with crime as a lawyer has informed him to pen his fascinating series with his character, Art Greene.

Heart of the City is the next in Mr. Rotenberg’s Detective Art Greene series.

The local, Mulmur author is Hugh Brewster, who writes, largely, history for young people.

“Hugh does a great job and making history come alive for young readers,” Mrs. Frater said. “He does novels and picture books.”

Mr. Brewster has a long list of award-winning books on history far and wide. His career in writing for young people began with Scholastic until he wrote his own first book about Anastasia, the youngest daughter of the last Tsar, published in 1996. Since he made the decision to write full-time, he has written several books, some winning awards and the last four books, including his most recent, are part of Scholastic’s I am Canada series.

The moderator for the event is Neil Orford, a retired history teacher who won the Governor General’s Award for  Excellence in Teaching. Mr. Orford takes groups on tour to Vimy.

“He piloted a program teaching students at the Dufferin County Museum,” Mrs. Frater said. “He just gets it.”

Added to all this, the meeting and discussion with these writers, is the reception later  with wine from Southbrook, beer from Steam Whistle and hors d’oeuvres by cookbook author and renown Chef, Martin Kouprie, CCC.

For tickets, information and directions for this wonderful afternoon, running from 1 to 4 p.m, this Sunday, August 20, go to BookLore, 121 First Street,  Orangeville; Mulmur Township Office, 758070 2nd Line, Mulmur, or Shelburne Public Library, 201 Owen Sound Street, Shelburne. Online:

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