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Munson and friends bring Forms, Faces and Spaces

April 29, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Munson and Friends is a pop up that ran the Jackson and Munson Gallery for 11 weeks last year at the White Church in Caledon.

As Caledon artist and photographer E. Connie Munson explained, “Spring is very spongy at the White Church. The Town [of Caledon] is looking at parking in all of Caledon. But we are making plans to be back there in the autumn.”

The Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Norval is the site in May of Forms, Faces and Spaces, a photographic exhibit with workshops that has been arranged and organized by Connie Munson. The Hall is on the corner of of Highway 7 [the Kings Highway] and Winston Churchill Blvd, called Adamson Street in the village. There is much more in addition to the exhibition of marvelous photography.

Said Ms. Munson, “The stuff that’s happening there is tremendous.”

Quite a small community, Norval’s claim to fame is the house which Lucy Maud Montgomery bought in 1926 with her husband Reverend Ewan Macdonald, “who took charge of the Presbyterian Churches in Norval and Glen Williams,” according to the history on the Lucy Maud Montgomery Garden of Senses website.

She and her husband lived there until 1935, during which time, Ms. Montgomery wrote six novels, several short stories and many other shorter works, including poetry.

A volunteer group, LM Montgomery Heritage Society purchased the house with the support of the Presbyterian Church and the wider community. They have partnered with other groups to care for it, with a view of preserving the home and legacy of LM Montgomery in Norval. They have received two grants and a third through the “Prince Charles Canada (the Canadian charitable office for HRH The Prince of Wales) and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, UK, who have been engaged to develop the business plan.” (

The Lucy Maud Montgomery Children’s Garden of the Senses is tended by volunteers. It is filled with a variety of herbs and flowers to delight young and old and also, those who are visually impaired but who can appreciate the sense of the flora.

One of the attractions is the person sundial where a person standing in the correct spot is the shadow telling the time.

For Montgomery fans, The Spirit of Maud Theatre Company is presenting their show All About Anne, a celebration of Anne Shirley, “her most hilarious and touching moments in a revue show of story and music.”

Connie Munson’s entrée into this community was her writing work shop “Writing You” that she ran there last summer in the Gazebo and which she was able to do through the committee renting out the Parish Hall.

From this May 5 to 29, “Forms Faces and Spaces – Figuratively Speaking” is open in the Parish Hall, which Ms. Munson assures us, the hall has 15 ft high walls; is 30 ft wide by 50 ft long with a stage that is seven deep and 20 ft wide. 

“There’s a back wall on the stage that’s phenomenal,” Munson noted.

The stage is where Lucy M Montgomery tread and where theatricals are performed. For the month of May, the Parish Hall and the stage will host a collection of 39 artists bringing 120 pieces.

The schedule of events includes Marnie Cooke from Orangeville who will be doing flamingo dances for live portraiture. There are speakers and workshops of different techniques of painting portraits. The photography is about people in all their moods. 

Sherry Park who has her work in the Alton Mill Arts Centre does portraits but she also does trees after spending six weeks in Nova Scotia. She is doing a demo at Norval.

On Sunday, May 15, the photographs of Leo Dias, photographer and a demo of portraiture techniques.

A workshop by photographer Sabrina Leeder, a relative of Yousuf Karsh will share some historical photos of the master and some unpublished works.

The list goes on of the who’s who of photographers come to discuss and comment on the works on the walls as well as histories of luminaries in the world of photography.

Among these are displays of rediscovered photographs of Lucy Maud Montgomery, courtesy of the Norval Community Association.

“One of the things is what a connector she was,” said Ms. Munson of the famous author. “There were a number of things that happened by combined forces. The Lucy Maud Christmas came with several churches working together.”

Of this exhibition, “Some of this is not just people posing, it’s people in their own spaces, sometimes not even aware that someone is there. Photographers have always enjoyed catching people,” Ms. Munson observed.

Having come to Canada with her husband several years ago, Ms. Munson wanted to stay in Canada once they divorced. Her praise for Canadians was, “I just loved seeing people so proud of their heritages. There were festivals of differences. It was an eye opener. When I was working through the children’s societies, there was a social safety net.

She declared, “I want to pay more taxes so that we have dental plans and that safety net – you do what’s needed for youngsters. They’re going to be the next generation.”

She gave credit to the Halton Camera Club and mentioned the cameo posters of certain people around the village, saying that everything behind the scenes comes forward to make it all happen.

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