Libraries 150: a celebration

September 29 – October 1, 2017

Annapolis Basin Conference Centre,

Cornwallis, Nova Scotia

Author Presentation: Lance Woolaver – Saturday, September 30th 3:00-4:00pm

Maud Lewis: a Deeper Story Than We Knew

This presentation by Lance Woolaver, the biographer of Maud Lewis, the Nova Scotia folk artist, is based on his new book Maud Lewis: The Heart on the Door.  This 500-page complete biography follows Lance’s pictorial biography of Maud with the Yarmouth photographer Bob Brooks (1996).  The presentation begins with a brief account of the research and travels by Brooks and Woolaver which resulted in three books, a documentary film and a CBC radio broadcast, bringing Maud to national fame through the 1990’s.  Lance will discuss the story of Maud’s reclusive life in her home town of Yarmouth in the first decade of the 1900’s, her leaving school, an account of her last day in the Yarmouth schools and the onset of her deforming afflictions.  The story of Maud’s child out of wedlock, Catherine Dowley will be presented and discussed.  There will be a short reading of the new chapter in The Heart on the Door about Maud’s courtship by Everett Lewis, the illiterate fishpeddler, and their wedding.  The spectre of the Poor Farm in Marshalltown, a county prison for the poor, the neighbour to Maud’s little house, will be discussed.  The poverty which Everett imposed on Maud, and his subsequent accumulation of wealth from Maud’s work ($40,000.00) and his life as a miser are a major part of Maud’s life and this presentation.  The presentation will allow questions as each part of Maud’s life is discussed.  The question and answer sessions will include brief readings from Maud’s CountryChristmas with Maud LewisThe Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis and other vintage folk art books on display.

Lance Woolaver was born in Digby, Nova Scotia in 1948 and lives in Halifax.  Lance has written a dozen books, plays and films, including, with the photographer Bob Brooks, the book and documentary film The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis, which won the Atlantic Film Festival Best Film and the Atlantic Booksellers Award.  His original play about Maud Lewis has enjoyed many professional and community theatre productions, including King’s Theatre of Annapolis Royal, Ship’s Company Theatre of Parrsboro, Neptune Theatre of Halifax, the Blyth Festival of Ontario and a national CBC Radio broadcast.  Lance’s play The Poor Farm was the first in Nova Scotia to engage actors of Mi’kmaq, White, Black and Acadian heritage on the same stage.  Lance is a keen and often inept trout fisherman.  He returns all trout caught to the brooks and streams of Nova Scotia.


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