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Everything about Anne

On 23 July 2016, Bala’s Museum held their annual “Everything About Anne Day,” where they re-create the day in 1922 when Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery came to Bala, Ontario, for a 2 week vacation.

Starting off with the arrival of “Lucy Maud Montgomery” (played by Donna Hillyard) herself by carriage, the museum hosts an afternoon of family fun based on the story of Anne of Green Gables, featuring egg-on-a-spoon races, 3-legged races, sack races, and prizes for best costumes of characters the beloved story.

Attending this year’s festival was Montgomery’s first grand-daughter, Luella Macdonald Veijalainen.  Guests were treated to popcorn, lemonade and a special cake to commemorate the 24th anniversary of Bala’s Museum.

Bala’s Museum is housed in the 2-story, white and green trimmed clapboard house, formerly a boarding house, where Montgomery had her meals during her visit.  This vacation inspired Montgomery to write the novel, “The Blue Castle,” a story set in the Bala area and her only novel not to take place in her beloved Prince Edward Island.

Officially opened as a museum in 1992 by Jack Hutton and Linda Jackson-Hutton, the museum features displays and artifacts from Bala and the Muskoka region, but a big focus is on various items formerly belonging to Montgomery and relating to the story of Anne of Green Gables, including a script from the 1985 TV movie starring Megan Follows and the boat that sank under her as she recited the poem, The Lady of Shalott.

The museum also features one of the best collections of Montgomery books, including several rare first editions like a1926 first edition copy of The Blue Castle with the original dust jacket.

Young guests can dress up as Anne or Gilbert, while Jack and Linda take you through the house, telling the story of Anne of Green Gables as they go along, from waiting at the train station for Matthew to saving Minnie May.

It’s a great way to spend a family afternoon in Bala, a part of the scenic Muskoka region.

Sources:  https://balasmuseum.com, personal observations of the author (2016).

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/everything-anne/

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