Renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood will take part in a unique event at Laurentian University on Wednesday, November 19th, marking the 10th consecutive year that Laurentian has hosted a celebration of Ms. Atwood’s birthday.
“An Evening With Margaret Atwood,” at the Fraser Auditorium, will feature the country’s pre-eminent literary luminary on stage with Laurentian University Chancellor Steve Paikin in a wide-ranging conversation about her life, her work and her views on Canada, contemporary society, the environment and other topics.
This year’s event has been planned as the culmination of a Laurentian tradition that began in 2005, when a Margaret Atwood-themed dinner was held at the home of a Laurentian English professor. The meal included an Edible Woman cake, and recipes recommended by Ms. Atwood from a cookbook she compiled and illustrated, The CanLit Food Book. In successive years, the Atwood birthday celebrations moved to larger venues and became more elaborate, featuring dramatic readings and performances, music and dance.
Since 2007, Ms. Atwood has been the guest of honour at the mid-November celebrations, and proceeds from the events have been channeled to charities and causes of her choosing. Beneficiaries have included Laurentian University’s Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, the Vale Living with Lakes Centre, and the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee. In addition to supporting several environmental causes, proceeds from the Atwood celebrations have contributed to bursaries and scholarships for Laurentian students.
“Our Laurentian community has been remarkably privileged over the years to have enjoyed this special relationship with Margaret Atwood. Her vision and ideals have inspired us, our students and the broader community, and we feel fortunate to have shared so many birthdays with her,” said Laurentian University President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux. “We are delighted to have her back again this year, and we sincerely wish her a happy 75th.”
“Dr. Susan Glover and Dr. Shannon Hengen, along with their colleagues in the Department of English, have done a remarkable job of pulling this event together every year for a decade,” said Dr. Elizabeth Dawes, Dean of Arts at Laurentian University. “Thanks to their efforts, and those of many others who have contributed to these gala events, we have been enriched by our association with Ms. Atwood.”
Tickets for An Evening With Margaret Atwood are available at Laurentian University’s Parker Building (reception desk; cash only), Old Rock Roastery on Minto Street, and Chapters. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Margaret Atwood Scholarship Fund. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.