Reading Town Gatineau

12 May 2017 2h00 PM
Mill Road Community Space

8, Mill Road, Chelsea

First Things First

A celebration of the history and culture of the Gatineau River region

This two-day event, sponsored by the National Reading Campaign program Reading Town/Ville Lecture in partnership with the Mill Road Community Space will celebrate the cultural communities of the region from the first nations of Kitigan Zibi to the original European settlers to the vibrant literary musical and cinema works of today as practiced by successive generations in the region.

In the process, we intend to raise enough money to send 150 books to Aboriginal libraries on reserves to mark Canada 150 appropriately.

 Schedule: (subject to additional events so come back to the site!)

 2:00 PM: Opening ceremony and readings

 Annie St-Georges

 Listen to Annie (Kishkwanakwad) Smith St-Georges, an Algonquin Elder opening our mini-festival

 Annie Smith St-Georges is a well known Algonquin Traditional Elder born and raised on the Kitigan-Zibi reservation near Maniwaki.  Daughter of a trapper, she has acquired many teachings from her grandfather, her uncle the internationally renowned Grand Father William Commanda, and from many aboriginal elders from across North America. 

"The Medicine Wheel is, in fact, not just a Medicine Wheel. It is a way of life. It provides a connection with all aspects of our health – the physical, the mental (intellectual), the emotional and the spiritual. It embodies how we heal ourselves and a way in which to look at all parts as one complete whole. "

Albert Dumont 

Albert Dumont, “South Wind”, is a Poet, Storyteller, Speaker, and an Algonquin Traditional Teacher. He was born and raised in traditional Algonquin territory (Kitigan Zibi). He has been walking the “Red Road” since commencing his sobriety in 1988. He has published four books of poetry and short stories and one children’s book, written in three languages. He will read from his works and share thoughts and ideas with us.

Admission: Free

3:00 PM:  The Films of Bill Mason

Introduction by Becky Mason

3:15 PMSong of the Paddle

Bill and his family loved to go canoe tripping. This is a charming film about the four of them living out on the land in a tent and traveling by canoe for a summer. It's about the simple pleasures to be found in the wilderness and learning to take the time to see all the hidden delights along the way. This film is about learning to respect the wilderness and what it can teach us if we stop to look and listen. The whole family will love watching this film and it is guaranteed to inspire viewers to plan new trips and adventures of their own.

41 minutes.

  1. 9 International Awards.

4:00 PM: Cry of the Wild

Bill Mason's search spanned from Baffin Island to British Columbia, Lake Superior to the Northwest Territories and back to his home in the Gatineau Hills, Quebec where he built an enclosure in the forest for a pack of captive wolves. It's not just a film about wolves it's a story of how Bill and his family grow to care and learn about the secret world of the wolf.

90 minutes. 1971.

Diploma of Merit,1st International Film Festival of the Human Environment, Montreal 1973.

6:00 PM: Blake

Blake James sheds the trappings of the busy modern life and takes to the skies in his gorgeous well-loved vintage bi-plane. We can all relate to simple pleasures of life and Blake lives that dream. Some of his adventures include trying to fly and navigate by roadmap at dusk. He also creates quite a stir when his little plane lands at an international airport on an unscheduled stop. This film will make you laugh until your sides hurt. To top it off there is a lovely guitar strumming soundtrack to go along with this charming semi-biographical portrayal of Blake James and his amazing travels. Mostly shot in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec.

Originally shot in 16mm color. 20 minutes.

  1. 6 International awards, including a nomination for Best Live Action Short Film, Academy Awards, Hollywood 1970.

Admission: Free

For more on the films of Bill Mason go to

6:30 PM:   - Dinner Break

8:00 PM: Lyrical Reflections On Our River: Then, Now and to Come.  

 Phil Jenkins will regale us with readings and songs from his work capturing the history and flavor of the Gatineau region. He will also include selected reading from local author extraordinaire Brian Doyle.

This is an evening for all ages to enjoy. Bring your family so they can learn about the place where they live in a highly entertaining way.

Admission: Free