Art’s Alive! for a Vital Community

For a second year, the Arts Alive! Québec (AAQ) initiative is turning Knowlton into a creative hub. Supported by the Quebec English Language Arts Network (ELAN) with funds from Canadian Heritage, the AAQ committee chose the art of writing as the theme for the 2016 festival, which runs from August 21 to 28. “Every picture tells a story,” whether the subject is crime, humour, or writing for plays and screen, the creative process always begins with a story.

Townshippers’ Association is proud to play a part in this cultural celebration with a workshop about writing humour at the Lac Brome Community Centre on Wednesday, August 24 at 6 p.m. Hosted by Townships Expressions, the Association’s ongoing sales and promotion of Townships authors and musicians, the workshop will be presented by Ross Murray, a Stanstead-based Townshipper known for his regular columns in the Sherbrooke Record and on CBC radio’s Breakaway.

Without an audience to present their work to, English musicians and writers in Quebec can feel isolated. Writing workshops prevent their craft from being a lonely pursuit, giving them a chance to share their work and knowledge with an audience and to collaborate with their colleagues. The Townships is especially vital to English Quebec’s creative community; writers have found support for new endeavors among the region’s English audience, and the libraries, theatres and literary festivals.

The 2016 AAQ Knowlton festival features a number of workshops and events for professionals and the public to enjoy, such as the premiere of Laura Teasdale’s new play, Home Child, with actors from Bishop’s University, on August 27 [correction:Friday August 26]  to the sold-out launch of Louise Penny’s new book, The Great Reckoning, on August 28, followed by a Star café supper, with ambiance set by Blues Bette Band, and the Barr Family Quartet. In the evening, Canadian folk duo, The Young Novelists, will provide a concert at Theatre Lac Brome.

On August 29, children can craft and paint for free at the library. Everyone is welcome to learn swing dance at the theatre or take a workshop in drumming, painting or bamboo and Paper Sculpture to learn something new in Coldbrook Park, and don’t miss the Sunshine Theatre’s matinee reading of God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza at the theatre.

The full program is posted at Arts Alive! workshops are affordable (10$) and are open to anyone over 10 years old. Tickets (concert $20, play-reading $10) and information at Brome Lake Books 450-242-2242.

Community Leadership Award Nominations Closing Soon!

The Friday, August 26, deadline is fast approaching to submit nominations for Townshippers’ Association’s two recognition awards celebrating the contributions of individuals, couples and groups to the historical Eastern Townships English-speaking community.

The Outstanding Townshippers award is for exceptional contributions to improve the quality of life in our community, through volunteerism, social activism, mentoring or philanthropy. The Young Townships Leaders Award, for ages 15 to 35, highlights youth achievements, dynamism, and involvement by celebrating young people who serve as role models to other youth as well as to adults.

Recipients of both awards will be recognized at the Townshippers’ Day opening ceremonies, at the Brome fairgrounds, Saturday, September 17, 2016. Details posted at

Visit or to submit an online nomination or to download a nomination form. Forms may also be picked up from either of Townshippers’ offices – 257 rue Queen in Sherbrooke, or 584 Knowlton Rd. in Lac-Brome. Questions? Contact Cathy Turner at 819-566-5717 (toll free 1-877-566-5717), [email protected]

Membership Phone-a-thon September 7

Life gets busy, so you may have forgotten to renew your membership to your favourite community organization, like Townshippers’ Association. On September 7, volunteers will be calling past association members and inviting them to renew their ties.

Your membership is important! It provides a channel for Townshippers’ to support our very own English-speaking community and allows us to support and provide information to youth, families, seniors, entrepreneurs who want to connect with existing resources and services.

With new lower prices, membership also comes with benefits such as our twice a year magazine, monthly email newsletter and the right to vote at our Annual General Assembly. So on Sept 7, answer the call or show your support by signing up online at or calling 819-566-2182 (toll-free: 1-877-566-2182).

For more information on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, catch our columns in the Brome County News, visit us on Twitter @Townshippers, Facebook, and our website Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717 (toll-free: 1-866-566-5717) or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421 (toll-free: 1-877-242-4421).

Published: About Townshippers column, Brome County News, Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Photo Credit: Kate Holbrook

Photo Caption: Writers Laura Teasdale and Nicolas Retson with Jefferson Lewis (center) whose workshop to produce a short screenplay was a smash hit at the Knowlton Arts Alive! Québec festival.