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Townships Expressions: Representing Townships Creators

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medium_expressions.09.jpg--November 24, 2009

For a number of years now, Townshippers’ Association has been tirelessly promoting the writers, visual artists, and musicians of the Eastern Townships through its highly successful and popular program, Townships Expressions. The Association hosts receptions in several different locations each year in an ongoing effort to promote the region’s talent. Writers, visual artists, poets and musicians get a chance to show off their creations at these receptions, and usually one or more of them are on hand to read or perform excerpts from their work and sign autographs.

As part of its Expressions program, Townshippers’ also maintains permanent displays of local talent at both its Sherbrooke and Knowlton offices. The public are always welcome to browse and/or purchase items on display.

To be eligible for inclusion in the Townships Expressions repertoire, an item must have been written, performed or created by someone who has lived at least six months in the Eastern Townships; or, have the Townships or some aspect of life in the region as its main subject matter; or, have been published or produced in the Eastern Townships. Participants are charged a nominal fee of $10 per item, plus annual membership in the Association ($15; $10 for seniors).

Townshippers’ staffer Cathy Turner coordinates Townships Expressions. She is assisted by a number of dedicated volunteers, Including Brenda Hartwell, who has been one of the program’s leading lights since its outset.

Turner says that Expressions provides English-speaking writers and musicians of the region greater visibility and an outlet to make their work available to the public. She says that the program is getting better known each year.

Townshippers’ Association hosts Expressions receptions several times each year. “We always do something for Townshippers’ Day,” she says, “plus at least two or three other receptions each year. But we also piggyback onto other events, such as Seniors Day in Magog”

Asked what she finds most rewarding about the program – besides publicizing and selling the works of so many talented Townshippers, Turner says, “I just love it when artists are able to meet other artists that they might otherwise never meet. These events are a great way to network, to share ideas.”

Currently, there are about 140 writers, poets, visual artists and musicians in the Townships Expressions program. Their work, which includes English and bilingual books, cds, cards, prints calendars, and more, is available at the head office of Townshippers’ Association (100-257 Queen Street, Sherbrooke) or at the Association’s Knowlton office (3-584 Knowlton Road Lac-Brome).

For more information, contact the Association at (819) 566-5717 or at ct@townshippers.qc.ca.