Sunday, January 16, 2011

Silent Auction

We are having a silent auction and thought attendees might like to see what's on offer so they can save their pocket money. This is just what has been collected so far!

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Portrait of an Unknown Woman
(Vanora Bennett, paperback)
King Arthur’s Round Table (Marin Biddle, paperback)
Dickon (Marjorie Bowen, paperback)
My Ancestors came with the Conqueror (Anthony J. Camp, paperback)
The Bible in English (David Daniel, hardcover)
Great Harry (Carolly Erickson, hardcover)
The First Elizabeth (Carolly Erickson, hardcover)
The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett, paperback)
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles (Margaret George, paperback)
The Other Queen (Philippa Gregory, paperback)
The White Queen (Philippa Gregory, paperback)
The Prince in the Tower (Michael Hicks, paperback)
We Speak no Treason, Volume two (Rosemary Hawley Jarman, paperback)
Medieval Ghost Stories (Andrew Joynes, paperback)
Anne Boleyn (Norah Lofts, hardcover)
Eleanor of Aquitaine, two copies (Jean Markale, paperback)
April Blood (Lauro Marines, hardcover)
Falls the Shadow (Sharon Kay Penman, hardcover)
The Reluctant Queen (Jean Plaidy, paperback)
Marriage with my Kingdom (Alison Plowden, hardback)
The Forest (Edward Rutherford, paperback)
A Rose for the Crown (Anne Easter Smith, paperback)
Daughter of York (Anne Easter Smith, paperback)
The King’s Grace (Anne Easter Smith, paperback)
Elizabeth and Essex (Lytton Strachey, hardcover)
Elizabeth (David Starkey, paperback)
Cathedral Cats (Richard Surman, hardcover)
The Medieval Woman, an Illuminated Book of Days

(Posting by Victoria)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The First Joint Canada-US Branch Conference and Annual General Meeting

In 2004, the first Joint Canada-US Richard III Society AGM was held in Toronto. We thought that posting a review of the event would be a good way for possible attendees to see what we have in mind for the 2012 event.

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The Richard III Society Joint Canadian-American Branch Conference and Annual General Meeting was held on the first weekend of October 2004, headquartered at the Quality Inn Midtown Hotel (now the Holiday Inn) on Bloor Street where most of the attendees stayed for the event.

This meeting was the first time that the Canadian and American societies were holding their annual general meetings together. The idea was originally suggested by an American member, when the members of the Michigan branch of the Society had joined Canadian members for a production of Shakespeare’s King Richard III in 2002 at the Stratford Festival production.

Prior to the joint AGM, a lot of planning was done for the event by members of the Canadian executive, such as Tracy, Sheilah, Christine, and myself.

The event was attended by 56 registrants, including Canadian members from as far away as Sudbury, ON. In all there were 14 Canadian members present. American members travelled from as far away as Washington state, California, Texas, and Florida to take part.

The event formally began with registration at the hotel on Friday afternoon at three in the afternoon. We invited people to gather at the registration room for five so that they could go for dinner together.

At eight that night, we had a meet and greet in the two meeting rooms in the hotel. We presented the 1983 coronation video (now transferred to DVD!), had food for our guests, a cash bar, played some Ricardian-themed games, look at the numerous silent auction items available and a jolly time was had by all.

Members of the St. Swithun’s Society of Canada and the Monarchist League of Canada joined us for the evening and had a display of their monarchy memorabilia, which was busy throughout the evening.

The next morning, we served a continental breakfast and had two workshops: Clement did a wonderful job on his presentation of secular and religious music in the late Plantagenet era. The presentation generated a lot of discussion and laughter. Attendees were given a chance to exercise their vocal chords by singing some songs during the workshop.

Kathryn Finter, an artist from Ottawa did a lovely slide presentation on medieval illuminated manuscript materials and techniques and did a brief demonstration at the end of her workshop. As a result of Kathryn’s presentation, her generous silent-auction donation of an illuminated letter D copied from Richard III’s Book of Hours received a lot of bids and was finally won by an American member, who bid $165 for the lovely art work. At the break point, those who had seen Kathryn went next door to see Clement’s presentation and those who’d seen Kathryn took part in Clement’s workshop.

At lunch, we went to the Duke of York pub on Prince Arthur. There, after a barbeque lunch, Alexandra Johnston, a professor at Victoria College at the University of Toronto, Founder and Director of Records of Early English Drama and the Chairman of the Board of the Poculi Ludique Societas did a fascinating slide presentation on Richard III, York and Drama.

For the afternoon, we headed over to the Bloor Street United Church  and watched the Poculi Ludique Societas put on a delightful performance of the two-person early 16th-century play, The World and the Child. Afterwards, Sandra Worth gave a brief talk on her Ricardian book The Rose of York: Love & War. At the end of the event, the joint Annual General Meeting was held. (I can’t say much here as I missed the AGM.)

After the official business ended, attendees returned to the hotel to pick up their silent auction items. Thanks go to American members Amber and William for their kind assistance with the silent auction. We had many donations and had bids on more than 130 items, the majority of which were books, but we also had tea towels, a stained-glass York rose won by a Canadian member, souvenir spoons, a Ricardian tee-shirt and myriad other items.

Then attendees changed for the parade to Seeley Hall (click here for a picture of the room) in Trinity College at the University of Toronto where the banquet was held. By all accounts, Seeley Hall was declared beautiful with its exposed beam ceiling, leaded glass windows and hardwood floor. Diners were entertained with the music of Hurly Burly, a medieval and renaissance musical group from Peterborough, ON, who performed during the removes.

At the beginning of the meal, Clement directed the attendees in a sing-along learned earlier in the day at his morning workshops. The meal was wonderful with mustard soup, rolls and butter, salad, noodles and cheese, green peas with onion, chicken, a pear in wine sauce, Bosworth jumbles cookies served with coffee and tea.

At the end of the meal, Clement bought out a subtlety in the shape of a castle, with lit sparklers, filled with sweets for the attendees. At the end of the meal, a fashion parade organized by Pamela was held with attendees giving descriptions of their lovely medieval outfits as they paraded.

After a long day, our attendees headed back to the hotel or to home for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Bright and early on Sunday, we gathered for the last time for a buffet breakfast at the Fox and Fiddle in the hotel. Afterwards, we gathered in one of the hotel meeting rooms to watch a delightful presentation by Joyce, Jane and Nita of the Chicago branch called "Comic Conjecture: Plots and Ploys to Reclaim Richard the Third’s Good Name."

At the end of the presentation, which got a lot of attendees talking, the AGM event was closed by our Chair Tracy with a few well-chosen words and wishes for safe journeys home.

(Posting by Victoria)