by Stephen Dafoe
In September of 1967, Elia Kazan’s novel The Arrangement was the New York Times bestseller. In fact, the novel was top of the charts from March until May and from July until September of that year.
While Kazan’s book was making people turn the pages, Morinvillians were turning calendar pages, eagerly anticipating the start of the Morinville Public Library.
The Morinville Community Library will be celebrating its 50th anniversary Sept. 9 and will host a week of special events to commemorate the milestone occasion.
“It’s such a privilege to work in a public library, to begin with, but to be a part of the team responsible for organizing the 50th Anniversary is an honour,” said Library Supervisor and co-organizer Ashley Cain. “Both the Library Board and staff are so thrilled to be involved with this fantastic community milestone, and we look forward to the celebration this Fall.”
And there is much to celebrate. Cain said the library began as a small room lined with books that were run by volunteers.
“Like so many rural libraries half a century ago, its patronage was modest, and the majority of them were there for leisure reading,” she said. “Since then, the library has blossomed into a community hub, frequented by more than 4300 patrons who utilize our services for everything from leisure to professional development to lifelong learning. And the journey doesn’t end there. We’re working to expand our services and collection every day so that Morinville and area residents can access the best of what contemporary library services has to offer – which is a lot, by the way! It may surprise people to hear, but libraries today are much more than books.”
During the anniversary week this fall, the library has four significant events lined up.
Vistors to the library will have the opportunity to enjoy a different type of cake each day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Sep. 5 to 9. Earlier this year, the library held a contest to find their anniversary cake makers for the big celebration.
Children who come to the library for the cake occasion will also get a chance to spin the library’s prize wheel to win a variety of gifts.
Both the cake and prize events are open to the public and free of charge.
The library is planning to host acting workshops on Sept. 9, the official anniversary day, during the morning.
Live History theatre group from Ottawa will run two workshops, one for juveniles one for teens and adults.
Although the workshops are free, registration is required due to limited space. Those interested can register at the library’s front desk.
Cain said the library was contacted by Live History a year ago because they were going to be on tour in Alberta and wondered if Morinville would be interested in hosting a performance.
Cain said the acting workshops come with Live History’s performances.
Live History Performance
The library has partnered with the Musée Morinville Museum to host Circa – an interactive mystery show play put on by the Live History actors. The play will incorporate local history.
“When we learned that their shows integrate local history, we thought it would be a perfect fit for our daytime program for the anniversary,” Cain said. “We then decided to approach the Morinville Museum about hosting the performance because the library started out in that same building 50 years ago and the Museum graciously agreed.”
Tickets for the performance are $5 each and can be purchased either at the library or museum beginning Aug. 1.
A week of milestone celebrations will culminate in what the library is calling an “incredible gala” at the library. The evening will include drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a performance from special guests Rooney and Punyi, door prizes, a live art performance, and other entertaining features.
Tickets for the gala cost $25 each and can be purchased at the library beginning Aug. 1.
Space for the ticketed events is limited. Those interested are asked to contact the library early to secure tickets.
Cain said the entire week is made possible due to sponsors.
“The library is rich in friends. Not only did the Museum jump at the chance to partner with us for the anniversary, the Town of Morinville has contributed financial assistance as well,” Cain said. “We’ve also received a number of private donations from library patrons who wanted to contribute to the celebration. We are so grateful for the support we’ve been shown and hope to see all of these champions present on September 9th to join us in a toast to our amazing library.”
For more information, contact event coordinators Ashley Cain or Cheryl Pasechnik at 780-939-3292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.