Celebrating Wintergreen: A Feast of Pleasures

Join us for this special 10th anniversary event!  Register here.


Saturday, May 6, 2 pm – 5 pm

Wintergreen morning light – Photo by Peter Coffman

Wintergreen has been ten years in the making. We are holding an anniversary afternoon to savour our accomplishments, to welcome new and returning friends, and to build momentum for future programs and events.

The afternoon will be full of pleasures! Celebrate spring with a guided hike in the woods – the Dutchman’s Breeches are sure to be blooming by early May. Enjoy a reading by Helen Humphreys, who has inspired established and emerging writers at Wintergreen. Hear from the  authors most recently published by Wintergreen Studios Press, Peri McQuay and Gary Rasberry. Be entertained by music of the Eastern Ontario’s acoustic folk trio, Fiddlehead Soup. Peruse through the exquisite photographs of Wintergreen created by Peter Coffman and Diane Laundy. Enjoy conversations and light refreshments. The $25 ticket includes food, entertainment, and your choice of one of Wintergreen’s latest books to take home with you.

The Cast…

WRITER & TEACHER – Helen Humphreys

Helen Humphreys is the author of four books of poetry, six novels, and two works of creative non-fiction. She was born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, and now lives in Kingston, Ontario. She has taught and read at Wintergreen many times since we first began featuring the literary arts, and we are thrilled to have her join us for our anniversary celebration.

Her first novel, Leaving Earth (1997), won the 1998 City of Toronto Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, Afterimage (2000), won the 2000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her third novel, The Lost Garden (2002), was a 2003 Canada Reads selection, a national bestseller, and was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Wild Dogs (2004) won the 2005 Lambda Prize for fiction, has been optioned for film, and was produced as a stage play at CanStage in Toronto in the fall of 2008. Coventry (2008) was a #1 national bestseller, was chosen as one of the top 100 books of the year by the Globe & Mail, and was chosen one of the top ten books of the year by both the Ottawa Citizen and NOW Magazine. The Reinvention of Love was released in July 2011 in the UK, and in September, 2011 in Canada.

Humphreys’ work of creative non-fiction, The Frozen Thames (2007), was a #1 national bestseller. Her collections of poetry include Gods and Other Mortals (1986); Nuns Looking Anxious, Listening to Radios (1990); and The Perils of Geography (1995). Her latest collection, Anthem (1999), won the 2000 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry.

MUSICIANS – Fiddlehead Soup

Although it may sound as if we’re serving a spring soup (and who knows? maybe there will be fiddleheads on the menu!), Fiddlehead Soup is not so much an edible feast as an auditory one. Comprised of a trio of acoustic musicians, their music is eclectic — folk, world, fiddle, medieval, Celtic — and promises to complement the literary offerings of the afternoon. Learn more about their music on their website. CDs will be available at the anniversary celebration.

Bruce Enloe writes:

World folk and fiddle music group Fiddlehead Soup is an energetic trio of musicians as engaging as they are talented—they start with a haunting Celtic, medieval groove based around native Scotsman Doug Hendry’s open tuned 12 string guitar and warm tenor voice, then they weave it into a gypsy tapestry with mother and daughter Glenna Hunter and Ursa Meyer’s twinned fiddles and voices.

Singing songs from the traditions of multiple countries and in multiple languages as well as their own artfully constructed material, Fiddlehead Soup does an incredible job of making the difficult look not only effortless, but fun!


WRITER – Peri McQuay, Singing Meadow

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Peri will read from Singing Meadow, her much-requested sequel to The View from Foley Mountain. Told with the excitement of a novel, this is the inspirational story of a couple searching for and creating a small, simple home in a beautiful, natural setting. As the author and her husband learn the art of creating a pleasing small home, inevitably tensions surface. But at the same time, there is great joy in discovering their new surroundings. Always present in McQuay’s lyrical writing is the couple’s shining love of the land. This timely book celebrates the possibilities and rewards of simple living and the healing power of nature. Yes, Singing Meadow says. Yes, you can have a house in the country and here’s the story of one couple’s adventure of discovery. “As it turned out, the feeling of finding home was more profound than excitement. It was a heartfelt knowing. What I want to suggest is that sometimes, with much sacrifice and patience and some luck, dreams can come true.”

Peri  became committed to nature through the inspiration and teaching of her Canadian artist parents, Ken Phillips and Marie Cecilia Guard. For thirty years Peri and her conservation educator husband Barry took joy in living, working and raising their two sons, Morgan and Jeremy, at Foley Mountain. This 800-acre conservation area of granite ridges, beaver ponds and towering pines overlooks the beautiful little village of Westport in eastern Ontario. Currently she lives, and writes, at Singing Meadow, near the shores of Bobs Lake. Deeply committed to nature, art, and social justice, she is the author of three published books. Learn more from her website at www.perimcquay.org.


POET – Gary Rasberry, Some Days Just Noticing

celebrating wintergreenThe collection writing is born out of ritual: the grinding of coffee beans and the gathering of words, day after day, word after word. A poem to mark each day of the year. The poems come from a quiet place — think campfire rather than wildfire, fairy dust rather than fireworks. They arise from what beloved Kingston poet Bronwen Wallace called the stubborn particulars of grace: the stain on the sidewalk, the laundry on the line, the torn screen on the front porch door, March giving way to April. Some days just noticing.

Gary Rasberry. Philosopher. Poet. Imagination Consultant. Musician. Artist. Educator. With a PhD in education and over 20 years experience as an artist and an educator, Gary has held artist-in-residencies internationally, in California, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, nationally in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario, and locally in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario.  This JUNO-nominated children’s artist offers Song, Story & Sound Workshops, and concert performances in schools everywhere. Gary has published two other poetry collections, As Though it Could be Otherwise (Studio 22 Idea Manufactory, 2011) and More Naked than Ever (Hidden Brook Press, 2013).



PHOTOGRAPHER – Peter Coffman

caminoPeter Coffman graduated from Ryerson University’s Department of Film and Photography with a B.A.A. in 1988. He has had solo photographic exhibitions at the ViewPoint Gallery (Halifax), Studio 22 (Kingston), the College of St. Francis (Joliet, Illinois), The Ryerson Gallery (Toronto), Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan), and the McLaughlin Planetarium (Toronto), among others. He has also participated in group exhibitions in Ottawa, Halifax, Kingston and Toronto. His photography has appeared in publications ranging from Queen’s Quarterly to The Globe and Mail, and is in private collections in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Peter also holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, an M.A. from York University, and a Ph.D. from Queen’s University. He has taught at the University of Toronto, York University, Queen’s University and Carleton University, and is now an Assistant Professor and Supervisor of the History and Theory of Architecture Program at Carleton.

Peter’s Camino adventures with musician and composer Oliver Schroer have been documented in interviews and films, and Peter’s Camino photography has won several awards. For more details, see his website. Peter has presented on his Camino adventures at Wintergreen a number of times, and is currently working on a book featuring his photographs, more music from Oliver, and insightful meditations about his Camino experience.



celebrating wintergreenDiane Laundy has been quietly photographing Wintergreen’s landscape for the past several years, capturing the subtle colours and textures of the land that intrigue her so deeply. She writes:

Nature, architecture and everyday objects contain patterns that intrigue, mesmerize and engage me. Structure, colour and texture draw me to my subject and inform how I create and present my images.

In an attempt to move away from realism and the straight photograph, I began to consider the juxtaposition of images, putting different photographs of textures, patterns and subject matter together into new creations. Influenced by textiles and quilts and the way they are created and combined, I began to cut and arrange the same image, a series of images or parts of images to create a new composition.

Taking those initial images and abstracting them is a form of play for me. Taking them beyond the expected and seeing what they can become is endlessly compelling.


Register for this event here.