Next year’s AGM will take place on Saturday, 23 June 2018, in Great Village, N.S.

A Successful AGM, June 2017

The Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia’s Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 17 June 2017, at St. James Church in Great Village, Nova Scotia. After all the business was conducted we opened the “Elizabeth Bishop’s Beginnings” exhibit:

And the “Echoes of EB” gallery:

Our guest speaker was Nova Scotia writer Alexander MacLeod, who held us all mesmerized with his read of one of his short stories.

We drew for the raffle price: a painting by Ontario artist Alfred Villeneuve. The winner of Alfred’s painting was Mary Blanchard of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Alexander MacLeod picking the raffle winner, with President Patti Sharpe.

You can read the Minutes of the 2017 AGM here. President Patti Sharpe’s report follows.

Elizabeth Bishop Society of NS — 2017 President’s Report by Patti Sharpe

In preparing my president’s report, I looked back at those done by our previous president, Laurie Gunn, and noted her references to a planned permanent EB exhibit in the coming years. I’m very happy to say that we have now accomplished that goal through the hard work and support of our board members, exhibit patrons and local
craftspeople. The added creation of a gallery for artwork is icing on the cake. I will leave it to Laurie to share with you the wonders of EB’s Beginnings and Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop in a few moments.

The past year has been a busy, but fulfilling one for the EBSNS. Our work on the exhibit has further strengthened a relationship with the St. James Church of Great Village Preservation Society that began with our one day festival in 2015. Their willingness to accommodate our exhibit and gallery has truly been a gift and we anticipate an ongoing relationship that will benefit both societies. The EB Society also continues to work closely with the GV Historical Society maintaining the Heritage Pergola at Wilsons across the road from this building. This year saw us renewing the previous 10 year contract with Wilsons regarding the presence of the pergola on their
property. The new agreement is opened ended with no restricting time period. They value our presence, as we value their willingness to accommodate us. The Village is small and we all work together for the greater good. I think we need to recognise the important role of partnerships in the continued well-being of small, rural communities.

The EBSNS Facebook page has become an important part of our online presence. I administer the account, relying on the assistance of my teenage daughters when needed. I’m sure they are happy that I’m becoming steadily more comfortable with the medium. Social media has gained a place of importance within our world and the EB
Society is all the better for being part of that. Sandra Barry continues to nourish the Centenary Blog that got its start leading up to 2011 and I routinely share her blog posts on the FB page along with whatever else seems relevant in the bigger world of Bishop
and the activities of the EB Society and its friends. John Barnstead continues to contribute to the blog those nuggets of news and items of interest that he pulls from the internet regarding Bishop and some of those make it on to FB as well. Most importantly, perhaps, is that FB has become a tool for you to use when contacting us.

It was one such FB message a few weeks ago that brought home to me just how important it is for us to have a permanent exhibit, a presence in GV on an ongoing basis. I was contacted at that time by a woman travelling from Boston and planning to be in GV the next day with the hope of visiting EB House. The logistics of making that
happen were beyond my capabilities on such short notice, but I was able to say, “Please drop in and see us at our new permanent exhibit”, knowing that she would find board members at work that morning assembling things. Even if that had not been the
case, the church would be open and she would be able to view the exhibit and artwork at her leisure. Without the exhibit, I would have had little to show her . She visited, met board members and continued her journey having gained a bit more knowledge of EB
and her place in Great Village. We eagerly anticipate that many others will share this experience.

I’ve just completed my first year as the 9th president of the EBSNS. Not a position I had ever expected to hold. I grew up in Great Village knowing next to nothing about EB and it wasn’t until I returned to NS in the early 1990s, after a few years in Ontario, that I
began to here the whisperings – EB this and EB that. In the mid 1990s, I attended a meeting in Halifax connected with my work. I introduced myself to the person seated next to me at that meeting and mentioned that I was from Great Village expecting that
she would say, “Sorry, I don’t know where that is”, but her reply was “Great Village – home of EB!” I admit to being surprised that she had made the connection. Reflecting on that now, I believe that was one of those serendipitous moments in life that hint at bigger things to come. And that is true of the EB Society – we continue to thrive and grow as does interest in Bishop and her work and the future looks bright for us both.

Laurie Gunn’s remarks for the opening of the permanent exhibit and gallery can be read here.


Even though the permanent exhibit and gallery are officially open, you can still become a patron. Information about how to do so is below.

Elizabeth Bishop Permanent Exhibit Fund-raiser 2016-2017: Become a Patron

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In 2014 the St. James Church Preservation Society provided the EBSNS with a temporary space in the sanctuary of the church to set up an exhibit about Elizabeth Bishop. The EBSNS put together an ad hoc display, which was seen by the many visitors to the café and attendees of various events, including the Elizabeth Bishop Arts Festival in August 2015.

When the Preservation Society took over full responsibility for the church, the EBSNS would receive a new location to set up a proper permanent exhibit/gallery space. That new location was offered in August 2016: at the front and on the east side of the sanctuary. The Great Village Historical Society has a permanent Marine Museum exhibit on the west side of the sanctuary. The Preservation Society will also set up an exhibit about the history of St. James Church.

Creating a permanent exhibit and art gallery space is the EBSNS’s main project for 2016–2017. Work is already underway and will continue over the winter. The society will unveil the space at its AGM on Saturday, 17 June 2017, with guest speaker Nova Scotia writer Alexander MacLeod. Watch for updates on the EBSNS Facebook page.

This project has two components: 1. an exhibit called “Elizabeth Bishop’s Beginnings,” which will complement the panels about Bishop that are displayed on the pergola near Wilson’s Gas Stop; and 2. a gallery called “Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop,” where art created by Nova Scotia artists, inspired by Bishop, will be shown.

Fund-raising campaign

The EBSNS will invest its own funds, time and expertise in the exhibit. The society is also applying for a grant from Arts Nova Scotia. However, the cost of this project is such that the society needs to raise additional funds. All funds will go directly to upgrading the space and creating the exhibit.

The EBSNS seeks donations from members and anyone interested in supporting this permanent public place honouring Elizabeth Bishop and her connections to Great Village and Nova Scotia, and showcasing contemporary Nova Scotia artists.

If you would like to be an Exhibit Patron, there are two levels of support: $100 (Gold Sponsors) and $50 (Silver Sponsors).

What Exhibit Patrons receive:

  1. his or her name on a plaque that will hang in the exhibit/gallery
  2. a tax receipt (Canadians only) for the full donation
  3. an Elizabeth Bishop fridge magnet with artwork by Natalia Povalyaeva
  4. a special invitation to the unveiling on 17 June 2017, at the EBSNS AGM

Two ways to donate:

  1. Click any donate button on this website
  1. Send a cheque, payable to the EBSNS, to P.O. Box 138, Great Village, N.S., B0M 1L0

Please indicate your donation is for the permanent exhibit. Thank you for your consideration of this request. The EBSNS is grateful for your support.

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