The Townships Sun launched its new online archives last Friday and rolled out plans for a year of activities celebrating its 50th year of publication.

Archives Project

The Archives Project saw the entire 50 years of its publication scanned and uploaded to the Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), where they can be consulted free of charge. The archives are comprised of 525 issues, with a total of 14,135 pages (10,659 tabloid pages and 3,476 magazine-size pages).

“Our gratitude goes to the Bélanger-Gardner Foundation of the Bishop’s University Library for funding this project,” said David Wright, chair of the Townships Sun board. “We also thank John Mackley, who scanned the majority of the back issues in PDFs. They are archival quality and OCR-searchable.”

“We couldn’t have done it without Jody Robinson, Executive Director of the Eastern Townships Resource Centre, who gave us many helpful consultations, and provided a home for a complete set of back issues,” said Rachel Garber, Editor.  Garber coordinated the project, which also organized all the past issues and purchased acid-free boxes to protect the Townships Sun’s own print archives.

50th Anniversary Committee

The Townships Sun’s Assistant Editor, Marie Moliner, will head its 50th Anniversary Committee, joined by Ana Martinez, one of our newest Board members.

“I left the Townships about 50 years ago. So it is an honour to be recruited to lead the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Townships Sun. I hope many many volunteers will join the small and mighty Team 50, @TownshipsSun, so we can make this 50th anniversary a community building opportunity sans pareil,” said Moliner. She has been back in the Townships since 2020.

The Board has thus far endorsed the following activities in support of the 50th:

Books & Brunch

Books & Brunch is a series of monthly literary/community get-togethers for book lovers, offering a chance to chat with selected authors about their work. The first one is October 15, with authors Mark Abley and Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt. Their recently published books are, respectively, “Strange Bewildering Time: Istanbul to Kathmandu in the Last Year of the Hippie Trail,” and “Peacekeeper’s Daughter: A Middle East Memoir.” Board member and book publisher Angela Leuck is organizing the series.

Townships Young Voices

A new Townships Young Voices Awards competition is opening! The focus will be on high-school-age artists, photographers, poets, and writers of fiction and nonfiction, and the submission deadline is Leap Year February 29, 2024.

“This project is happening thanks to the Townshippers’ Research & Cultural Foundation, which granted $1,750,” said Moliner. “But we need volunteers, including a TYVoices coordinator. Anyone interested is invited to contact me at [email protected] or on Instagram @TownshipsSun.”

Other Projects to Come

Among other 50th Anniversary plans is a special-legacy edition of the Townships Sun in February 2024, and the publication of Eastern Townships Adventure, Volumes I & II, a two-volume history of the Eastern Townships by Bernard Epps. The Eastern Townships Resource Centre and Shoreline Press are partnering with the Townships Sun in this project.

The Event

The 50th Anniversary plans were announced at the Townships Sun’s Annual General Meeting, attended by some 30 volunteers, subscribers, and partners, at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre in Lennoxville.

At the AGM, a new board of directors was elected by acclamation. Two new members are Ana Martinez, a BCS student from Brazil who has been editorial intern at the magazine for the past four months, and writer Jane Baird Warren, of Ayer’s Cliff. Returning board members were David Wright, Janet Angrave, Jennifer Brown, Melanie Cutting, Rachel Garber, Angela Leuck, Beverly Taber Smith, and Scott Stevenson.

PHOTO:           Townships Sun Board & Volunteers 2023-09-22.jpg

CREDIT:          Chaimber Condo

CUTLINE:        Townships Sun volunteers after the non-profit organization’s  2023 AGM. Left to right, standing: Karen Sockett (subscriptions coordinator), Marion Greenlay (financial officer), David Wright (chair/publisher), Scott Stevenson (board member), Jennifer Brown (advertising representative), Beverly Taber Smith (board member), Rachel Garber (editor), Ana Martinez (board member). Seated: Janet Angrave (copy editor), Angela Leuck and Jane Baird Warren (board members), Marie Moliner (assistant editor), and John Mackley (Townships Moon columnist).

1 Comment

  1. Bravo!
    Making the case that size doesn’t matter.
    Townshippers are an awesome community with lots of voices. With the pillars of The Record, CBC, and Townships Roots, and the Townships Sun we hear our voices and we can better thrive.

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