April 10, 2018

imagiNation 2018 in Quebec City

This past Saturday I travelled to Quebec City for the imagiNation Writers' Festival

I love reading and working and sleeping on the train, and I brought an overstuffed purse filled with more podcasts, albums, books, games, pens and notebooks than I could have used in 16 hours. But Quebec City is only three hours away, so after some reading and a nap, I got there in time for dinner with good friends from Montreal (also visiting Quebec City), followed by drinks with my fellow panelist and her partner.

Not only had spring not yet arrived in Quebec City, there was actually a snowstorm while I was there. I was glad to have been warned to wear my boots.

A picturesque view from my hotel window.

The next day I got ready for the festival.

Festival program! I wish I could have stayed all week.

I got there early and had a chance to take a tour of the building. The Morrin Centre is run by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, which was founded in 1824 and is the oldest existing learned society in Canada.

Nothing like some bracing April snow

Housed in a former jail (which held prisoners of the War of 1812!), the Morrin Centre has a gorgeous old library, as well as cells in the basement that have been preserved as a museum. It also has an old science lab: the jail was renovated in the mid-nineteenth century to house Morrin College, which awarded degrees through its affiliation with McGill University.

If you're interested in history or just love books, the Morrin Centre is well worth a visit! Just look at this library:

Me in the gorgeous library of the Morrin Centre, with the famous statue of James Wolfe in the far background. 
(Top tip to lovebirds: if you've always wanted to get married in a library, you can do so at the Morrin Centre!)

Then it was time for the panel itself. I was reading with awesome fellow Montrealer Anna Leventhal, author of Sweet Affliction. We talked about Montreal and female narrators and other writing-related topics with the lovely Julia Caron of CBC. Then I had a glass of wine, chatted with friends and festival-goers, signed some books and then it was back to the train, where I actually did manage to do some of the reading and listening I'd planned on before it was back to Montreal and real life. 

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