Trent University to Celebrate Canadian Cultural
Icons P.K. Page Irwin and Arthur Irwin on May 2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Community Invited to Book Launch and Public Viewing of Room
Honouring Two Major Figures in Canadian Culture
Monday, April 27, 2009, Peterborough
On Saturday, May 2, at Catharine Parr Traill College, Trent
University will celebrate the significant cultural contributions of
two remarkable figures, Canadian writer and painter P.K. Page
Irwin and media pioneer Arthur Irwin.
At 2:00 p.m. there will be a launch of P.K. Page’s two latest
works of poetry entitled Coal and Roses and The Golden Lillies,
with writer Andrea Johnston on hand to read selected poems.
After the reading, refreshments will be served and there will be
a public viewing of the newly dedicated Page Irwin Colloquium
Room, honouring P.K. Page and her husband William Arthur
Irwin who, as editor of Maclean’s magazine and commissioner
of the National Film Board of Canada made an outstanding and lasting contribution to
the development of Canadian culture.
Patricia Kathleen Page met William Arthur Irwin in 1950 when she was working at the
National Film Board of Canada, to which he had just been appointed commissioner. On
December 16 of that year they were married and were to spend the next 49 years of
their lives together, until Arthur’s death in 1999.
When they met, Ms. Page was already one of Canada’s finest poets. Arthur had just
completed a quarter century at Maclean’s Magazine, the last five years as its editor,
during which time he transformed the magazine into the “beating heart of the country”, in
the words of one of his many recruits, June Callwood. After bringing needed reforms to
the National Film Board, which ensured its continuing role as one of the enduring pillars
of Canadian culture, he went on to serve his country from 1953 to 1964 as ambassador
to Australia, Brazil and Mexico. He then returned to his first love, journalism, as publisher
of the Victoria Times.
Ms. Page’s years with her husband were to prove the most productive of her career,
both as a writer and, beginning in Brazil with Arthur’s encouragement, as a visual artist
under the name P.K. Irwin. During this period, she produced dozens of volumes of
poetry, fiction, essays, memoirs and books for children, as well as many hundreds of
pictures, which, like her writings, testify to the richness and variety of her art in whatever
medium she chooses to express herself.
The book launch is taking place in the multi-purpose room at Scott House, in Catharine
Parr Traill College, Trent University’s newly renovated Graduate Studies college located
at 310 London St. The Page Irwin Colloquium Room is in the English Graduate Program
Office Suite, 132 Wallis Hall, also at Traill College. This event is open to the community
and members of the media are encouraged to attend.
For further information, please contact Professor Zailig Pollock, English Literature
Department at (705) 748-1011, ext. 1793.