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Social Science Cultural

Mary of Canada

Virgin Mary in Canadian Culture, Spirituality, History and Geography

by (author) Joan Skogan

edited by Kim Echlin

Banff Centre Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2003
Cultural, General, Spirituality
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2003
    List Price

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Canada's culture is distinguished by the Virgin Mary's astonishingly frequent presence -- her roots in Canadian soil are deep. Rich references delve into literature, history, art and geography. In locating Mary in this country, Joan Skogan observes the ways Mary transforms to answer Canadian needs. From Virgin Mary sightings on frosted windows to Rideau Hall, from thrift shop icons to the National Gallery, from Our Lady Peace rock band to traditional prayer, Mary lives in Canada.

About the authors

Joan Skogan has been shortlisted for the Journey Prize, the CBC Literary Essay Competition and the Western Magazine Award.

She is the author of The Good Companion, Voyages at Sea with Strangers, The Princess and the Sea Bear and Other Tsimshian Stories, Grey Cat at Sea and Skeena: A River Remembered.

Her work has been broadcast on the CBC and has appeared in Saturday Night, The Georgia Straight, Border Crossings, Brick, Western Living, the forthcoming Banff fiction anthology, the 1993 Journey Prize Anthology, Winds Through Time, Canadian Children's Annual, Share a Tale, The Clayoquot Sound Anthology and other collections. She lives on Gabriola island, B.C.

Joan Skogan's profile page

A nationalist and lifelong journalist, Barbara Moon was the author of hundreds of major articles in magazines such as Maclean's and Saturday Night and features in newspapers such as the Globe and Mail. She wrote dozens of television documentaries, among them several segments of the experimental CBC-TV Images of Canada series, and books, including The Natural History of the Canadian Shield. From 1992 to 1998, she was a senior editor for the Creative Non-fiction and Cultural Journalism Program (now called the Literary Journalism Program) at The Banff Centre. Among relevant honours, Moon held a Maclean-Hunter first prize for Editorial Achievement, the University of Western Ontario's President's Medal, and the National Magazine Foundation's Award for Outstanding Achievement. Barbara Moon died in April 2009 near her home in Picton, Ontario, after a brief illness. Kim Echlin is the author of Elephant Winter, nominated for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award and won the TORGI Talking Book of the Year Award. Her latest novel is The Disappeared. After completing a doctoral thesis on Ojibway story-telling, she travelled in search of stories through the Marshall Islands, China, France, and Zimbabwe. On her return to Canada she became an arts documentary producer with CBC's The Journal, and a writer for various publications. Don Obe is a professor emeritus of magazine journalism, a former chair of the school and founder of the Ryerson Review of Journalism. His professional experience includes editor-in-chief of The Canadian magazine and Toronto Life, and associate editor of Maclean's. From 1989 to 1999 he was senior resident editor in and, at times, the director of the Creative Nonfiction and Cultural Journalism Program (now called the Literary Journalism Program) at the Banff Centre. He won a gold medal in the National Magazine Awards for ethical writing and, in l993, his industry's highest honour, the National Magazine Award for Outstanding Achievement. He retired in 2001.

Kim Echlin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"In language original in structure and rich in imagery, and with meticulous, far-reaching research, Skogan's unique vision reveals that the ancient, worldwide idea of Mary has penetrated, sometimes unwittingly, into every nook and cranny of Canada. This surprising book is one to be grateful for." --Sharon Butala"Chronicling the presence of the Virgin Mary in Canada, Joan Skogan finds that she saturates the country, from an image that came in with Jacques Cartier to the prayer object of B.C. fishermen. Her book is accessible, non-academic, ranges over geography and literature (Diane Schoemperlen, Margaret Atwood, Katherine Govier and other literary Madonnas) and is full of tender acts of mercy, gleanings from a millennium of history and brilliant flashes of insight, which taken together add up to sacred meaning." --Wayne Grady, The Globe and Mail

Other titles by Joan Skogan

Other titles by Kim Echlin