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Eden Mills Writers’ Festival to hold The Thousand Words Art Auction

EDEN MILLS - On June 17 the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival will hold The Thousand Words Art Auction, featuring artwork created by some of Canada’s finest authors.

Bidders will not know, until the gavel falls, which famous author created what work.

“We invited authors who have read at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival over the years to ‘think outside of the book’ and create a small piece of art that we would auction to raise funds for the festival’s new home, Rivermead,” said Kim Lang, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival artistic director.

“The response was overwhelming. Authors loved the idea of a ‘mystery’ auction.”  

Over 30 ‘mystery’ works of art will be auctioned on June 17.

Participating creators include renowned Canadian writers Emma Donoghue, Heather O’Neill, Steven Heighton, Lisa Moore, Alissa York, Terry Fallis, George Elliott Clarke, Lorna Crozier and Eden Mills Writers’ Festival founder, Leon Rooke.  

The work of several author/illustrators, including Wallace Edwards, Janet Wilson, Linda Hendry and Ruth Ohi, will also be on the block.

Guelph authors include Nicholas Ruddock, Mary Swan, James Clarke, Rene Meshake and Claire Tacon.

Authors have been encouraged to provide a hint as to their identity by including a small clue to one of their books in their work of art.  

Part of the fun of the evening will be trying to guess which author did what piece.  Once the last gavel falls, all will be revealed and purchasers will receive a certificate of authenticity signed by the author.

For a complete list of participating authors and a preview of their art, visit

Two pieces by friends of the festival, Barb Minett and Cheryl Ruddock, and a 1st edition book of poetry by Margaret Atwood accompanied by a signed, numbered relief print, hand cut by Atwood (donated by Kim Lang) will also be available.

A silent auction of quality items for book lovers, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will round out the evening.

 The cause

All funds raised by The Thousand Words Art Auction go towards the upkeep and running of Rivermead, a historic, field stone chapel and venue for literary and other cultural and social events in the Guelph area. Built in 1861 by the Methodist congregation of Eden Mills, the former chapel and Sunday school room have contributed to the village’s social life as a Wesleyan Church from 1861 to 1921 and as a United Church from 1926 to 2014.

“Funds raised by the Thousand Word project will support the development of Rivermead as a year-round venue for the celebration of Canadian literature and the nurturing of aspiring writers,”  said Susan Ratcliffe, chair of the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. “We’re very excited about the prospect of offering a year-round program of author readings, writing workshops and other literary events for children, teens and adults.”

The Thousand Words Art Auction will take place on June 17 at Rivermead, 19 Cedar St., Eden Mills. An art preview will be held from 7 to 8pm, prior to the live auction at 8pm.

Tickets are $20 per person and include a complimentary drink and hors d’oeuvres.

Tickets are available at The Bookshelf in Guelph, online at or by calling 519-341-4320.


May 19, 2017


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