Wilde-ly successful week

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Wilde Week in Tillsonburg was "wildly successful" said Annandale National Historic Site's Patricia Phelps, Manager of Culture and Heritage/Curator.

"People have enjoyed it," said Phelps. "We've had crowds of varying sizes to the varying events. Everybody who attended, from a very small group to larger groups, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. In fact I had one lady say, 'This is so much fun, you should do it every year.'"

From May 29 to June 2, Annandale NHS was the site of afternoon and evening events that focused on playwright, novelist, essayist, poet Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), who influenced the interior decorating of Annandale House when he gave a lecture in Woodstock, Ont., on May 29, 1882.

Wilde Week kicked off with an Oscar Wilde presentation by 'Oscar Wilde,' portrayed by Tillsonburg Mayor Stephen Molnar.

"We thank the mayor for his efforts, he put on a great performance as Oscar Wilde," said Phelps, "on the day 135 years ago that Oscar came to Oxford County."

There was outdoor theatre featuring movies from Wilde's plays, a lecture by Olwyn Coughlin about Wilde, and a stained glass workshop. It wrapped up Friday with a wine and cheese closing party, a reception for the 22 Oxford County artists who submitted sunflower paintings that were on display throughout the week.

"It's been a lot of fun and people have enjoyed it," said Phelps.

It was also a 'wildly' ambitious program, so don't expect a full Wilde Week next year. Wilde Day, however, might be a possibility, said Phelps.

"We chose to do the whole week because of the fact that it's the 135th anniversary. Come the 140th, 145th or 150th, we'll have to think about what we might do."

Hevenor Exhibit

Friday, May 26 was the official opening of Plein Are to Abstraction - The Hevenor Collection of Candian Art, now on display at Annandale National Historic Site in the Pratt Gallery.

"It's fabulous," said Phelps, noting the exhibit runs until July 16.

"We had an amazing opening last Friday night. There are 161 pieces of art in the Pratt Gallery. It's an outstanding collection and really must be seen to be believed.

"It's the first public showing of this collection." 

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