2nd Annual Purdy Picnic Features Readings, Music

Guess Who’s Coming to the Picnic?


  • McClelland and Stewart/Random House of Canada
    To Sponsor Inaugural Residency
  • 2nd Annual Purdy Picnic Features Readings, Music


July 26 is a day to celebrate at the Al Purdy A-frame! In addition to it being the date of the 2nd annual Al Purdy Picnic, McClelland and Stewart/Random House of Canada will announce a major sponsorship of the A-frame’s inaugural residency.

“Mentoring emerging writers was a second vocation for Al,” said Jean Baird, president of the Al Purdy A-frame Association. “The door to the A-frame was always open … I’m pleased that McClelland and Stewart have joined the lengthy list of donors to the Association. The sponsorship keeps that door open.”

On July 1, Toronto poet Katherine Leyton became the first writer to take up residence at the late Canadian poet’s lakeside cottage in Ameliasburgh, in Ontario’s beautiful Prince Edward County.


“McClelland and Stewart/Random House of Canada is extremely pleased to sponsor this first residency at the A-frame,” said publisher Ellen Seligman. “M&S was Al Purdy’s longtime publisher. He would have been so proud – as we all are – to help support the next generation of poets.”

The A-frame was built on Roblin Lake in 1957 by the late Purdy, one of Canada’s greatest poets, and his wife, Eurithe. Thanks to the generosity of Eurithe Purdy and donors from across Canada, the A-frame was acquired in 2012 by the A-frame Association, a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote Canadian literature and to preserve the retreat for future generations of Canadian writers.

Six other writers have been selected and are scheduled to take up residence at the cottage through 2015.

The picnic on Saturday is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature readings by well-known poets Stuart Ross, Phil Hall, Robert Priest and other raconteurs. Music will be provided by Station Road. Visitors may purchase lunch from PicnicPEC’s food truck or bring their own.

The A-frame was the centre of Al Purdy’s writing universe and one of the most important crossroads on Canada’s literary map. In their 43 years residing there, Al and Eurithe hosted a who’s who of Canadian authors: Margaret Laurence, Milton Acorn, H.R. Percy, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and dozens of others.

The Al Purdy A-frame Association gratefully acknowledges the generosity of all donors to the project, as well as volunteers who helped in the restoration. They are crucial to the continued success of this effort. For a full list of donors, go to alpurdy.ca.

For further information:

Jean Baird