Canadian political assassination, a flamboyant Prime Minister, controversy and responsibility in government. Last night had them all. Gordon Henderson, Roy MacSkimming, and members of the SALON Acting Company presented a night of historical fiction at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library as part of Sir John A 2015, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Canada’s first Prime Minister.
From his book, Man in the Shadows, Henderson read an excerpt culminating in the murder of Thomas D’Arcy McGee on the doorsteps of his rooming house. McGee, a Father of Confederation, is the only federal politician ever assassinated in Canada.
MacSkimming, author of Macdonald and Laurier in Love, treated us to a reading from the beginning of his yet-to-be-completed novel about Sir John A. Macdonald, beginning in London, England where he comes across Agnes, who will later become his second wife.
The SALON Acting Company presented two vignettes from their presentation to local schools. While remaining true to the personalities and historical dress of the times, the actors incorporated issues of current importance to the Kingston Community.
The presenters all wove threads from the past into a tapestry of real people, bringing to life characters and events that too often are relegated to the pages of history texts. Canada needs more such opportunities to showcase its rich and interesting past.
The evening was co-sponsored by Kingston Writersfest. The image of the man with the gun is part of the front cover of Man in the Shadows, published by Harper Collins.