Canada 150 letter exchange connects residents with communities across the country


Have you ever wondered how similar – or different – life in Huntsville is to other communities across Canada? A Canada 150-inspired letter exchange gives you the chance to find out.

The project was started by the East Gwillimbury Public Library to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary. Other libraries from all over Canada quickly jumped on board, including Huntsville Public Library (HPL).

The library is paired with a different partner every other month, spending one month collecting letters from the community, and sending and receiving letters the next. The first shipment of letters, which are on display at HPL, came from Grande Prairie, Alberta. The next will arrive this month from Prince Edward Island. The third pairing hasn’t been revealed yet.

“The letters (from Grand Prairie) were really interesting,” says Cortney LeGros, the library’s Coordinator: Outreach, Programs & Partnerships. “It’s interesting to see what life is like in another town.” Some people wrote about the types of books they have or the programs they like, some shared their favourite park or their favourite hiking trail. “I thought that was very Muskokaesque because that’s what we do here, too.”

Residents are invited to write their own letter, at home or at the library, either on their own or using one of the templates available at the library. The templates offer suggested topics if you’re stumped for what to write about, and you can decide how much to reveal about yourself.

“Some people have remained anonymous, some people include their names,” notes LeGros. “It’s fun either way.”

Don’t forget that the TD Summer Reading Club is closing soon. The grand prize draws will take place live on Facebook on August 17 at 2:00 p.m.

“We are hoping to have read more books than ever,” says LeGros. “We have way more people signed up than we have in the past, which is really exciting.” She adds that the biggest increase has been in the adult category. “It’s really great to see. They often say they don’t have time to read, or they’re always reading books to their kids, but they forget sometimes that modeling that behaviour for their children is even better than saying go to your room and read. When your children see you (reading), it makes them more inclined to do it on their own.”

Tune in to the library’s Facebook page on August 17 to see who the big winners are.

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