Tricia Knight from the newly formed Port Alberni chapter of Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) shows off two costumes available for rent or purchase for July’s Jane Austen Festival. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Port Alberni to pursue Jane Austen Festival record again in 2018

Costume workshops begin in anticipation of July fest

Tricia Knight and the Centennial Belles were going to take a break from attempting to break a Guinness World Record at the annual Jane Austen Festival in Port Alberni.

However, that was before Chamber Opera Tours from Chicago announced their intention to bring Jane Austen’s Persuasion: A Musical Drama to Port Alberni for the festival, which this year will be Thursday, July 5 through Saturday, July 8.

“We weren’t going to do the count this year,” Knight said as she sat waiting at the Port Alberni Youth Centre for people to show up for a recent costume workshop.

RELATED: Jane Austen Fest draws nearly 300 to Port Alberni

While they drew 286 people to Glenwood Centre in 2017, it wasn’t enough to beat the world record of 409 people gathered in the same place and dressed in Regency costume. However, it was close. And this year, with the 80 members of Persuasion, they already have a healthy head start, she said.

The original musical adaptation of Persuasion will be featured in two shows, Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel of the same name.

Earlier this year Knight and other Jane Austen Festival faithfuls created a Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) chapter for Central Vancouver Island (it’s the third chapter in B.C.—there is also an Island chapter in Victoria). Knight plans to phase out the Centennial Belles, a group that was created in 2010 to celebrate Port Alberni’s centennial. The JASNA chapter needed a minimum of eight members to form officially, and they already have 10 and more expressing interest.

To prepare for the annual festival, Knight and other JASNA volunteers have started hosting costume workshops for people wishing to create their own Regency wear a la Jane Austen or Mr. Darcy. The next workshop will be a doubleheader on Monday, May 21—coincidentally, Victoria Day—from 12–3 p.m. and again from 6–8 p.m. All of the workshops take place at the Port Alberni Youth Centre, 4210 Cedarwood St., where the Centennial Belles/ JASNA have a workshop and costume storage.

Other costume workshops are planned for Monday, June 4 and June 18 from 12–3 p.m. and 6–8 p.m., and Saturday, May 26, June 8 and June 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please pre-register at www.centennialbelles.ca/workshops so volunteers will know approximately how many people will attend.

There are costumes available for rent or purchase, and the website has numerous tips for converting thrift store finds into acceptable Jane Austen attire. The JASNA chapter often sees people donating their costumes after deciding to make a new one, or in the case of children’s outfits, their children outgrow the clothing.

For more information on costume workshops and the 2018 Jane Austen Festival, go online to www.centennialbelles.ca and follow the link at the top of the page to the festival.

The Jane Austen Festival is also looking for china teacups and saucers for their high teas at Echo Centre.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work begins on mural near Harbour Quay

Mural will depict the creation story of Tseshaht First Nation

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

City of Port Alberni to move forward with ‘Quay to Quay’ pathway

Port Alberni city council has proposed connecting Victoria Quay to Harbour Quay

BC Hydro urges caution over planned flow increases on Ash River

River flow increases will assist fish migration, but could pose safety risk to humans

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

B.C. marine ecologist wants Canada to sink its teeth into shark protection

Gulf Islands scientist says top predator under shocking threat from human behaviour

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read