In 2008, Pacific Opera Victoria commissioned composer Andrew MacDonald and playwright Stephen Massicotte to develop an opera from Stephen's award-winning play, Mary's Wedding. The play tells a story of love and remembrance set in the Prairies, the trenches of France and the battle of Moreuil Wood in March 1918. Three years later, a new Canadian opera, Mary’s Wedding, made its world première in Victoria on November 10, 2011.
An inspired collaboration between POV and the University of Victoria Libraries resulted in the creation of an exhibit and display materials on view during October and November 2011 at the Maltwood Gallery at the McPherson Library, in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room at the McPherson Library and at the McPherson Playhouse during the production of the opera Mary’s Wedding. This website, launched in October 2011 also draws us into “The World of Mary’s Wedding”.
The World of Mary’s Wedding: Reminiscences of World War I from the University of Victoria Archives and Special Collections is in three parts: Private Remembering (letters, diaries, personal photographs, scrapbooks), Collective Remembering (the military artifacts of war), and the Art of Remembering (war art, drama, poetry and music). These themes often reflect the home front in Victoria set against the backdrop of World War I.
UVic Libraries have drawn upon its extensive military collections to present the materials for the exhibits and this website. A good starting place to find more information about the library’s military collections is through UVic’s Digital Collections. Here you’ll find items ranging from illustrations and photos to personal memoirs of veterans, both written and recorded. Most of the material relates to the First and Second World Wars.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of the National Archival Development Program of Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives in the development of the exhibit in the Maltwood Gallery at the McPherson Library and the creation of this website.