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L.M. Montgomery Institute's CD-ROM wins three awards in international competition

Added: (Mon Nov 27 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - At the Baddeck International New Media Festival, the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) received an impressive total of three awards for its multi-media CD-ROM A Bend in the Road: An Invitation to the World and Work of L.M. Montgomery. The project invites viewers to explore the riches in the life, work, and influence of Canadian hero and internationally acclaimed writer, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and is designed to appeal to a wide audience.

The creative team – Montgomery scholar and founding chair of UPEI's L.M. Montgomery Institute, Dr. Elizabeth Epperly; Island author, biographer, and university teacher, Deirdre Kessler; and author, teacher, and Education professor, Dr. Anne-Louise Brookes – worked with The Bristol Group in Halifax to develop an intuitive architecture that invites viewers to explore the music, images, and commentary at their own pace. Creative team members – and the L.M. Montgomery Institute – were thrilled with the Baddeck awards.

"This honour is really to be shared with our wonderful financial supporters -- The Wyatt Foundation, the R. Howard Webster Foundation, Fondation J.-Lévesque; the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, the Government of Canada through the Canadian Studies Program, and the Province of PEI," says Deirdre Kessler, the Creative Team member who attended the Baddeck Festival over the weekend. "Without them, and UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan, who first endorsed and enthusiastically supported the idea of the CD-ROM, the project likely would never have seen the light of day."

The Bend in the Road CD-ROM includes 342 separate screens, video and audio clips, more than 200 of Montgomery's own photographs, readings by renowned actor Elizabeth Mawson, and glimpses of rare manuscript and archival materials. It is designed to appeal to Montgomery scholars and fans and also to those who know nothing about Montgomery or PEI; in addition, it can be appreciated by school children or graduate students.

The project won Best Atlantic Canadian, The Atlantic New Media Award for Creativity which includes an in-kind prize of $5000-worth of services with Cochran Entertainment (creators of Theodore Tugboat), and Honourable Mention in Education. All entries were judged on quality, clarity and organization of content, design and interface quality, ease of use, entertainment value, technical achievement, competence, stability, and compatibility and effectiveness. Both the Atlantic New Media Award for Creativity and the Best Atlantic Canadian award were cross-media awards and the competition included CD-ROM's, DVD's, interactive TV, animation, and websites.

"We are delighted to have our CD-ROM chosen by industry professionals from an international pool of projects, some of them multimillion dollar projects," says Kessler. "There were only a very few universities and colleges represented at the festival, which makes the awards even more impressive for UPEI: we're now ranking players in the international new media scene."

The Festival, which is designed to showcase the scope and richness of the new media sector both nationally and internationally, was a resounding success with more than 300 participants from across Canada, the US, the UK, Jordan, Cuba, and Europe. Thirty awards including honourable mentions were presented for excellence in new media.

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