I thank the Canada Council for the Arts for the Emerging Writers' Grant received in 2007 which funded Wild Geese research.
Wild Geese tells the story of Kit and Mick as they seek their families and their new lives in Canada. We travel across the Atlantic, to the quarrantine island at Grosse Ile, Quebec and then on to Bytown (now Ottawa). Mick also spends a winter working in a logging camp along the Ottawa River.
Bytown (8)Though today it's known as Ottawa with a population of over 800,000, back in 1847 only about 6,000 people lived in Bytown. In the summer of 1847, over 3000 Irish immigrants arrived in Bytown. People like Mother Elisabeth Bruyere and the Sisters of Charity were key players in helping these Irish people find health and hope in Bytown.
Grosse Ile (10)Grosse Ile is an island in the St. Lawrence 50km from the port of Quebec. From 1832-1937 it served as a quarantine station. The season of 1847 brought the greatest number of immigrants to Grosse Ile, most of them Irish.
Upper Canada (11)I spent some time researching life in early Upper Canada at the Upper Canada Village. My story takes place in 1847, about 13 years before the period covered in Upper Canada Village, but I imagine every day life would have been very similar.