Willard Mack to Collaborate With Mrs. Frances Reeve

14 Sept. 1921
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Willard Mack to Collaborate With Mrs. Frances Reeve


Willard Mack to Collaborate With Mrs. Frances Reeve

Authoress Is Known to Reading Public As Onotowatanna Mrs. Reeve Says Canada Has Not Attempted to Conserve Cream of Natural Resources—The Authors of the Country

Canada has no more talented son than Willard Mack, poet, author, playwright and actor. Born in Morrisburg, Ontario, (his father was also born in Canada), he is essentially a product of our Canada, although his greatest success was achieved in the United States.
Scarcely a season passes in New York without a Willard Mack play, and very often two or three plays. He has been associated with David Belasco for years. This versatile Canadian author has had one success after another, his “Tiger Rose,” being one of the phenomenal record runs on Broadway. Alberta was chosen as the scene of this typically Canadian play. Now Mack is back again with us, “rooting” for more material to show upon the stage and screen Canada “as is.” He comes back to us with no head swollen by his successes abroad and in the States, but, like a truly big man, simple, modest and making light of his own achievements, eager to learn from others, and to give a helping shoulder.

Local Collaboration

It is notable that one of his first acts upon arrival in Calgary was to get in touch with Calgary’s author, Ralph Kendal, with whom he is collaborating upon a play of the North West Mounted Police. He will also do a play with another Canadian author, Mrs. Francis Reeve (Onoto Watanna).
Mr. Mack knows this part of Canada well. To use his own recent phrase: “I speak your language.” His father is a well known rancher of Rosebud, owner of the “McC” ranch. Mr. Mack has pioneered and ranched himself; has been all over the Peace River country and farther northwest. He has herded cattle and raised crops in Alberta.
We are at present taking a sort of census of Canadian authors. For the first time, under the inspiration of the recently formed Canadian Authors’ League, we are “taking the number” of our own talent. The result of the research has been proven fascinating and astonishing. We did not know we possessed such valuable and brilliant material. We had come almost to believe that such luminaries as Basil King, Arthur Stringer, Willard Mack and many others equally talented and celebrated belonged to the U.S.A. We have in the past boomed our natural resources, oil, iron, coal, agriculture. We have fought for tariffs to protect our manufacturers, and out of the overwhelming generosity of the public heart we have even patronized and conciliated the farmer; but how have we treated our authors and artists? These, the very cream of our natural resources we have not attempted to conserve; indeed we have in the past literally driven them into the open arms of the U.S. Whenever a Canadian author attains eminence in the States, he is instantly heralded there as an American product. We should not be filched of our purest gold—our dreamers, who in all time, have been esteemed a nation’s pride. They are as truly a country’s natural resources as are its minerals.
The purely Canadian Authors’ League is in a way a test that we are able to walk without the crutch of the States. It should have the heart-felt support and sympathy of all Canadians.
Here then is Willard Mack back in Canada, genial, big and friendly, and still loving every inch of his native land. We cannot keep him with us, it is true, for he is not merely a local celebrity, but we can show in some way that we are proud of him and like him as much as he does us.


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People Mentioned

Kali Longpre

Kali Longpre is from Vancouver, BC. She majored in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (BA 2022). She plans to continue her endeavours in writing for the future.

Leean Wu

Leean is an Honours English language and literature student at the University of British Columbia and a research assistant for The Winnifred Eaton Archive. She was an undergraduate teaching assistant for the UBC Coordinated Arts Program for two years and a research assistant for the UBC Public Humanities Hub.

Winnifred Eaton

  • Born: August 21, 1875
  • Died: April 08, 1954
See the Biographical Timeline for biographical information on Winnifred Eaton.

Joey Takeda

Joey Takeda is the Technical Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive and a Developer at Simon Fraser University’s Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL). He is a graduate of the M.A. program in English at the University of British Columbia where he specialized in Indigenous and diasporic literature, science and technology studies, and the digital humanities.

Mary Chapman

Mary Chapman is the Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive, a Professor of English, and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at University of British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning monograph Making Noise, Making News: Suffrage Print Culture and US Modernism (Oxford UP) and of numerous articles about American literature and women writers. She has also edited Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton (McGill-Queen’s UP) and published essays on the Eaton sisters in American Quarterly, MELUS, Legacy, Canadian Literature, and American Periodicals. Her current research project is a microhistory of the Eaton family. For more information, see http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/mchapman/.
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