1939 Canadian Rurals (in Victoria County, New Brunswick) meet Canadian Royals (real life Governor General and world-famous author John Buchan and his family and staff* from Ottawa). It’s the eve of our nation entering WWII, and the first reigning monarchs to ever visit Canada have just returned home after much fanfare (all arranged by J.B. himself). In the little rural mountain town of Perth Junction, N.B., a crowd gathers at the train station to "Greet The Great" as they arrive with books and conversation for all. Three comedic fictional characters, an unpracticed bag-piper, McLaughlin, and his two friends: French fiddler and lumberjack Guimont, and a conservationist maternal leader of the Wolastoq (Maliseet) First Nations' Gookum Perley Bear (the latter based on 3 real women), represent many of the founding families of our country. Two teens, Pete and Beth, discover their love for each other there in that last 'innocent' summer. And back in Ottawa at Rideau Hall the staff of J.B., (many of them real-life characters who have helped develop the culture and conservation of our nation), struggle to see their boss and idol begin to fail health-wise as he is forced to sign with P.M. Mackenzie King, the declaration that puts us back into the travesty of war once again. With only a few months to live, both young Pete and world-weary Lord Tweedsmuir struggle to leave their legacies behind.
Sixteen original songs which include the era's swing-style with fast-paced upbeat dance numbers are included as well as several soaring ballads in 3-part harmony, a bittersweet lullaby and 2 heart-wrenching love duets. In addition, 3 humorous songs are an integral part of the total of 5 different comedic characters who weave their way through the scenes which otherwise are emotionally-charged with tension and longing. Issues that are still currently relevant such as the loss of the arts in our communities and schools, the plight of the suffragettes and feminism, AND the disappearing Canadian wilderness are poignantly lamented as they were passions of this particular Governor General. (*Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, was responsible for introducing the Gov. Gen. Literary Awards, while Lady Tweedsmuir’s rural library scheme was sought after by New Brunswick after its success on the prairies. They both were responsible for setting up Ottawa Little Theatre’s Playwriting Competition, the oldest of its type still offered in our nation today. Several of our National Parks are due to J.B.’s dedicated work and historically Canadian moments such as his meetings with Grey Owl, a faux-pas by CBC Radio when war was declared, and an anecdote about a much-beloved New Brunswick teacher are all incorporated into this nationally-important story.)