The LMMI is thrilled to announce the Avery Award winner for 2021, Brian Affouan! The $1000.00 prize is awarded to a returning UPEI student who is interested in L.M. Montgomery and shows an aptitude for social media.
Originally the Avery Scholarship was established by the owners of Cavendish Figurines Ltd., Jeannette Arsenault and Don Maxfield and their staff in appreciation of the legacy of L. M. Montgomery on the Island. Now this new award provides a learning opportunity for a student to work with the LMMI and to connect with the Montgomery community around the world.
Currently completing his third year in Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Prince Edward Island, Brian is originally from a small island in the Indian Ocean called Mauritius. Brian has been active in the UPEI community, such as helping with New Student Orientation and the Campus Life Program. He also served as the President and CEO of the UPEI Student Union in 2020, and this year he is a Student Assistant at the International Student Office and the Office of Study Abroad and International Collaboration.
Let’s get to know, Brian!
Melanie Fishbane (MF): How did you connect with L.M. Montgomery?
Brian Affouan (BA): Without a doubt and like many others through the masterpiece that is Anne of Green Gables. Surprisingly, I had never heard of L.M Montgomery or even any pieces she had written before arriving on Prince Edward Island. However, I quickly realized how important Montgomery is to this beautiful island. It was everywhere and being curious by nature I had to learn more and find out the truth behind her popularity on the island. Thus, I embarked on a long journey of exploration of her work through books, movies, and even talking to friends.
MF: What is currently your favourite L.M. Montgomery book and why?
BA: The Blue Castle has been, and continues to be, my favourite book. There are particular pieces of the story that resonate with me. I deeply enjoyed Valancy blooming and gaining confidence and beginning to seek out happiness and love on her own terms. I used to be shy and afraid but learning about the choices Valancy chose to make in The Blue Castle during my first year on Prince Edward Island pushed me to trust more in myself.
MF: What are you hoping to accomplish with the LMMI?
BA: I am really looking forward to sharing my story. I come from quite far away and Montgomery had a strong impact on the person I have now become. Anne of Green Gables was one of the ways through which I started my new life when I moved to Canada for my post-secondary education. It became one of the reasons I made several friends and chose to get out of my comfort zone and experience the “life” LMM talked about by adding laughter to it.
MF: And now the most important question: Cordial or Ice Cream? Both?
BA: Definitely ice cream! I am always down for ice cream at any time of the year. Nothing beats the “Wowie Cowie” ice cream flavour from COWS.