A little taste of Canada in London

Canada House on Trafalgar Square - June 2016.
Canada House on Trafalgar Square – June 2016.

It was one of the quickest checkpoint passages I think I’ve ever experienced. Not that the security officer wasn’t thorough. Not at all. First he asked us about the nature of our visit. We said we wanted to visit the Canada Gallery just beyond the checkpoint. Next, he asked to scan my backpack. No problem there. Then, I offered my passport.

“Canadians?” the security guard said.

I nodded and in we went. My wife and I had just gone through the security check at Canada House, in London, England.

Styles of father and son

TRUDEAUQ&A_SARAHETHANJACQUJUSTIN4_OCT92015_EThat morning, about three and a half weeks ago, this political candidate was on the firing line. Two CTV journalists had fashioned their feature interview with him based on some hard-hitting questions. Then, the TV journalists invited questions from those in the audience. Several of my journalism students, invited to the studio, got their chance to ask questions. And the politician answered them thoughtfully. Then, with the broadcast over, the politician headed for his tour bus to dash to his next event. As we were leaving the studio, my students passed by the candidate’s tour bus.

“Hold it there,” I said to my students, suggesting they pose in front of the logo on the bus. I raised my cell phone to snap the picture, when…

“Wait a second,” the young politician shouted from just outside camera range. “Let me join you,” and he jumped into the shot next to the student journalists and thanked them for being part of a political selfie.

A prince by any other name

The new arrival – a “royal” entry.

Everybody was buzzing about it. There had been a new arrival. We knew it was a boy. But nobody knew what he would be called. We were all breathless with speculation. Then after a couple of days, we saw the announcement from the parents on social media.

“All right,” the mother said by text. “It’s official. Tell the press and the paparazzi. We have a name…”

Champions of a dream

Don Harron collaborated with Norman Campbell to produce the first TV version of "Anne of Green Gables" for CBC in 1956.
Don Harron collaborated with Norman Campbell to produce the first TV version of "Anne of Green Gables" for CBC in 1956.

It was 1956. Television was in its infancy. Canadian programs such as Cross-Canada Hit Parade, Front Page Challenge, The Big Revue and, yes, the Barris Beat, were new on the tube. This country’s actors, singers, dancers, writers and directors were just getting their show-business legs in a new medium. One of its rising stars, a multi-faceted comedic actor named Don Harron, happened to meet another up-and-comer, producer Norman Campbell.

“What am I going to do?” Campbell asked Harron. “I’ve got 90 minutes of time to fill on CBC TV and no program.”

“I’ve got an idea,” Harron said. “Let’s put ‘Anne of Green Gables’ on TV.”