Baked, but bored to tears

There we were. A spirited game of oldtimers’ recreational hockey done for the night. Sitting around cutting everybody down to size – who botched what pass, who couldn’t score if his life depended on it, or, which tender let in the worst goal. Then, not surprisingly, the conversation shifted to comparing planned or dreamed-about vacations in the South. There was this pool-side service or that all-inclusive price or this best beach for just lying in the sun. And I couldn’t resist.

“Yes. Sounds OK,” I said. “Then, what do you do after that?”

Frames from a moving life

Christopher and his two most prized possessions - wife Glen and 1968 Oscar - and host Barris at 2009 Gala.
Christopher and his two most prized possessions – wife Glen and 1968 Oscar – and host Barris at 2009 Gala.

It took us nearly a lifetime to recognize a lifetime. But we finally did it on Sept. 19, 2009. It was a tribute to one of our own – a photographer, innovator and award-winning artist. And in the days afterward, as the person given the distinction of hosting the evening and interviewing the man being honoured, I received two touching written snapshots of the occasion. One came from the subject of the tribute.

“Thank you for your introduction of me,” Christopher Chapman scribbled on a card a few days later. “And thank you for guiding me through that interview.”

The other snapshot came as an email from Christopher’s wife, Glen.

“How thrilling to have a significant number of family, friends and community there,” she wrote. “We’re still in awe of the whole evening.”

No sound? No reality!

SUBCONSCIOUS_PASSWORD_POSTERThe concept was fairly simple. Oscar-winning moviemaker Chris Landreth leads his audience into the recesses of the brain of a character named Charles Langford, who’s attempting to remember the name of a long-ago friend he’s suddenly re-encountered at a party. You know… It’s when you see the face, but you can’t remember the name… Well, Landreth used that premise in an 11-minute short film, called “Subconscious Password,” which we recently saw during the annual Short Film Festival at Uxbridge’s Roxy Theatres. The film becomes a madcap edition of that classic TV game show “Password,” with every contestant knowing that the long-ago friend’s name is “John,” except our hero.

“Landreth’s spellbinding animation makes anomic aphasia unforgettably entertaining,” explained the Roxy program.

Why Citizenship Week?

The Banh family fled from Vietnam in 1980, was detained on an Indonesian island, but among thousands of other Boat People was eventually given refuge in Canada.
Thirty years ago, Canada and Canadians extended a hand of welcome to thousands of Boat People fleeing Southeast Asia.

It was an act of blatant intolerance. Mia, a factory worker originally from Asia, had been warming her lunch-break meal in the microwave oven in the staff kitchen. It had been the only comfort she was allowed, since her factory job was menial and since she lived with a son who slept all day and stayed out all night. Suddenly, she faced a factory foreman, who found the aroma of her homemade food offensive and he posted a sign on the front of the microwave to point that out.

“No foul-smelling food allowed,” was all the note said.