Millionaires do not easily part with their fortunes—particularly when they are self-made. So the Ontario government was taken by surprise when “The Duke” of Canadian magazine empire building, Floyd S. Chalmers, 80, decided to turn over his family’s $1-million cultural foundation to the Ontario Arts Council as a carte blanche donation to the notoriously penny-pinched performers and playwrights who have been squeezed by recent government cutbacks. Though 25-cent piano lessons were beyond Chalmers’ parents’ means, the barefoot boy from Orillia, Ontario, grew up to be one of Canada’s most influential patrons of the arts, best known as president of the Stratford Festival Foundation and sponsor of the Mavor Moore and Harry Somers opera, Louis Riel. “A million dollars, a million words,” Chalmers says of his continuing interest in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and he and his family plan to keep close watch on developing playwrights whom they support with an annual $5,000 award for excellence. Premier William Davis complemented Chalmers’ donation with an announcement that the provincial lottery, Wintario, would match his gift, and there was much back-patting all around in arts circles. When presented with a framed scroll commemorating the $2million occasion, Maclean-Hunter Honorary Chairman Chalmers declared pleasant surprise. “Usually I have to frame these things myself,” he said.
One of the few stars to make a scheduled appearance at the World Film Festival in Montreal this month was Alan Alda, whose latest film, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, helped kick off the
festivities. Munching the same wearied white bread and cardboard ham sandwiches the press chomped, Alda waited patiently for the press to gulp its free lunch before he took to the podium to answer questions along with his director, Jerry Schatzberg (Panic in Needle Park), and producer Martín Bregman (Dog Day Afternoon). “Can you hear me in the back?” Alda asked. “No —non,” came the bilingual reply. “Then you better listen with your fronts,” rejoined
the star, who held court for almost two hours discussing everything from Jane Fonda’s politics to the Equal Rights Amendment campaign in the U.S. and the amount of kissing he performs with co-star Meryl Streep in Seduction. “Society gives us two messages,” he says, of Senator Joe Tynan’s conflicting emotional dilemma and political ambition. “One is that the family is first and values or career are secondary. But at the same time we are told to do everything we can to be a success.” In the film, which Alda also scripted, he leaves it to his daughter, played by Blanche Baker, to sum up the situation—“Life sucks.”
Who says there’s nothing funny about Canadian politics? Certainly not Larry Leblanc, a 31-year-old musicologist from Toronto who decided there was lots to laugh about when Joe Clark was elected. In January, Leblanc begins serious work on a political satire album which he says will combine the best of nudge-nudge-and-say-no-more British humor with the pointed yucks that have been levelled at U.S. politicians in albums such as The First Family, a runaway 1962 best seller about the John F. Kennedy White House. Leblanc says “the real cartoon show” won’t begin until Oct. 9 with the opening of Parliament, but he already envisages Clark as a Gary Cooper figure with a Man from High River fixation, while Pierre Trudeau is likened to some sort of “regal prince” lurking in exile like a “pretender to the throne.” Maureen McTeer will be a contender for Leblanc’s dart board,
but he draws the line at Margaret Trudeau, suggesting that he doesn’t want to “pick on her too much.” Don Harron, Max Ferguson and Dave Broadfoot may perform on the album—provided Leblanc’s rapier is sharp enough, — and with such knee-slapping issues as the referendum, the Tel Aviv embassy move and rising oil prices as grist for his comic mill, Leblanc is sure to incite some good old Canadian gut-splitting when the platter is released next year.
Following in the wake of the successful art-for-Christmas coffee-table book about Tom Thomson is The Art of Emily Carr, a pictorial tribute assembled by curatorial personality Doris Shadbolt who ran herd on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection and shows for 25 impressive years. The 224-page book with 200 reproductions has been literally a labor of love for Shadbolt, who gave up her gallery duties in 1975 and began working on the book. “I am not a biographer,” contends Shadbolt, who nevertheless spent weeks at the national archives poring over Carr’s journals and letters in an effort to understand the woman behind the artist. The
result is a work with which the perfectionist organizer admits being pleased. Even her husband, painter Jack Shadbolt, 70, is “astonished” at the material his wife has gathered—and he knew Emily Carr. “I’d go to bed every night with her images in my head and find them still there in the morning,” says Shadbolt of her four-year ordeal. In the process she unearthed paintings from Carr’s later years that reveal a lighter touch in color and space than those depicted in Carr’s memorable “deep forest and totem pole” period. Now in her 60s, Shadbolt admits that her “umbilical cord” with Carr has not been severed yet, and as part of her tribute to “a powerful person at work” she has assembled yet another Carr exhibition which was on display at Canada House in London during June and July and will travel to Paris later this month.
When Nicole Morin stood naked in the shadowy stage light of a Toronto production of Spring Thaw in 1970, she left audiences gasping at her startling anatomy and to this day few theatregoers can recall the plot that called for the wide-eyed 19-year-old from Lac Noir, Quebec, to make such a public and prominent debut. Nine years later, Morin is not easily manipulated into doing nude scenes for the sole sake of exploiting her 38 V2 -23-36 dimensions. “I have refused many more feature films than I have done because of nudity clauses,” she says, finding safer territory as a guest on TV game shows such as Flim Flam and Party Game. This summer, however, Morin decided to take the plunge and went to work in Montreal filming The
Squad with former porno star Harry Reems(the“deep”inDeep71/iroat).Morin will not say exactly how much she reveals in her role as a courtesan who attempts to “compromise” Reems’s good-guy-cop character. She did end up performing a ritual striptease out of a Salvation Army uniform. The breathless will also be happy to note that there is at least one unclad scene. In fact, there may even be a glimpse of the recently blonded bombshell’s seldomphotographed backside, but Morin doesn’t count that as nudity because, to her, “a bum is a bum.”
í iWMionderful. Fabulous,” and WW “Where’s Ryan O’Neal?” Those were the most-heard comments on the opening night of Toronto’s Festival of Festivals. Though photographers outnumbered the stars at the gala screening of Claude Lelouch’s A Nous Deux, Rita Tushingham, Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen and Céline Lomez showed up at the after-flick party which feted about 1,200 glitzers. Among those enjoying to the fullest was Michael McCabe, the executive director of the Canadian Film Development Corporation which has at least $100 million invested in films this year. “It looks good, it looks good,” he said of the future of the burgeoning film industry which has seen Montreal, Calgary and Toronto pegged as “Hollywoods of the North.” Joined by starlets Deborah Wakeham (Middle-Age Crazy) and Lisa Langlois (Klondike Fever), McCabe glimmered like a true celebrity (“When you’re The 100 Million Dollar Man everybody wants to be seen with you,” raved one movie publicist.) But Ryan O’Neal didn’t show up.
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