Opening NOTES

Opening NOTES

TANYA DAVIES April 26 1999
Opening NOTES

Opening NOTES

TANYA DAVIES April 26 1999

Opening NOTES

TANYA DAVIES

STUDENTS GO STARKERS

Thomas Lundy will not be forgotten by the lifeguards at the University of Toronto Athletic Centre anytime soon. Lundy, 26, an education student, started the first official naturist (nudist) club on campus last September—actually the first approved naturist club at any Canadian university. “I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly everything went,” says Lundy, who organizes monthly nude swims for the 100 members at the university pool. “Besides a couple of guys who only came because they wanted to watch, everyone has been very supportive.” When Lundy was eight years old, his family moved from Toronto to Lahr, Germany, where they got into the naturist lifestyle. When Lundy returned from Europe 13 years later, he decided to import his clothes-free lifestyle to Canada. He has since made it safe for University of Toronto students and faculty to enjoy nude swimming and volleyball—“the most popular naturist sport.” Now, he has turned his attention to the famous European Naturist Student Festival in Rotterdam, Holland, the largest nude event of its kind in the world. Lundy and five members of the U of T club are going to the festival in May—becoming the first Canadian group to attend the gathering. “It is a complete nude village,” says Lundy, describing the setting for the four-day event that attracts more than 500 young people and ineludes activities such as music, dancing and body painting. “And now we will be able to have a Canadian team for the organized competitive sports.” Nude curling anyone?

CAPITAL CONFIDENTIAL

The dinner annual in Ottawa “Politics uses and two the gimmicks Pen” charity to lure a big crowd. At every table the paying guests are seated with one author and one politician (this year’s attendees included broadcaster Pamela Wallin, Heritage Minister Sheila Copps and Finance Minister Paul Martin). And the tables themselves are laden with free books—written by the more than 40 authors in attendance and donated by their publishers. So when Jeffrey Simpson, The Globe and MaiFs national affairs columnist, arrived last week at the black-tie event on Parliament Hill, he quickly scanned his table to see which of his four books was available to be scooped up: his 1996 collection, The Anxious Years, perhaps, or his 1988 examination of patronage, Spoils of Power.

The choice turned out to be more surprising. Arranged on the table were copies of

American Elegy: A Family Memoir by Jeffrey Simpson, touted on the cover by noted historian David McCullough as “brilliant... transporting ... a work of art.” The Washington Post found the 1996 book an “intelligent, heartfelt reflection.” Strangely, though, no mention among the blurbs of Simpson’s insights into Canadian politics and policy. But that was soon explained—it was a different Jeffrey Simpson. Through a still unsolved mix-up, the New York City author’s book was shipped in place of the Ottawa pundit’s titles. Undeterred, the Globe columnist, who said he had never heard of his American double, happily signed copies of American Elegy with the inscription “to my Canadian readers.” And he remarked that, ironically, he is currently at work on his first book about the United States. One elegiac title, however, is already taken.

EMPORIUM

As a large number of Roman Catholic priests across Canada approach retirement age, there are not enough men entering the priesthood to compensate for the decline.

The number of Canadians who were members of the Roman Catholic Church in 1968 ......................8.7 million in 1999......................12.6 million The number of priests who had their own diocese in 1968............................9,039 in 1999............................6,031 The number of religious order priests in 1968..........................11,849 in 1999............................3,636

SOURCES: STATISTICS CANADA: THE CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

A curvaceous Canadian downsizes her chief assets

Actress Pamela Anderson Lee’s success in the entertainment industry has been attributed to her most obvious assets— her breasts. Not shy about highlighting her best feature, Lee didn’t mind that people knew her cartoon curves were courtesy of a plastic surgeon and not Mother Nature. But that was then. Lee, now 31, who had breast implants in 1989, has had them removed. According to her publicist, the change wasn’t due to a health scare but to Pam’s desire to bring her Barbie-like body (3622-34) back to more normal proportions.

So, will her mostly male fans like her newly deflated image? A former fitness instructor in Vancouver, Lee bounced to mega-stardom with her scantily clad role in the lifeguard television series Baywatch (or Babewatch, to fans and critics alike), which made her an international figure in the early 1990s. Following her

marriage to Tommy Lee, the much-tattooed Motley Crtie drummer, the couple’s home-made honeymoon video —showing them consummating their marriage numerous times—was allegedly stolen from their house. It eventually fell into the hands of the Internet Entertainment Group, which broadcast it online, garnering the Ladysmith, B.C., native an even more rabid following.

In fact, says The Wall Street Journal, Lee boasts the hottest name on the Internet. The newspaper reports that the mother of two is cited in 145,000 Web pages; thousands of them are X-rated sites. She is also the reigning record-holder at Playboy magazine, gracing the cover six times. Lee will debut her downsized décolletage next month when she hosts the World Music Awards in Monaco—and her many fans will have the chance to decide whether she still measures up.

A hockey-beer marriage is saved

It has not been a happy year for Montreal Canadiens fans—or for Molson Companies, owner of one of the most storied franchises in sports history. On-ice, the Canadiens struggled through a dismal season, finishing out of the playoffs for only the second time in 29 years. And in February, James Arnett, CEO and president of Molson, set off a new avenue of speculation when he mused that the team—which Molson first bought in 1957 and has often described as a “heritage asset”—might be for sale. “The question,” said Arnett at the time, “is whether owning a hockey team is necessary to help you sell beer.”

After a final quarter last year in which the team and its home, the Molson Centre, lost $2.9 million in operating costs, Arnett did not sound optimistic. The company complained that it pays $10 million in tax on the facility— while in the United States, 20 National Hockey League teams pay a combined $4.1 million. And spiralling salaries increased team costs by $8.4 million. But in an interview with

Maclean’s last week, Arnett answered his own question emphatically: “The team is not for sale. That is the fundamental fact.” And, he added: ‘The Molson Centre is not for sale; we’re keeping it.”

What’s more, he appeared to make clear, fans expecting front-office changes should not hold their breath. Arnett refused to discuss the team’s performance, but said that Canadiens chairman Ronald Corey, a target of frequent criticism in media circles and among fans, “has got our confidence. This was a difficult year for all sorts of reasons. It didn’t work out the way he, or I, expected.” Corey, then, appears to be staying—and he gave a similar vote of confidence to his beleaguered general manager, Rejean Houle, and head

Now, Arnett says Molson is “looking for ways to better utilize the synergies between hockey and beer.” That is alè ready true in another unfor! túnate way. Even as the CanaI diens watch the playoffs from E the sidelines, Molson is do5 ing the same: for the first time in 40 years Labatt, rather than Molson, is the exclusive sponsor of games televised on Hockey Night in Canada. That decision, Arnett said, “was an economic one: the price had simply gotten too high.” Labatt officials would not divulge how much they paid for those rights. But, president Don Kitchen told Maclean’s, “we intend to use this opportunity in ways that no one has ever seen before”—in promoting Labatt’s links with hockey. Still, Kitchen refused to gloat about the Canadiens’ plight. Instead, he noted that Interbrew Ltd., the parent company of Labatt, owns the baseball Blue Jays. With their present difficulties in mind, says Kitchen, “I’m not going to be silly enough to give Molson a chance to snicker if our team has similar problems.”