Overture

Shanda Deziel,John Intini,Brian D. Johnson May 6 2002

Overture

Shanda Deziel,John Intini,Brian D. Johnson May 6 2002

Overture

Shanda Deziel

Amy Cameron

Over and Under Achievers

Jacques Chirac: Haughty, detached French president creates conditions for extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen’s scary breakthrough. Chirac will win runoff vote, but still look like a loser.

Charles Aznavour: Empathetic, ageless French singer and actor gives farewell concerts in Toronto and Montreal. French politics? Non, merci. French art? Encore!

'W' Evian: New deal will see liquid essence of French Alps distributed in U.S. and Canada by . . . Coca-Cola Co. Next: Anheuser-Busch to market Dorn Pérignon as King of Champagnes.

^Jean-Marie Messier: Vivendi Universal’s boss bought a big chunk of Canadiana in 2000Seagram Co., but for its movie studio, not the booze biz. Now, the French media giant’s stock is a world-class dud. Jean-Marie could probably use that drink.

Wilbur MacDonald: RE.I. Tory MLA makes Le Pen-like comments about decline of “white” nations and the rise of visible minorities. He apologized, but his remarks remind us that certain views are transatlantic.

When a donkey’s work is done

Some might say that Sandra Pady is a donkey’s best friend. In 1992, the former schoolteacher started the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada in Guelph, Ont.The not-for-profit charity provides a home to donkeys, hinnies or mules that are unwanted, neglected or abused. In the last decade, Pady has taken in and cared for 89 animals on the 40-ha farm she shares with her husband, David. One of her favourites is Chicklet, a twoyear-old donkey that was abandoned

in Kingston, Ont. “He was only five months old and had been in a field all winter without shelter,” she says. “His ears were frostbitten, his hooves had never been trimmed and he was very skinny. He was a sad-looking little guy but after being with us he’s just beautiful.”

The farm costs $100,000 annually to run and is funded solely through private contributions.The sanctuary is open to the public on Sundays and Wednesdays, and a Donkey Day, full of

singing, dancing and animal rides, is held in June. Last year, the event raised $15,000. The farm welcomes any size donation. For $150, Pady will add the pledge’s name to a board at the barnyard entrance. A gift of $1,000 feeds a donkey for a year and donors receive updates and pictures of their“adopted”animal. If that’s a bit steep, individuals can contribute money to cover specific costs, including carrots for a week at $35, or a bale of hay for $2.50. No word on how much to pin the tail on the donkey. John Intini

No Cannes duel

It would have made a classic showdown: David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan squaring off in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. They have already tangled on the Riviera. As a Cannes jury member in 1996, Egoyan went out of his way to help secure a prize for Cronenberg’s

incendiary Crash-a favour that went unreturned when Cronenberg’s jury snubbed Egoyan’s Felicia’s Journey in 1999. In May, both directors will premiere new movies in the main selection at Cannes, an unprecedented honourfor Canada. But while Cronenberg's Spider will compete for the Palme d’Or, Egoyan has elected to show Ararat out of competition.

Ararat, the story of a director making a film about the Armenian genocide, has already provoked controversy, with the Turkish government denying the genocide took place. The movie, says Egoyan, "has so many issues of judgment, and what constitutes justice, that the idea of presenting it to a jury didn’t sit well. I didn’t want that extra pres-

sure. There's enough on its plate.” The director stresses that he was not trying to avoid a duel with his former mentor. Cronenberg, meanwhile, points out that Spider, which stars Ralph Fiennes as a schizophrenic, is not controversial. And he would have enjoyed competing with Egoyan. “That would have been fun,” he muses. “I like to play the Cannes

In his last will and testament, 18thcentury Irish author Jonathan Swift bequeathed the sum of 12,000 pounds to “purchase a Piece of Land, situate near Dr. Stevens’s Hospital [in Dublin], and in building thereon an Hospital for the Reception of Idiots and Lunaticks.” The hospital was to be called St. Patrick’s and future income made off other lands belonging to Swift was to be used to repair and enlarge the building from time to time. St. Patrick’s was opened in 1757,12 years after Swift’s death, and today is one of the oldest psychiatric hospitals in the world.

In 1993, two Toronto firms, Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. and Architects Crang & Boake Inc., won a contract to design a building for the hospital’s new intensive care unit. They came up with a design that made the

Shining a light on Swift’s legacy

building itself therapeutic. While reading Swifts Hospital: A History of St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, 17461989, architect Jonathan Kearns found something interesting. “It seems occupancy in St. Patrick’s varied quite a lot over the course of the year,” says Kearns. “It would drop to its lowest levels during the summer months and reached its highest in the winter months.” Kearns then came across current research linking exposure to light with the treatment of mental-health disorders.

This discovery informed the design proposal put forward by the two firms: a single-story building with a roof that maximizes the amount of natural light, allowing sunlight to reach all the rooms, not just ones on the outside

walls. Kearns also included secured gardens that let patients spend time alone outdoors. The building was finished earlier this year. “The roof has given us a tremendous amount of daylight in all areas," says Eamonn O’Reilly, St. Patrick’s facilities manager. “It’s beneficial for the patients.” Kearns, who’s originally from Dublin, says there’s another thing he uncovered while reading the hospital’s history-and while it didn’t factor into the design, it brings a smile to his face. “The hospital is located across the street from the Guinness Brewery and they used to serve patients Guinness Stout as a regular part of their daily diet,” says Kearns. “It’s probably better for the patients than Prozac.” Shanda Deziel

A substantial loss

Derek Lesser was desperate to lose weight. At his heaviest, the high school teacher from Yarmouth, N.S., tipped the scales at 325 lb. He’d tried everything-even enlisting a hypnotist to end his love affair with junkfood. Nothing worked. Then a friend joked about the Subway restaurant diet made famous by TV commercials featuring American Jared Fogle, who lost 235 lb. After two months on the all-sub regimen. Lesser has lost 43 lb. His goal is to shed 125 lb. and 12 inches from his 46-inch waistline by next March. “The diet has already changed my confidence,” he says. “Before losing weight even going to the grocery | store was a battle because I ¿ was worried I’d see some§ one who didn’t know I’d put on a hundred pounds.”

For lunch, Lesser, 28, chooses a six-inch sandwich containing less than six grams of fat. And every dinner consists of a 12-inch veggie subhold the mayo and cheese. He’s also taking multivitamins and walks at least two kilometres a day. “It would be hard if I was just eating potatoes,” he says. “It’s amazing, but I don’t get hungry between meals anymore." If Lesser remains committed, the owner of the Yarmouth Subway will reimburse him the year’s worth of money spent on subs, and a local store is donating clothing as he drops in size. Proof that being Lesser gets more. John Intini

John Intini

game, even though it’s a crapshoot. But Atom knows the game well. And if that's his decision, so be it." Then he adds, provocatively, “If he feels his film should not be subjected to competition, maybe he shouldn’t enter it in the Genies. I can’t second-guess Atom.” Brian D. Johnson

Brian D. Johnson

There’s enough on Ararat’s plate