"I’m so in love with the book that I haven’t wanted to lose any of it,” explains actress-turning-producer Margot Kidder, who plans to take Margaret Atwood’s 1976 book Lady Oracle to the movies. Kidder has owned the rights to the book for almost two years and so far she has gone through four screenplays (including one by Atwood), but none of them has been quite right. The artistic problems are those that Kidder can cope with, but the “hyping” associated with raising money for the film raises her international ire. “I had a deal with the CFDC for development money and the deal was so awful that I gave them their money back,” she says forthrightly. Still, Superman’s Lois Lane insists that she wants to set her film in the country where Atwood wrote it, but that has to do with plot, not nationalism. “Dostoevski didn’t go around with a flag in his hand,” says Kidder, “neither did Knut Hamsun. I just don’t want to be stuck with Canadian money that pushes me into artistic choices based on the different countries people were born in.”
Alberta Native Affairs Minister Don McCrimmon opened a tempest in a whisky bottle last week when he suggested that barkeepers assist in the provincial quest to help native people with drinking problems by “cutting off the supply a little sooner.” Harry Midgley, president of the Alberta Human Rights and Civil Liberties Association, swiftly labelled the recommendation as “semiracist.” “Why single the Indians out?” queried Walter Procter, a spokesman for Alberta’s 480 hoteliers. McCrimmon claims “in a majority of cases” to be able to “pick an Indian” out of a gathering of 100 people, so he feels barkeepers would have no problem identifying natives in need of an early closing. “It’s pretty hard to tell who’s an Indian these days,” points out Procter. “They don’t go around with braids and moccasins anymore.”
Electronic evangelists have become the “Johnny Carsons of religion,” says University of Toledo Professor George D. Lehmann Jr.—and it’s time to beware of the profits. Lehmann, a commerce professor, has spent the past three years peering into the collection plates of the video preachers and has come up with some startling figures. Leading the Jesus jet set are Pat Robertson of the 700 Club and Jim Bakker of the PTL (Praise the Lord) Club, who each garner around $57 million a year. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, Va., comes in a close third with $55 million, while
Rev. Rex Humbard’s Cathedral for Tomorrow, Jimmy Swaggart’s Day of Discovery and Rev. Robert Schuller (who is pumping $18 million into his Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif.) each raise about $25 million from the home pew. “Every time I see a show, dollar signs keep running through my head,”
says Lehmann. “You ean sit on the council of your local church, but with the electronic churches it’s much harder to tell where the money all goes.”
ii|hope you’re not like the last person Iwho called,” laughed Edmonton Oilers’ Public Relations Director Bill Tuele. “He claimed our hockey club was contributing to moral depravity because Wayne Gretzky stuck his bum out.” No, the Oiler star wasn’t caught mooning along Jasper Avenue. He was taking part in publicity photos heralding the signing of a two-year contract with Edmonton blue jean manufacturer GWG Ltd. “The franchise,” as Gretzky, 19, is often referred to in hockey circles, will soon be wiggling his
behind on national TV in the awardwinning “bum-bum” commercials created by Baker-Lovick Ltd. A lanky five-foot, eleven-inch and 165-pound Gretzky admits that his rear view isn’t all that great. “He modestly claims that on a scale of 10 he’s about a five,” says Byron Cox, a spokesman for the agency. In the meantime, the Oilers’ phone kept ringing. “Gordie Howe would never do a thing like that,” insisted an irate hockey purist.
((It’s a long way from the barnyard to I‘The Room,”’ confirmed topranking Canadian fashion designer Hugh Garber, as he placed the finishing touches on an exclusive fall outfit for his “old flame” Miss Piggy. Garber’s creations normally market at up to $350
in the carriage-trade salon of Simpsons, but for Miss Piggy everything had to be hand done. So, even though her form required considerably less fabric than a regular skirt, Garber’s cocktail dress for the porcine superstar cost him $250 and her black-diamond mink is simply priceless. “I couldn’t let Miss Piggy wear someone else’s clothes,” says Garber, who finds the final garment “slightly tacky but fabulous.”
((■can’t play the fiddle but I play the ■ comb very badly,” said Don Harron (alias Charlie Farquharson), who cohosted the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddler’s Contest with the CBC’s Harry Brown at Shelburne, Ont., this month. The winner, over 180 competitors, was Don Reed, 20,
of Sudbury, Ont., who has been competing at Shelburne since he was 6. “I’ve never had a job and have to do something to make money,” said the king of fiddlers who won $1,500 with his triumphant renditions of The Last Waltz, Naomi’s Jiy and New Brunswick Breakdown.
Campobello—the island home of the joint Canadian-American park where F.D. Roosevelt made his summer retreat-seemed like the perfect place for Jimmy Carter to recuperate from the rigors of renomination last week. The only problem was that the joint govern-
ment quarters there were already booked by Canadian Opposition leader Joe Clark and family. So last week J.C. (Canadian) was asked to postpone his vacation so that J.C. (American) could crash on the Bay of Fundy island following the Democratic convention in New York. Clark agreed to be bumped, but then pressing matters drew Carter back to Washington and at week’s end Joe Clark was happily motorboating around a beautiful bay in Campobello.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono have come out of hiding to sing about the unmentionable-sexual fantasies. The former Beatle and his Japanese wife are in New York recording Lennon’s first album of original material in eight
The new backdrop for the action in the members gallery of the House of Commons may not please all honorable members. Last week, two carved panels of a planned series of 12 depicting federal roles and responsibilities arising out of the British North America Act were installed. One depicts criminal law: a judge ponders the fate of an innocent man, a Mountie on horseback and the police control a riot. “It suggests there has been far more rioting in Canada than there has been,” pooh-poohed veteran NDP member Stanley Knowles. The second panel shows civil law: a court battle, a farmer and a businessman disputing water rights and insurance claims represented by a road accident and Greek pillars. Next month chief stone-carver Eleanor Milne unveils her salute to the Governor-General. It shows the reading of the speech from the throne, a woman getting the medal for literature and an Inuit receiving the Order of Canada. Anticipating criticism, Milne has already noted that an Inuit has yet to receive the Order.
years, featuring Cheap Tricksters Rick Nielson and Bun E. Carlos on guitar and drums. A spokesman for the Hit Factory, where the Lennons are recording, describes the album as “an exploration of the sexual fantasies of men and women.” Nothing more is said because the project is as secret as the life the couple has been leading since the late-’60s “bed-in” days. “John is moody,” advises the Lennon chauffeur. “He does what he wants.”
((I ike Muhammad Ali, I retired unde|*feated,” says former defence minister James Richardson, who abandoned Pierre Trudeau’s ship in 1976 after vowing never to support plans to entrench language rights in a new constitution. Following his deafening silence of late, Richardson has just been appointed national fund-raising chairman by the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada and hopes to raise $1.25 million to send Canada’s finest to Brisbane, Australia, in September, 1982. “At the Edmonton Games in 1978 transportation wasn’t too big a factor, but next time round it will be,” he advises. In the meantime, Richardson’s opposition to Trudeau’s plans continues. “I have six appointments this month with premiers and MPs to discuss constitutional matters,” he says. Richardson also remains active in an organization called Canadians for One Canada, which never quite got off the ground as an electoral force. He claims the group has 25,000 members and “the public is very much interested in the constitution.”
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