Call it a case of life imitating art. For the better part of 1993, Edmonton actress Mieko Ouchi worked on a documentary dealing with her JapaneseCanadian grandfather. He was a Vancouver newspaper executive who moved to the B.C. interior voluntarily and witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the forced resettlement of Canadians of Japanese origin during the Second World War. Work on the project was interrupted, however, when the 26-year-old Ouchi landed a starring role in The War Between Us, an independently produced movie to be aired on Dec. 10 on CBC-TV. She plays Aya Kawashima, a Van-
couver-born Japanese-Canadian whose family gets uprooted and shipped to a camp in the B.C. interior, courtesy of the federal government. The movie, directed by Vancouver-based Anne Wheeler, explores a blossoming friendship between Kawashima and a local woman, who is dealing with her own personal crises due to the war. “The opportunity to play this role has been incredible,” said Ouchi. “I got the chance to relive what I had been researching.
THEHEAUNG POWER OF MUSIC
As someone who has survived three bouts of cancer, singer Jacki Ralph Jamieson wants to tell other women that “a cancer diagnosis is not an automatic death sentence.” She decided one way to get the message across would be to record a fund-raising CD, with the proceeds going to breast cancer research. But the Vancouver-based pop singer, who last had Top 10 hits,
Stay Awhile and Fly Little White Dove, Fly, in the 1970s, is also a realist. “I hadn’t recorded in 13 years and my name didn’t have the clout,” says the 51-year-old Ralph Jamieson. “So I approached names with clout so I could really make a difference.” Many of Canada’s leading female musi-
cians—k. d. lang, Jann Arden, Ce-
line Dion and Sarah McLachlan, among them—readily agreed to contribute to the project. The result is In Between Dances, which has sold more than 50,000 copies since its late-September release, raising more than $250,000 for the Canadian Can-
cer Society. Ralph Jamieson’s message of hope is being heard.
COMING THROUGH IN THE CRUNCH
When it came to big games, he was a big bust. In a Canadian Football League career that has included stops in Edmonton, Toronto and now Baltimore, quarterback Tracy Ham had led his teammates into two Grey Cups, and lost both times. But the 31-year-old Florida native
atoned for past failures last week by guiding the Baltimore Stallions to 37-20 victory over the Calgary Stampeders in the 1995 Grey Cup in Regina. Ham was named the most valuable player in the game as the Stallions became the first U.S.-based team to win the 86-year-old trophy. “I work hard,” Ham said afterward. “I don’t know if I can ever shake some of the things the media says about me.” But having laid to rest the doubts
about his ability to win a championship, Ham had to wrestle with another question: would he and his teammates be around to defend their title? The Cleveland Browns of the National Football League are moving to Baltimore for the start of the 1996, and the Stallions will be spending the winter looking for a new home.
FOR ADULTS ONLY
In 1868, Louisa May Alcott achieved fame and fortune with the publication of Little Women, a novel that has remained popular with young readers ever since. But two years before that, Alcott, then 34, had written a novel for adults, A Long Fatal Love Chase, that her publisher rejected as “too sensational.” In 1993, Alcott scholar Kent Bicknell, of Sanbornton, N.H., rediscovered the yellowing, handwritten manuscript in a rare book store and took them to New York Citybased Random House, Inc. And while the language in the recently published Love Chase is full of Victorian-era flourish-
es, its plot about a ruthless man obsessively stalking his ex-wife is resoundingly current in the year of the O. J. Simpson trial. Bicknell says readers should not be surprised by Alcott’s choice of feminist subject matter. She was a suffragette, he notes, who wrote to support her family because her father, Amos Bronson Alcott, was a philosopher whose radical ideas earned him friendship with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, but seldom any money.
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