Opening Notes

BARBARA WICKENS April 15 1996

Opening Notes

BARBARA WICKENS April 15 1996

Opening Notes

The price of wedding photos in the park

Photographs of just-married couples and their wedding parties are a big part of the big day.

But in some Vancouver parks, the overwhelming number of wedding parties turning up at the most popular locations for picture-taking has become a big headache. During the peak wedding season of May to September, sometimes as many as 20 groups have shown up at the same place at the same time. And while bridal parties have not yet been known to resort to fisticuffs, the level of tension among groups competing for the same space has raised fears that push may soon come to shove. With that in mind, the city’s park board has initiated a licensing system that will come into effect just in time for the coming peak season. Newlyweds wishing to have their pho-

BARBARA WICKENS

tos taken in one of the most popular locations, Van Dusen Park in south-central Vancouver, will have to pay $100 for a permit That will give them admission to the park and a booking to use their preferred spot at a specific time. “We would like to see things go smoothly for everyone,” says Liane McKenna, director of environment and operations for the Vancouver Parks and Recreation I Board. ‘We will try this out and see how it goes.” If only the probÍ lems that crop up later in marriage were so simple.

Sorry, this is the wrong number

On their latest CD, These Days, the American rock group Bon Jovi plays a 1960s song called 6345789 by soul singer Wilson Pickett.

It has fans rockin’ in the aisles— and the phone ringing off the hook at the ¿achine, Que., home of Robert and Line Mainville, who are the only people with that number in North America. “There were more than 50 calls the first day it came out,” says Line Mainville, a 50-year-old mother of two. ‘We’re still getting 10 or more a day.” She says the callers are

mostly “very polite” adolescents who want to speak to the group’s namesake, Jon Bon Jovi. “I tell them that I don’t know Mr. Jovi,” she adds. A spokesman for Polygram Records, which distributes the CD in Canada, says the company offered to pay for the Mainville’s number to be changed, but they declined. ‘We have friends and family across Canada,” says Line Mainville, “and we don’t want to have to contact everybody to give them a new number.”

Fuel for the fire

Anew study provides further evidence of what anti-tobacco foes have long argued: that teenagers are strongly influenced by cigarette advertising. According to research by University of British Columbia marketing professor Richard Pol lay, published last week in the Chicagobased Journal of Marketing, teenagers are three times more receptive than adults to cigarette ads. The study also shows that teens tend to smoke three of the most heavily advertised brands: Marlboro, Camel and Newport. Says Pol lay: “Teens are alert to what’s hot and what’s not.”

More woes for the Big Owe

It has been 20 years, but the hangover from Montreal’s Olympic party just will not go away. After already shelling out close to $2.4 billion to pay for the 1976 Summer Olympic installations—including more than $1 billion in interest charges alone—Quebec taxpayers learned last week that the province will

spend a further $3 million to reinforce the roof on the Olympic stadium. The roof alone is now estimated to have cost as much as $77 million. According to Serge Menard, a spokesman for Quebec’s minister of state for Metropolitan Montreal, the repairs will prolong the life of the roof through the year 2000. But Montreal’s Big 0 woes will continue long after that—the outstanding debt from the Games is still more than $425 million.

A lesson in fact-checking

The Ryerson Review of Journalism, a magazine produced by students at Toronto’s Ryerson Polytechnic University, takes The Toronto Sun to task for mistakes it made in covering a controversy on campus last fall. Sun senior associate editor Lorrie Goldstein defended the coverage since “the pressures of putting out a daily paper make it impossible to spend much time verifying information,” reports the Review. One problem: Goldstein said no such thing. In a swiftly issued letter of apology, Review publisher Don Obe, a Ryerson instructor, acknowledges that “at no time during his interview . . . was Mr. Goldstein questioned about any fact contained in the Sun’s stories.” Blame the pressure of deadlines.

In the army now

As the direct descendent of a cavalry regiment formed by the Molson and Ogilvy families in the early 19th century, the Royal Canadian Hussars has long been the militia unit of choice for military-minded offspring of Montreal’s rich and famous. The latest scion of a VIP to join the Hussars—whose colorful history includes fighting in the War of 1812 against the United States, in the Boer War at the turn of the century in South Africa, and many of the major battles of the First and Second World Wars—is the second son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Alexandre Trudeau—Sacha as he is better known— recently joined the armored regiment as an officer cadet. The 22-year-old new recruit is preparing to undergo a basic officer training course this summer. If he makes it through, he will join the unit as a lieutenant in the fall.

Dressing for dances with dogs

It features flashy costumes, choreographed manoeuvres, pumping theme music—and biting. And it bills itself as a sport. But no, it is not the World Wrestling Federation. It is Musical Canine Sports International—dog dancing for short—a flashier, made-inCanada version of obedience training competitions. The new event, which originated in Western Canada in 1991, includes an intricate marking scheme covering technical execution and artistic impression for the dogs’ movements. “Every dog is a closet dancer,” maintains league secretary Vicki Averill, a human resources consultant in Coquitlam, B.C. “They have natural rhythm.” Others must agree: the first world championship will be held in November in Eugene, Ore., with competitors flying in from as far away as England, Australia and Norway. Reigning Canadian champion Nancy Forshaw of Langley, B.C., and her seven-year-old border collie, Shadow, who perform routines to tunes

from Phantom of the Opera má Aladdin, will be there. But while the handlers dress up in theme-related costumes, the dogs do not. Says Forshaw: ‘We want to preserve the animal’s dignity.”