A Canadian hit in Japan

Once again, Quebec singer Céline Dion has a pop ballad at the top of the charts—but this time only in Japan.

The song, To Love You More, has quickly sold 1.3 million copies after being used as the theme song for a popular TV drama series, Koibito yo (My Dear Lover).

That made it the first foreign song to reach No. 1 on the local charts in 12 years. To Love You More is a uniquely

Canadian collaboration: Victoria-born David Foster produced the CD single and shares songwriting credits with Junior Miles, the pen name of Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman of Seagram Co. But fans who snapped up tickets to Dion’s 17-city cross-Canada tour starting in May may have to wait to discover what the excitement is all about. There is no word from Epic, Dion’s record company, about when, if ever, To Love You More will be released in North America.

Rock-solid victories

Canadian curlers made it a clean sweep at the 13-nation world championships that wrapped up last week in Hamilton. On March 30, skip Marilyn Bodogh and her teammates from St. Catharines, Ont.—Kim Gellard, Corie Beveridge and Jane Hooper Perroud—defeated the U.S. team 5-2 to win the women’s final. The next day, Winnipeg skip Jeff Stoughton led his team of Steve Gould, Garry Vandenberghe and Ken Tre-

soor to a 6-2 final over Scotland. Although it was Stoughton’s first trip to the world championships, his team gave Canada its fourth straight men’s victory. “I always dreamed of this moment,” he said. Bodogh, too, had been dreaming of the moment—since she last won the world championship in 1986. She returned to international competition after being runner-up at the Ontario level seven times since then. “I really thought about quitting," Bodogh says, “but my mother told me never to give up.”

Family gathering

For his television special, Music: A Family Tradition (CBC,

April 14), producer Anthony Sherwood did not have to look far for inspiration. A documen-

tary, it features his own family of gospel, opera and blues singers, as well as three other black Canadian musical families: the Kings in Vancouver, the Richardsons in Toronto and the Biddles from Montreal. Sherwood got the idea for the show after fans and friends told him his family’s history would make a wonderful story. Sherwood adds: “In travelling around this country, I realized that there were more families just like mine.” The more the merrier.

Divided loyalties

For most of his life, novelist John Irving has had two separate but equal passions—wrestling and writing. But while he moved freely between the two disciplines, he says his friends in each camp never understood the other. “They were a bad mix,” says Irving, 54, who divides his time between Toronto and southern Vermont. “They bored each other to death. I got used to not bringing these two groups together.” But in his new autobiography Irving has done just that. The Imaginary Girlfriend: A Memoir concisely chronicles his development as both a writer and wrestler. Still, even at a New York City launch party for the book—which he wrote while recuperating from shoulder surgery to repair an old wrestling injury—the two groups did not mingle. Says Irving: “I spent the evening dashing between the two rooms.”

Playing normal

With his portrayal of Jack in the recently released movie Jack and Sarah, British actor Richard E. Grant takes on a new kind of role—a normal person. “For the most part, I seem to play oddball charac ters,” says Grant, 39, whose screen credits have included an ad executive with a talking boil in the 1989 British satire How to Get Ahead in Advertising and a highheel-wearing designer in Robert Altman’s 1994 Ready to Wear. He is proba-

bly best-known as the acerbic out-ofwork actor Withnail in the 1987 cult classic Withnail & I. But as Jack, Grant plays a recent widower learning to care for his newborn daughter, Sarah. Still, Grant marvels that he ended up in show business at all. Until the age of 25, he lived in Swaziland in southern Africa, where his father was director of education for the British colonial government—and where he was seldom exposed to mass media. “We had radio, but we didn’t have TV until 1980,” Grant recalls. “That I should have ended up acting in the movies from that background seems against all the odds.”