What kind of legacy are you leaving in your wake?

The message of It’s a Wonderful Life rings true because it speaks of powerful universal truths that will never change

What kind of legacy are you leaving in your wake?Celebrated American filmmaker Steven Spielberg said, “It’s a Wonderful Life shows that every human being on this Earth matters – and that’s a very powerful message.” Released in December 1946 (the same month Spielberg was born) and set in the first half of the 20th century, this film has been a Christmas favourite for generations.…

The last Blockbuster in America

The free market only sustains a faltering enterprise for so long. Consumer demands rapidly change, new products are always waiting

The last Blockbuster in AmericaJust about every year before Christmas, I sit down next to my wonderfully decorated tree, often with a beverage in hand, and clean up my computer files. Inevitably, I’ll unearth a few column ideas I didn’t get around to writing. This year, I found one older topic that I’ve decided was still intriguing enough to…

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?

Protecting cultural industries from competition and propping them up with public money is just wasteful

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?Many advocates for cultural diversity have a sudden change of heart when the topic turns to Canada's ‘cultural industries.’ As they say in Argentina, for money, the monkey will dance. What constitutes Canadian heritage, given its complex milieu, tends to be in the eye of the beholder. However, the heritage is so weak that, supposedly,…

Fred Jung’s incredible journey from Calgary to Hollywood

The Shatner Universe executive talks about developing entertainment projects and working with an icon, William Shatner

Fred Jung’s incredible journey from Calgary to HollywoodFred Jung is president of acquisitions and development of Shatner Universe LLC in North Hollywood. Can you explain your journey on how you got from Calgary to Los Angeles in your career? Jung: Boy, it really has been an incredible journey! Growing up in Calgary in the early ’70s, I was always intrigued with the entertainment…

The many voices of Doug de Nance

Voice artist, skybox announcer and on-the-floor host of live events across the globe

The many voices of Doug de NanceDoug de Nance is a voice artist, skybox announcer and on-the-floor host of live events across the globe. Tell me what you do and the range of services you’ve been hired to do over the years? Doug: My brand – When he speaks, it’s an event – really covers what I do. I call it voice…

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warrior

Under his leadership, Marvel directly challenged societal norms on race, religion, war, gender and sexuality

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warriorStan Lee passed away on Nov. 12. The larger-than-life personality of Marvel Comics for seven decades, he helped create some of the world’s most beloved superheroes, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Black Panther. The 95-year-old son of Romanian-Jewish immigrants, Lee was a genius and great innovator in the comic book industry –…

The subsidy table is set, and actors and writers will dine

The CRTC has backed away from a 21st-century funding model for the creation of Canadian content. We'll all be poorer as a result

The subsidy table is set, and actors and writers will dineThe leaders of Canada’s creative rebellion have emerged victorious after two years of struggle. That means consumers will almost certainly pay more for years to come for their much-loved Canadian television content. The news came just prior to the Labour Day weekend. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a decision confirming that it…

Screen Arts film series starts this month

Local series offers a taste of the Toronto International Film Festival

Screen Arts film series starts this monthKenneth Brown of The Clarion An opportunity for people to experience a taste of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is returning this fall thanks to a special film series. Kindersley Screen Arts runs an annual film series in town and the organization acquires the rights to films from TIFF. The group shows a film…

Behind the extraordinary art of the ‘Walt Disney of Japan’

Hayao Miyazaki is brilliant, inspired, outspoken and unconventional. It's a combination that makes for remarkable films

Behind the extraordinary art of the ‘Walt Disney of Japan’The summer months are an enjoyable time for professional writers. Political leaders are moving at a slower pace, which gives us an opportunity to tackle some more creative topics. Such as Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is a legendary figure in anime, or Japanese animation. Often described as the “Walt Disney of Japan,” the 77-year-old has continually…

Tax the Internet in the name of Canadian culture?

Canadian production is booming. It hardly needs more official intervention – and funding – to continue to grow

Tax the Internet in the name of Canadian culture?Those of you who have fled the walled garden that constitutes Canada’s regulated Can-con broadcasting system for the freedom of the Internet, beware: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is ready to round you up. After years of news, information, education and entertainment being available unregulated from whatever source you want on a platform…

The message matters: we are what we watch and listen to

We focus too much on things that really don’t matter. Life is not all about domination, money and having a particular body type

The message matters: we are what we watch and listen toIt’s a challenging time to be a man or a boy. Looking at how we’re presented in the media, are we supposed to be superheroes with unbelievable biceps, gigolos or buffoons? Are we supposed to be sports superstars, rock stars or business moguls? It’s no easier to be a woman or a girl. Is today’s…

Time for #MeToo to shift to the #IRegret movement

The focus on consent has made men all over the world stop and think. Am I one of those men?

Time for #MeToo to shift to the #IRegret movementStrangely, this weird moment in history is a good time to be alive. I've been a feminist most of my adult life, at least since I realized power imbalances were rampant in present and past societies. After dedicating most of the 1990s and 2000s to fighting the good fight in the trenches, I burned out and left…

Movie musical Grease turns 40 this summer

Forty years after its release, the movie poses a conundrum for those disposed to view everything through an ideologically-tinted lens

Movie musical Grease turns 40 this summerBelieve it or not, the movie musical Grease turns 40 this summer. It’s no exaggeration to say that it took the 1978 box office by storm. Indeed, the radio-ubiquitous title song caught the mood of the moment perfectly: Grease is the word. Alas, the simple joys can never stay simple. In the fraught temper of…

The complexity, nuance and truth at the heart of residential schools

It’s instructive that no credible alternative to the residential schools has ever been put forward

The complexity, nuance and truth at the heart of residential schoolsWith a few idle hours, I sat down to watch director James Mangold’s 2007 film, 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. I’d popped the DVD into the player because a good action film that pitted the good guys against villains with six shooters seemed like an entertaining way to divert my mind…

A gentle giant of a man, a larger-than-life icon

A new documentary about pro wrestler André the Giant paints an engrossing portrait

A gentle giant of a man, a larger-than-life iconOver the years, I’ve been fortunate to meet or come across impressive figures from the world of politics, business, journalism, media, sport and entertainment. There’s virtually no photographic evidence of these meetings. It’s never been important to me to prove I was somewhere, met someone, or said something witty and/or relevant. The only camera I…