[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Sunday Newsletter 2001-27Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-27Su.

July 8, 2001.

We certainly have a variety of information to present to you today. A classical guitarist biography, a question posed to bring notice to one of Canada's most prominent actors, some geographical tidbits and more. Where else can you find so many Canadian facts packed away into a nice five-minute read, than right here at FactsCanada.ca? So enjoy.



\ Question of the week
\ Biography -- Liona Boyd -- "Canada's Queen of the Guitar"
\ Literal legacies
\ Quotes of the week
\ Place names -- Lions Bay, British Columbia
\ Also born this week
\ It happened this week in history
\ Canadian awards -- The Jacqueline Lemieux Award
\ Geographical tidbits
\ Answer to this week's question
\ Preview
\ Links and resources
\ Legal and subscription information



This Genie-Award-winning actor, a native of Newfoundland, not only starred in the 1972 film entitled "The Rowdyman", but he also wrote the screenplay and the musical version of this landmark film. Who is he?

The answer is located near the end of the newsletter.



Liona Boyd -- "Canada's Queen of the Guitar"

This classical guitarist is world-renowned, not only for her musical skills, natural beauty and ease of manner, but also for her notable choices in her personal life when away from the stage, which include her relationships with older men (including Pierre Trudeau), personal friendships with a wide variety of royalty and celebrities from all lands, and being a crusader for the animal rights movement.

Born on July 11, 1950, in London, England, Boyd moved to Canada with her parents Eileen and John at the age of eight, settling in Ontario. At the age of 14 she saw English guitarist Julian Bream perform at Eaton Centre in Toronto. She was fascinated, and asked her parents to get her a guitar for Christmas. Meanwhile she was also becoming known as one of the most attractive girls at Kipling Collegiate High School in Etobicoke, Ontario, where she really impressed the boys when dancing to a Rolling Stones tune in a mini skirt at an assembly. Determined to learn the guitar she spent three to four hours a day after school, honing her hidden talent. Soon it became evident to her mother that her skill with the instrument was something special and she needed some special training. Private classes with Andres Segovia, Narcisco Yepes and Julian Bream himself followed and helped Boyd refine her skills.

Boyd went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree in performance at the University of Toronto, where she graduated with honours and won first prize in the Canadian National Musical Competition. It was not long after that Boyd was approached by Eleanor Sniderman (wife of Sam Sniderman, the founder of the "Sam the Record Man" chain of music stores) who wanted Boyd to sign a record deal. Boyd, however, did not feel quite ready for this step and moved to Paris, France, for two years of private study with Alexandre Lagoya. Upon her return to Canada she signed with Sniderman and the record label owned by Canadian country and western star "Stompin'" Tom Conners. Conners and his label Boot Records always supported, encouraged and developed Canadian music performers, although this was his first venture into the classical arena. She went on to record two records with the label, during which time she debuted at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City to praise from the "New York Times" newspaper for her "flair for brilliance".

Boyd's career was now secured, and over the next 30 years she performed privately for many of the world's most important leaders including Queen Elizabeth II of England, the King and Queen of Spain, numerous presidents of the United States of America, the chancellor of Germany, as well as prime ministers of Britain, France and, of course, Canada. She was even invited by Moscow's mayor, Gavrill Popov, to perform at the Kremlin at an exclusive New-Year's-Eve gala during the last hour of the Soviet Union's existence!

A little name dropping of her personal friends includes the diverse lineup of Robert Redford, Gordon Lightfoot, Julio Iglesias, Eric Clapton, Oscar Peterson and British actor Roger Moore. Between 1976 and 1983 she and Pierre Elliott Trudeau (28 years her senior) conducted a well-documented, seven-year relationship. It was initially scandalized by the papers, who claimed an affair. Frustrated by this claim, Boyd always stuck to her story that, although they met while Trudeau was still married to Margaret Trudeau, their romantic relationship did not begin until after Pierre and Margaret were separated. Almost a decade later, in 1992, Boyd married another older man -- California real-estate developer John Simon, who was only 25 years her senior. It was then that Boyd moved from Toronto to Beverly Hills into a neighbourhood that included, at the time, Frank Sinatra, followed by Merv Griffin who moved in across the street in 1997.

Boyd's virtuoso talents are supported by the many gold and platinum records she has received from her recorded sales. Boyd has also garnered many Juno Awards, holds three honorary degrees, and was appointed to the Order of Canada. Although her marriage made it easier for her and husband to operate out of California, she still retains her Canadian citizenship.

A few years back Boyd released her autobiography entitled "In My Own Key -- My Life in Love and Music", which Trudeau read and loved prior to his death in 2000.



Once again Canada has lost one of its premier writers. On Monday, July 2, 2001, we lost Mordecai Richler.

Although not prolific in terms of today's writers, Mordecai Richler brought a certain style and manner to all of his writing for which he will always be remembered. Richler was born on January 27, 1931, making him 70-years-of-age at the time of his death. Some of his most inspiring works include "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1959), which was made into a movie starring Richard Dreyfuss in 1974. Later Mordecai won the Governor General's Award for his 1968 story entitled "CockSure", which was a comical satirical account of the difficulty of adhering to traditional values in a world gone mad. He also won the same prize for the 1971 release of "St. Urbain's Horseman", which examines the professional, personal, and ethnic experiences of a 37-year-old man subjected to intense, contradictory feelings who, Richler has stated, is "closer to me now than anyone else".

By the time of his death Richler had become known as a "curmudgeonly misogynist", thanks in part to one of his novels entitled "Barney's Vision".



"Music contributes profoundly to the richness and beauty of life. I feel so fortunate to be able to share this wonderful international language with people around the world." --Liona Boyd.

"Breathtakingly beautiful playing, the most accomplished and technically flawless playing I have heard from any guitarist." --Music critic for the "Canberra Times" in Australia.



Lions Bay, British Columbia

Lions Bay is located on the east shore of Howe Sound, northeast of Vancouver and some seven kilometres north of Horseshoe Bay (a ferry terminal serving the route between Vancouver [to the south] and Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island as well as various other communities along the western coast of British Columbia). North of Lions Bay on Highway 99 (called the "Sea to Sky Highway" at this point) are Squamish and some world-class skiing at Whistler.

The village of Lions Bay was incorporated as such in 1971. Currently it has a population of about 1500, with the average property value nearing $500 000. The village and the bay took their names from the two mountains directly to the east, which had previously been called the Sisters and Sheba's Paps. From Vancouver these mountains look like a pair of crouching lions, and in the late 1880s Judge John Gray (who also suggested the narrow entrance into Burrard Inlet be called Lions Gate) officially named them The Lions. The Lions Gate bridge (now sometimes referred to as the First Narrows bridge) was built in 1938 and united the "North Shore" (the City and District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver) with downtown Vancouver via Stanley Park.



James Dunsmuir, industrialist and premier of British Columbia (1900-1902), born in Fort Vancouver, Washington, USA, July 8, 1851.

Antonio Lamer, lawyer and chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (1990-1999), born in Montreal, Quebec, July 8, 1933.

Raffi (n Raffi Cavoukian), singer of children's music, born in Cairo, Egypt, July 8, 1948. Arrived in Canada at the age of ten.

Leonard "Red" Kelly, Hockey Hall of Fame member and member of Parliament, born in Simcoe, Ontario, July 9, 1927.

Jacqueline Lemieux (who became famous using her married name of Lemieux-Lopez, which was later dropped when she married Lawrence Gradus), dancer, instructor and administrator, born in Montreal, Quebec, July 9, 1939. She died of cancer on September 23, 1979. Not to be confused with another living dancer of the same name born in 1957 in East Angus, Quebec.

Gilbert John Murray Kynymond Elliot, 4th Earl of Minto, soldier and governor general of Canada (1898-1904), born in London, England, July 9, 1845.

Chalmers Jack Mackenzie, engineer and research manager, appointed a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (1943), and a Companion of the Order of Canada (1967), awarded the US Medal of Merit (1947), born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, July 10, 1888.

Kim Mitchell, singer, songwriter and guitarist, born in Sarnia, Ontario, July 10, 1952.

Alice Munro, writer, born in Wingham, Ontario, July 10, 1931.

Joe Shuster, cartoonist who, with writer Jerry Siegel, created the comic strip "Superman", born in Toronto, Ontario, July 10, 1914. Also a cousin of Canadian comedian Frank Shuster (of "Wayne and Shuster" fame).

Andre Langevin, novelist and journalist, born in Montreal, Quebec, July 11, 1927.

Pierre Berton, journalist, historian, author and media personality, winner of three Governor General Awards, Companion of the Order of Canada, born in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, July 12, 1920.

Colin Archibald Low, film director and producer, born in Cardston, Alberta, July 12, 1926.

Gordon Edward Pinsent, actor, writer and narrator, Officer of the Order of Canada (1978), born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, July 12, 1930.

Melvin "Fritzie" Hanson, CFL football star, charter member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1963), born in Perham, Minnesota, USA, July 13, 1912.

Hubert Reeves, astrophysicist, author and science-fiction-film adviser, born in Montreal, Quebec, July 13, 1932.

Robert Bourassa, politician, professor and premier of Quebec (1970-1976), born in Montreal, Quebec, July 14, 1933.

John Howard "Jack" Sissons, lawyer and first judge of the Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories (1955), born in Orillia, Ontario, July 14, 1892. He was known for taking "justice to every man's door" by aircraft and dogsled. Also know as "Ekoktoegee" (the one who listens to things) to the native Inuk.



July 8, 1896 -- Prime Minister Sir Charles Tupper resigns his post in protest against the ineffective leadership of the Cabinet.

July 8, 1760 -- The Battle of Restigouche was fought on this date. It was the last battle between the French and the British during the Seven Years War. Restigouche is now a small Indian reserve located in Quebec. (For a Friday Feature on the Seven Years War, please see FactsCanada.ca issue 2000-19Fr.)

July 9, 1937 -- Mount Lucania, Canada's third-highest mountain, was first conquered on this date. Lucania is located fifty kilometres north of Canada's highest peak, Mount Logan, in the Yukon's St. Elias Mountain Range.

July 10, 1940 -- The first battle in history to be fought exclusively in the air, the Battle of Britain, began on this date and continued through October 31, 1940. Although only one Canadian unit participated, many more Canadians serving in the Royal Air Force were in the forefront.

July 10, 1985 -- Greenpeace, which was organized in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1970 suffered a blow when one Greenpeace member was killed. French agents placed underwater bombs on the Greenpeace flagship "Rainbow Warrior" in Auckland, New Zealand. The ship had been about to embark as part of a "peace flotilla" to Mururoa Atoll, the French nuclear test site in French Polynesia.

July 10, 1920 -- Arthur Meighen began his first of two separate terms as prime minister of Canada.

July 11, 1911 -- The Ontario town of South Porcupine was destroyed by fire. Noah Timmins, owner of the Hollinger mine, established a new town site and financed its rebuilding. South Porcupine was incorporated into the city of Timmins in 1973.

July 13, 1986 -- Edmonton, Alberta, native Gail Greenough, an equestrian, became the first Canadian and the first woman to win the World Show Jumping championship. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1990.

July 14, 1968 -- During a rainstorm, 17.8 mm of rain fell on the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, in a five-minute period.

July 14, 1976 -- Capital punishment was abolished in Canada, although a narrow provision for it still applies to those in military service.



The Jacqueline Lemieux Award

The Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, which consists of a medal and a cheque for $3000, is awarded annually in memory of Jacqueline Lemieux's profound contribution to Canadian dance. Co-founder with her husband, Lawrence Gradus, of the Montreal dance company Entre-Six and of Quebec Ete Danse, a summer school in Lennoxville, Jacqueline Lemieux was also teacher, administrator and a member of the Canada Council for the Advisory Arts Panel.



Here are the first ten place names, when listed alphabetically, in Canada:

1. Aachikaayusaakaasich Portage, Quebec -- A portage is a land feature. It can be described as a strip or parcel of land located between two waterways. In Manitoba, for instance, the city of Portage la Prairie derived its name from French fur traders who noted that the Assiniboine in the area carried their canoes over the "portage" (or flat land) from the river to the lake.

2. Lac Aachikamakuskasich, Quebec. ("Lac" is French for "lake".)

3. Lac Aachinuskumikaach, Quebec.

4. Aadland Lake, Saskatchewan.

5. Lac Aakaupiynanuch, Quebec.

6. Aakulujjuk Anse, Quebec. (A bay.)

7. Lac Aakulujjuup, Quebec.

8. Aalder Island, Nova Scotia.

9. Aalders Landing, Nova Scotia. (The first place on this list officially having a population. It is designated as an unincorporated area.)

10. Aalders Lang Brook, Nova Scotia. (Officially classified as a river.)

Altogether there are 72 place names in Canada started with the letters "aa". The ninth entry above (AAlders Landing) and another further down the list (Aasiwaskwasich, Quebec) are the only two that are not classified as "features", under the place name heading. The latter is also an unincorporated area.

Now for the final ten listings of place names in Canada. Believe it or not, there are 501 place names in Canada starting with the letter "z". There are 172 listings starting with "ze" (the most), and 106 starting with "zi":

1. Zwickers Point, Nova Scotia. (A cape.)

2. Zwickers Shoal, Nova Scotia.

3. Zwickers Stillwaters, Nova Scotia. (A "river feature".)

4. Zwick Island, Ontario.

5. Zyena Lake, Northwest Territories.

6. Zygadene Creek, British Columbia. (Classified as a river.)

7. Zymagotitz River, British Columbia.

8. Zymoetz River, British Columbia.

9. Zytaruk Lake, Manitoba.

And the last entry alphabetically in Canada is:

10. Zywina Lake, Ontario.

To find the first populated area of the 501 place names starting with a "z" in Canada we would have to backtrack from Zywina Lake to the 28th place -- Zurich, Ontario, is an unincorporated area. Its Web site refers to it as the Village of Zurich.



This week's question was: This Genie-Award-winning actor, a native of Newfoundland, not only starred in the 1972 film entitled "The Rowdyman", but he also wrote the screenplay and the musical version of this landmark film. Who is he?

The answer is Gordon Pinsent.

Celebrating his 71st birthday this week is Canadian actor and writer Gordon Edward Pinsent. "The Rowdyman" presented Pinsent as the character Will Cole. One review of the movie goes something like this: "As an alcoholic womaniser, Cole cuts loose in Newfoundland, unrepentant but slowly deteriorating through the ravages of his excessive lifestyle."

The film was directed by Peter Carter and the character of Cole has been referred to as being one of Pinsent's best performances in his long and honoured career. It remains a Canadian classic, and contributors to the Internet Movie Database have rated the movie close to nine stars out of ten.



Next Sunday sees the return of the joke of the week, a biography on actor and director Hume Cronyn, Notes From the Notable on novelist Margaret Laurence, a profile of Bosanquet, Ontario, and the list of Canada's ten largest law firms.


That's it for another week. We made a couple of changes in the formatting of the newsletter. There's not really too much that can be done in a plain-text environment but, after a year of the old, it was time for something new. We changed the separator bars (I am told by our resident computer geek, Craig, these are called horizontal rules) from the old to the new, highly-polished, state-of-the-art, fancy and eye-grabbing one you see today. You will also notice that we have fiddled with the "markers" (for lack of a better term) around the article titles. Some of you may not even have noticed, but we thought the beginning of our second year should be represented in a few style changes. In any case, we hope the changes do not take away from the quality of the newsletter, and actually enhance its esthetic feel.



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