Tag Archives: Cece M. Scott


Lance Anderson, writer, composer, producer, director, performer

Latest News

Lance Anderson, writer, composer, producer, director, performer

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

Lance Anderson, 66, is considered to be one of Canada’s finest record producers. A highly accomplished musical director, he has the innate, intuitive ability to recognize and nurture the talent and musical dexterity that the legendary blues singer, Long John Baldry, was famous for.

Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of The BAND. (L TO R) Lance Anderson, Chuck Jackson, Coco Larain, Johnny Max, Rob Gusevs, Terry Blersh, Matt Weidinger, Russ Boswell and Jerome Levon Avis.

“Hearing live music is a three-dimensional experience.” – Lance Anderson

Anderson’s hit productions include The Last Waltz, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and Woodstock: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (2019), which played to sold out audiences. He is a Juno award-winning producer for his work with Leahy, and in 2014 he won a Maple Blues Award for keyboardist of the year. His own label, Make It Real Records, records live off-the-floor concerts.

“You can be easily jaded by the industry after being in it for a long time,” says Anderson. “But young people have an energy and enthusiasm that is good to be around – they bring a renewal of ideas to the table. And certainly, I get back as much as I give.”

Anderson’s positivity is contagious, and he believes in creating his own opportunities. “I have always had an energy to work. I used to stay up until the early hours writing, but I find now that I write better first thing in the morning. I also find I love my naps,” says Anderson with a laugh.

Lance Anderson and Michael Sloski (2008). Photography by Gary Taylor

From a young age, Anderson knew what he wanted to do. “My earliest memories are of being around the piano. After a lot of banging out the same tune over and over, my parents finally enrolled me in some classical piano lessons.”

The traditional training was going along just fine, until Anderson heard the Beatles on the radio. “A friend of mine came over and started playing popular songs by ear,” says Anderson. “Once I learned how to do that, my thinking became, ‘the heck with these Bach pieces, I want to play popular music.’ I started learning absolutely everything I liked after that.”

His classical training wasn’t wasted. Anderson is an internationally renowned Hammond organ player, and has written symphony shows conducted by the Wheeling West Virginia Symphony for the premiere of Symphony in G Minor. He also wrote, and performed, in the show Four Women, featuring blues vocalist Shakura S’Aida.

Photography by Gary Taylor

Anderson’s eclectic, and highly diverse, career includes writing songs with Gordon Pinsent, touring and performing children’s songs with Mr. Dress-Up, and playing everything from rockin’ boogie piano, to jazz, orchestral music and film scores. Anderson considers his collaboration with jazz great, Oscar Peterson, an experience that continues to resonate. For Anderson, meeting Oscar was a major turning point in his life. “Oscar was a musician who stood out amongst his peers. He was naturally gifted – a real genius.”

A serendipitous meeting led to their friendship. Anderson was working for Ensoniq Keyboards, an American manufacturer, as a product specialist. His job was to play at clinics so that people could see how the keyboard functioned and sounded. “A friend of mine owned a music store in Burlington, and he called me to say that a customer had bought an Ensoniq keyboard and wanted me to go to his house to demonstrate how it worked,” says Anderson. “I said that I didn’t make house calls.

And my friend said, OK, I will tell him. Oh, by the way, it’s Oscar Peterson who wanted you to drop by.”

Lance Anderson at Hammond B3 and piano

He was at Peterson’s house in record time. “Oscar was so welcoming, friendly and disarmingly casual that I realized that he was just one of the guys,” says Anderson.

Peterson invited Anderson downstairs and played for him on his state-of-the-art piano. “It was an exquisite instrument – the most beautiful thing I had ever heard in my life. Oscar played very complex chords and his piano had a clarity of sound, a profound movement of parts, and a wonderful touch. It was so intense that I thought I was going to cry.”

After inviting Anderson to play, Oscar stuck his head into the piano, positioning his ear near the strings. “I never get a chance to do this, Oscar told me. He asked me to play something, but I was stunned, and have no recollection as to what I played. I never did get around to showing him how the synthesizer worked.”

Oscar Peterson and Lance Anderson in Barbados

Anderson co-produced and performed on Oscar With Love. The critically acclaimed three-CD package celebrated Peterson’s 90th birthday, and featured top jazz pianists including Chick Corea, Ramsey Lewis, Michel Legrand and Oliver Jones – all playing compositions by Peterson.

At the age of 65, Anderson formed a new band called Matchedash Parish, with Matt Weidinger. Though still in his 20s, Anderson claims that Weidinger outshines many of the big marquee performers. Their debut, self-titled album was nominated for two 2020 Maple Blues Awards, including New Artist or Group of the Year and Recording/ Producer of the Year.

Married to Kathy Hunt for the past 40 years, the couple have three children and three grandchildren. “The fact that I write and play so much music keeps my mind and memory active. I can’t imagine retiring,” says Anderson. “My kids say that at some point I will just fall off my piano bench. I’m good with that.”

Anderson continues to perform at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room, at events for the Mariposa Folk Foundation, and he has a popular series in Orillia called An Evening of Blues and Gospel. In 2020 Anderson will be playing at the Kitchener Blues Festival in August, as well as the Orillia Jazz Festival in the fall.


Featured Products


Bruce Kirkland

Latest News

Bruce Kirkland

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

Best known as the Toronto Sun’s movie critic for several decades, Bruce Kirkland says, “I had three different careers in my life and I didn’t apply for any of them.”

“AT THE END OF MY SUMMER INTERNSHIP AT THE Toronto Star, I became the paper’s first, full-time music critic, for which I wasn’t really qualified,” says Kirkland. “This role dramatically broadened my interest in the possibilities of a wide breadth of music genres. If the music was good, I wanted to listen to it.”

Bruce Kirkland
Photography by Derek Kirkland

Moving on to the Ottawa Journal in 1979 as the entertainment editor, Kirkland appointed himself the paper’s film critic. He had a little more experience in this field, having watched movies on the family’s old television set. “Most of the films were in black and white,” says Kirkland. “And if I gave a movie ten minutes, I would watch it to the end. This served me well. I went on to be a film critic for 36 years.”

The first interview that Kirkland conducted for the Toronto Sun in 1980 was with Bette Midler, singer, songwriter, actress and comedian. “The interview with Bette was a real kick-start,” says Kirkland, “That is one thing that I do miss since retiring – the opportunity to sit down with people like her.”

His last interview for the Toronto Sun was in 2016 with the influential filmmaker, Martin Scorsese.

Photo by Hugh Harold Kirkland

As a young teen, Kirkland was painfully shy. His father was in the RCAF, which necessitated the family moving 16 times in Kirkland’s first 16 years. Inadvertently falling into journalism (he signed up for the wrong course at the University of Western Ontario), Kirkland decided to pursue it – a decision that proved to be fruitful.

Kirkland has attended 44 Toronto International Film Festivals (TIFF), 31 Cannes Film Festivals, and covered a dozen Oscars. His interviewees include Tommy Lee Jones (his least favourite personality), Russell Crowe (a casual friend), Toronto filmmaker, writer and actor, David Cronenberg, as well as Canadian film director, Atom Egoyan, William Hurt, Mary Steenburgen, and American politician and environmentalist, Al Gore – to name a few.

When reminiscing about the hype that was attached to the illustrious Cannes Film Festival, Kirkland recounts filing his stories by teletype, which were run by local men, who didn’t speak English. They were merely inputting the words that were on the page. “Sometimes it was so garbled my editor didn’t know what I was talking about,” says Kirkland with a laugh. “After the teletype machines, the technology evolved to crude boxy computers that looked like giant lunch boxes, and probably had the computing power of 1/100th of today’s cell phones. High speed internet did not come until much later in my career.”

Kirkland could relate scores of celebrity anecdotes, but when the topic turns to birding (a true birder never calls it bird watching) he becomes visibly animated. “I love travelling, especially in Latin America. I love speaking Spanish, which I continue to study. And I love to feed my birding obsession in Costa Rica.”

Kirkland’s birding preoccupation began in 1976, when he spotted a large gathering of Northern Gannets sitting atop a skyscraper-sized rock on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. “It was like seeing the Manhattan of the bird world,” says Kirkland. “The area was later declared a reserve, and became protected land. I felt like I was involved in a little bit of nature history. It was a magical, life changing experience.”

At the age of 70, Kirkland is grateful for his physical health. He enjoys working around the house, travelling and hiking. “Walking long distances doesn’t bother me in the least,” says Kirkland. “It is the excitement of the chase, and it is also good exercise. If you are completely bonkers about birding like I am, you want to see every bird possible.”

Kirkland says that his emotional and spiritual wellbeing is a result of his deep friendship with his second wife, Rachel Sa. Sa is an author and former Toronto Sun columnist. She currently works as a public relations manager for an engineering and architectural firm. “Rachel is the love of my life,” says Kirkland.

On safari in Kenya last July, the couple were challenged by a young bull elephant, who trumpeted their vehicle. “The guide told us that the situation was dangerous; that even the click of a camera might frighten the elephant,” says Kirkland. “It was exhilarating, rather than filling us with fear.”

Bottom photo provided by Derek Kirkland

The couple ended up adopting two orphaned elephants (Mukkoka and Enkesha) through the David Sheldrick Foundation. “We got to feel the elephants, experience the texture of their skin and marvel at their eyelashes. We’re still in awe.”

Kirkland currently co-edits and writes for the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) organization, and contributes his much-loved film column for Active Life magazine. “If you have a good life, embrace it, trust it, and expand it every chance you get.”


Featured Products


Gino Vannelli, A student of life

Latest News

Gino Vannelli, A student of life

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

Musical powerhouse, and life-long student (as he claims), Gino Vannelli has embraced a career that has taken him through many transitions – from sexy, to spiritual, to settled within. A Montreal native, who now lives in Oregon, Vannelli says that his childhood was entangled in confusion around culture and origins. “There was no confusion about one thing, however, and that was music,” says Vannelli. “It was either great or not. You were either doing Beethoven or Mozart, Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald, or you were not in. My family had extremely high-brow taste as far as music was concerned.”

Joy Theatre in New Orleans, 2014 Photo, Patti Battista

Jumping-bean restless in his youth, Vannelli, spent hours every day on the drums, the guitar and the piano, and eventually became the drummer for the rock band, the Cobras. Fast forward to the mid-1970s, when a dash-through-the-gates manoeuvre, past security guards, allowed Vannelli to audition his newly written songs, People Gotta Move and Powerful People. Herb Alpert, who was co-owner of A & M Records, landed the young singer a contract with the label.

Female fans, of a certain age, will remember Vannelli’s dark curls, and his open-neck shirts, as he commandeered the stage. “I really didn’t take that whole sex symbol thing seriously,” says Vannelli. “In those early days, I just figured, if Elton John can wear a duck costume on stage, I can open my shirt.”

Vannelli was never comfortable with the screaming fans, and says that he was a little too sentimental to be that guy. And, in fact, he was not ‘all that.’ “I had my moments of lapse of sanity (laughs). But when I met my wife, Trisha, I really started pointing my way.”

Top) Brother to Brother tour, 1978; (Bottom Left and Right) At home in Montreal, 1960s Photography, courtesy of Gino Vannelli

A multi-Juno award winner, and nominated for four Grammys, Vannelli’s musical trajectory was set When People Gotta Move became a hit in Canada and the United States. The 1978 hit, I Just Wanna Stop, written by Vannelli’s brother Ross, who is also his manager, was then followed by a series of hits, including Living Inside Myself (1981), Black Cars (1985) and Wild Horses (1987).

Deeply philosophical, Vannelli has studied Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Kabbalah. However, there was a time in his earlier years, when he faced what he calls the ‘deadfalls-never-mind-the-pitfalls’ associated with drug and alcohol abuse. “I started doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that in high school,” says Vannelli. “By the time I was touring Quebec with my quartet – the drugs, the late nights – something clicked in my head. And by 1971, 1972, I’d decided to abstain from everything – to be like a monk. An inner voice was telling me that I wanted to be around when I was 70.”

Another seismic, life-altering event that impacted Vannelli, both personally and professionally, was that he was blacklisted in 1981 at the age of 29. Arista Records neither wanted to record, or release, Vannelli’s music. In music world purgatory for three years, Vannelli decided to go back to college. While in California, he studied Humanities as well as South American literary geniuses. “I loved it,” says Vannelli. “When you choose something for yourself, you don’t rebel against it.”

In 2007, at the age of 55, Vannelli felt restless and depressed. He told Trisha that he needed a break, and to be alone, and that he was going to Europe to live for a few years. It was a journey that he hoped would deepen his spirituality. It was a two-and-a-half-year, multi-European cities’ journey of exploration.

Vannelli, who studied with an eclectic array of musicians, played with symphony orchestras, and did offbeat concerts in clubs for a couple of hundred people – something that would have been bad for his image in the states. “I was not only liberating my mind; I was liberating my soul and my body,” says Vannelli. “The biggest thing I got out of that trip was a sense of fearlessness, that I could sing a song without a big band behind me. I learned how to be a better singer, to use my instrument better. It was like being reborn – appreciating what I’d accomplished. I was able to look at my career from a whole different angle. Instead of being hung up on not doing old songs, I was elevated and free. I realized that if I looked at things right, it could be a blast, and that is what I did.”

Vannelli considers himself to be quite liberal, but was well aware of the pitfalls that life and music presented. So, when his son, Anton, became interested in hard rap, he decided to practice some musicology on him, by helping him to understand the culture surrounding the music. And, by encouraging him to become more critical about what he was creating. “I have a great relationship with Anton,” says Vannelli. “I used some old-school philosophy on him, in a new school kind of way, by getting him to write a poem about the injustices of this and that. I was trying to show Anton the practical applications of what he was learning. When he was finished, I praised him for his efforts and encouraged him to give himself some deeper credentials around what he was listening to.”

(Left) Promotion for Gist of the Gemini,1976; (Right) Advertisement promoting Pauper in Paradise tour, 1977

Following his spiritual and soulful evolution, Vannelli’s thoughtful perspectives can be heard in the lyrics on his 20th album – the 2019 CD, Wilderness Road. In the song, Yet Something Beautiful, taps into his spiritual appreciation and admiration as it relates to life’s challenges, as well as life’s goodness. In the song, a woman is pushing a man in a wheelchair into a cafe. “The man looked like he might have Parkinson’s,” says Vannelli. “But the woman, straight-back and persevering, is speaking to him as if he is the man she always knew.”

After 46 years, 20 albums and 20 million records sold worldwide, Vannelli is still exploring his purpose, which is, intrinsically, music. “I have 50 songs waiting to come out, including an opera libretto,” says Vannelli. “The garden in each of us is finite in terms of bodily health. But our garden of thought, as long as you are healthy and keep planting seeds, is ongoing – never ending.”


Featured Products


Neil Crone, Feeling funny

Latest News

Neil Crone, Feeling funny

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

You may know him best as the irascible, redneck radio host, Fred Tupper, on CBC’s long-running comedy sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie. Neil Crone, actor, comedian, columnist and author, says that he loved playing the character of Tupper because it reminded him a little of his dad, and also of himself. “I like to play characters who are close to home,” says Crone. “Fred was a kind person with a really big heart, but he was a little rough around the edges.”

When in an Indian curry restaurant in Toronto, Crone was approached by a young girl, whose mom was wearing a hijab. “She was shy and said, ‘I really like you on your television show.’ Wow, I said, you know who Fred Tupper is, and you still like him? That felt really great, like we were making a difference, bringing people together, as opposed to being divisive,” says Crone. “If this girl, who couldn’t have been more than eight or nine years old, could see the humanity in my goofy, rednecked character, then clearly we were doing something right – something good.”

As Fred Tupper, Little Mosque on the Prairie. Photo by Peter Stranks

At the age of 59, Crone subscribes to the theory of radiating happiness outwards, in order to attract the same back. He’s a nature buff, and is very conscientious of his impact on the planet. “I meditate quite often and am a big believer in affirmations,” says Crone. “I visualize my day every morning to make sure that I am clear about what I want to have happen, and then go forward to attract that.”

Crone began his career as a high school teacher, where he taught English and drama for three years at King City Secondary School. However, deep down, he knew that he really wanted to be an actor. “At that time, though,” laughs Crone, “the thinking around being an actor leaned towards getting a real job.”

As Bad Santa on Derringer in the Morning Q107 for which he won a Canadian Comedy Award. Photo by Peter Stranks

After nighttime stints at Theatresports and Big City Improv, Crone accepted a role at Toronto’s famed Second City Touring Company before moving on to the prestigious Second City Mainstage. Recurring roles on The Red Green Show, Wind at my Back, Goosebumps and Power Play heightened Crone’s visibility. Feature films followed, which included Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (1998), American Psycho II: All American Girl (2002), Against the Ropes (2004), and Hollywoodland (2006).

Working alongside Burt Reynolds and James Garner are memories that will always resonate with Crone. “The minute I walked onto the set, James approached me and introduced himself. He was as big as you get, but he still had the graciousness to treat me like a peer,” says Crone. “That stuck with me. I try to do my best to extend the same kind of warmth to young actors working with me now.”

THE Yes MEN (an improv comedy show) with Patrick McKenna, Neil Crone and Kevin Frank. Photo by Jonathon Van Bilsen

For all the inherent acting ups-and-downs, Crone says it provided him with the flexibility, along with a positive environment, in which to raise his kids – Duncan, now 28, and Connor, 25. As a stay-at-home dad, Crone drew on his experiences with his boys in the creation of a number of children’s books. “I had this huge well of kids’ stuff to draw inspiration from.”

Crack a Smile Colorectal Cancer fundraiser. Photo by Jonathon Van Bilsen

These imaginings resulted in the writing of four books: Who Farted – Stories in Verse for Big and Little Kids; The Farmers Secret Midnight Dance; I Am Dead at Recess and Coby Builds a House.

Crone has also published a collection of his award winning columns (as appeared in Metroland papers) titled Enter Laughing – The Early Years. A spokesperson for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Colon Cancer Canada, Crone also wrote Semi-Colon: A Writer’s Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer. “I had already had a scope and a resultant diagnosis,” says Crone. “I went for surgery to remove the lesion but when the surgeon opened me up he found a peach-sized tumour on the outside of my colon, eating its way in. I was only 43 at the time. Nobody saw it coming. It worked for, and against, me. I was healthy enough that they could give me massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy. But it was quite scary, especially with two young boys at home. It was a definite reset button.”

Crone believes that his ability to laugh, along with his positive attitude, were contributing factors in his recovery. At the time, he was living in an old Victorian home with his-then wife, Suzanne Crone, and their two sons. He says that he’d wile away the hours on their screened-in porch, and imagine all the things that he was going to do when he got better.

His perspective has changed, and he says that he has a better appreciation for what’s important, and what should be prioritized. “I have relaxed my attitude on life, completely understanding the bullet that I dodged,” says Crone. “I do my best to keep my body supple by riding my bike, canoeing, golfing and hiking with my fiancée, Kathryn.”

Moving into his sixth decade, Crone is dealing with an arthritic knee and soft tissue damage, a direct result of his chemotherapy. “It’s a challenge to maintain an active lifestyle with a body that can’t keep up. Trying to find ways to carry on, and wrestle with the pain, is ongoing. But, really, I still feel very young.”

Photography, Suzanne Crone

“As my footprint – I want to leave people feeling good.” – Neil Crone

Currently, Crone is working on a series called Endlings, which is now in its second season. He plays the part of Mr. Leopold, who runs a foster home. “I’m one hundred per cent behind the show’s message, which is about embracing differences and loving people – even broken people,” says Crone.

In 2008, Crone won the Canadian Comedy Award for his radio work as Bad Santa on Q107. He’s been a finalist on numerous occasions for his humour column, and placed second and third for Humour Columnist of the Year, from the Ontario Community Newspaper Awards, in 2001, 2002 and 2012.

Crone says that he absolutely loves acting, as a job, but admits that the types of roles he’s now getting are changing as the years go by. “I am auditioning for grandparent roles now. But I still feel like I’m 18 years old – that is, until I pass a mirror. But, I am content with my life now,” says Crone. “When all is said and done, I don’t think I will ever grow up.”


Featured Products


Fred Penner, Both he, and the cat, came back

Latest News

Fred Penner, Both he, and the cat, came back

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

Fred Penner, started his career some 46 years ago. Initially, when he took to the stage, he considered himself an actor and a musician, and performed for audiences of all ages. “I didn’t study music formally; it was more that I grew up around a wealth of music,” says Penner. “My parents were into swing era and orchestral music, and my siblings played 50s and 60s music. This vast array of sound got inside of me and encouraged me to step forward and make a career out of music.”

Photo, Lisa MacIntosh

Now 72, Penner is best known as a children’s entertainer, and received the Order of Canada in 1991.

Penner’s sister, Suzie, was born with Down Syndrome, and was an important source of inspiration for him. Music deeply affected Suzie, often bringing her to joyful tears. “It gave me a sense of what music was capable of doing. It formed my foundation.”

Throughout high school and university, Penner worked with kids in treatment centres, who had physical or behavioural challenges. Music became a logical part of his connection with them. Towards the end of the 1970s, Penner and his ex-wife, Odette Heyn, founded the children’s dance company – Sundance. Shortly after, Penner recorded The Cat Came Back in 1979. “The value of the power of music, to connect with multiple generations, was highly evident,” says Penner.

With an eye on Penner, CBC approached him in the mid 80s about a television series. Fred Penner’s Place ran for 12 seasons – just shy of 1,000 episodes. He was known as the gentle giant, and brought audiences together through his songs, lyrics and positive energy.

CityFolk, Ottawa Photo By: Michael Anderson

Penner was the first children’s entertainer to headline at the Los Angeles Amphitheatre. He’s recorded 13 albums, and performed live in thousands of shows. He is also a four-time Juno Award winner for Fred Penner’s Place (1985); Sing with Fred (best children’s album, 2004); Where in the World (2015); and Hear The Music (2018). In addition, Penner has received the Parents’ Choice Award four times, is a recipient of the Canadian Institute of Child Health Award (2000), and is an Order of Manitoba inductee (2010),

The people in the audience of Fred Penner’s Place were to feel like they were part of his show. He would invite them to imagine themselves crawling through the show’s secret hollow log into a safe place, where they would engage in songs, stories and receive a daily lesson from the Word Bird. “There was a sense that we were all in it together,” says Penner.”I do not condescend when talking to kids. I talk to them the way I would talk to anybody.”

Many of the young people who grew up with Penner’s music have their own memories of the show. “Many came from broken homes and did not have a strong father figure. They identified with me as a father – a gentle man,” says Penner. “People related to that, and felt a comfort from the energy that I exuded.”

With Rae Ellen in St. John’s

The show’s 12-year run was a rollercoaster of creative energy for Penner. When it was discontinued in 1997, he felt lost. “I have always been a resilient person, but that was probably one of the biggest hurdles that I’ve faced. I thought, what am I going to do now? Maybe it was time to retire, to sit in a rocking chair and wait for the phone to ring.”

Penner maintained his career by singing and touring festivals. He also started to receive emails from Fred Heads – those fans who were now in university and reflecting on their childhood influencers. “Many of their memories came down to me and Fred Penner’s Place. I thought that, maybe, going to visit a campus wasn’t such a bad idea.”

His first date was at the University of British Columbia’s Pit Pub, and more than 400 students jammed the place. “It was a love fest,” say Penner. “The students were into a little primal therapy. We had a musical dialogue around why certain songs resonated with them. It was clear that it was important for these students to feel the kind of vulnerability they had as children; for them to know that they could carry that childhood vibrancy into adulthood. Ultimately, this experience opened the door to playing pubs right across the country.”

The university students eventually graduated, and as parents, they introduced the Penner experience to their own children – and the cycle began again. “With the challenges of adulthood being massive, there is a desire to go back to simpler times,” says Penner. “Being a part of the Penner experience, again, allows audiences to remember childhood experiences, even traumatic ones, and move on from those memories to an understanding of how these experiences shaped, and helped, them to grow.”

Penner describes himself as a calm person with a commitment to helping others. His spiritual side is supported by his wife of two years, Rae Ellen Bodie. Penner takes frequent walks and does polarity exercises, after having stints in his heart, and is very mindful of his physical and his emotional well-being. He also continues to see the therapist who helped him through his divorce, as a means of understanding the positives that were garnered from his 30-year marriage, including his children.

Fred Penner
(Top right) L’Anse aux Meadows – Viking Landing, northern tip of Newfoundland. (Above) mycityphotos Canuck Place, Vancouver Group shot from Hear The Music album recording : Left to right: Fred, Hayley, Damien, Kendra, Danica. Back row: Ken Whiteley (producer), & Dan Wiebe (choral arrangements). Photography, (Group) Kendra Hope Photography; (Zambia) Damien Penner; (Viking Landing) Garry Tutte; (Vancouver) Leanne Zacharias

In fact, four of Penner’s children, Damien 37, Hayley 33, Danica 30 and Kendra 27, are featured on his 13th award-winning CD – Hear The Music. All four had sung on previous recordings, and now return as adults. “There is nothing like siblings singing together. All four children are really good people, who care about others.”

Penner’s songs may have grown in quality, and in depth, but his approach to performing hasn’t changed. Fred Penner’s Place sent a message of universality and inclusiveness, which still resonates today. “We need to feel compassion, to be connected – not put up walls between humanity,” say Penner.

With 100 tour dates in 2019, and a family movie in the works, relaxing isn’t in Penner’s near future. The cat is back, but thanks to thousands of Fred Heads, he never really left.



Featured Products


South Georgian Bay, where the living is easy

Latest News

South Georgian Bay, where the living is easy

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

The south Georgian Bay area includes Collingwood, Stayner and Wasaga Beach, as well as some of the most popular destinations and four-season activities in Ontario. Less than two hours from Toronto, you can experience music festivals, farmers’ markets, beer tastings, hiking, golfing, swimming, skiing – and even Elvis sightings.

Annual Elvis Festival in Collingwood : Photography, South Georgian Bay Tourism

Summer Lovin’

The Blue Mountain and Collingwood areas are popular with hikers, mountain bikers, SUP (stand up paddle) boarders and golf lovers. The semiprivate, Cranberry Golf Resort (now known as Living Stone Golf Resort), is the first golf course appointed to the Audubon Society certified course list. It also won the Environmental Stewardship Award. The resort includes an outdoor swimming pool, a hotel, condominium suites, restaurants and shopping.

Blue Mountain Village : Photography, Blue Mountain Resort

Golfers can also head to Wasaga Beach to tee off at the The Links at Georgian Sands, followed by a stroll (and maybe a swim) along Wasaga’s 14-kilometre white sand beach.

Wasaga Beach, has long been touted as one of Ontario’s premier tourist destinations, and is the world’s longest freshwater beach. It really is a beach-inspired town with picture worthy views of Georgian Bay, sparkling clean water, and people of all ages enjoying this water-side town in their swim wear and flip flops.

Close by, is the legendary Nottawasaga River, which is great for fishing, and has sparked the odd tale about the one that got away.

From Farm To Table

Downtown Collingwood’s Farmers’ Market opens on Saturday, May 18th. Thornbury’s market opens on Sunday, May 19th; Meaford’s market on Friday, June 7th; and the new Lowell’s market is to open on Wednesday, June 5th. Get your fill of fresh vegetables, homemade crafts, freshly popped kettle corn, handcrafted signs, unique jewelry and sumptuous baked goods.

Stanyner’s ‘Music Market & Park It’ begins on the 6th of June, and is a weekly celebration of food, live music, local vendors, artists and entertainment for the kids. Classic trucks and cars are also on display.

Lodging and shops at Blue Mountain Village

Something For Everyone

A favourite pastime for many, is people watching. Sit yourself down in one of the colourful Muskoka chairs, hand painted by local artists, that are positioned along Collingwood’s downtown streets, and are part of the town’s Art on the Street installation (May 18th to October 2nd).

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, try hiking, biking or cross-country skiing the 35-kilometre Georgian Trail, which offers magnificent views of Georgian Bay and Blue Mountain as it winds its way through Collingwood, and the neighbouring towns of Thornbury and Meaford.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, Photography by Image Ontario

The Blue Mountains, known as such, because of the ever-present eucalyptus trees whose leaves expel a fine mist of natural oils that oft-times appear as a blue mist on the horizon, is a favourite for downhill skiers. More than 40 trails are available over 364 skiable acres. Après skiing, spend time at Blue Mountain Village (Ontario’s largest mountain village resort) known for its eclectic shopping and dining options.

The menu at Twist Martini Restaurant and Lounge is influenced by classic French cuisine – showcasing the freshest of ingredients, as well as an extensive martini and wine list.

The mediterranean-inspired Tholos Restaurant, is owned by Crete native, Tholos. Here, you’ll enjoy an authentic, interactive experience that includes Greek dancing, as well as the Greek tradition of plate smashing.

There are some great shops in the village, including GO FISH GO, which showcases quirky, one-of-a-kind items – from home decor to Read Canoe clothing. At Brights Gallery, you can peruse original works of art by Canadian artists in a relaxed setting.

Rejuvenate your weary bones at the Scandinave Spa at Blue. Soak in the relaxing baths, while taking in the panoramic views of the escarpment – the perfect prescription for spiritual and physical wellness.

Scandinave Spa, Photography by JoAnn McHardy

Dates To Remember

Stayner will be rocking during their three-day Roxodus Music Festival from July 11th to 13th. Featured talent includes, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick, Blondie, Billy Idol, I Mother Earth, Alice Cooper and Honeymoon Suite.

The Collingwood Elvis Festival is celebrating its 25th Anniversary from July 26th to the 28th.

Photo by South Georgian Bay Tourism


Featured Products


Judy Marshak, multifaceted and multi-talented

Latest News

Judy Marshak, multifaceted and multi-talented

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

An award-winning actress, singer, song writer and ukulele aficionado, Judy Marshak has received positive reviews and accolades for her vast range of talents – from clown to torch singer.

Photo, Sarah Tacoma

Marshak gives credit for her decades-long musical career to childhood friend, Wendy Honickman, who convinced her to audition for the 1960’s musical play HAIR at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. “Wendy knocked at my door and told me that we were going down to the Rock Pile, where the open auditions were being held,” says Marshak. “I was called back a couple of times, and became an understudy.”

Marshak had the opportunity to perform in Hair, but taking off her clothes in front of an audience was something that the young actress from the suburbs wasn’t comfortable with. So, instead, she studied clowning with Richard Pochinko. In her mid-20s, Marshak went on tour with The Royal Bros. Circus.

At the age of 69, Marshak says that she’s always loved to sing since she was a young girl. Apparently, her mother, Linda, would have friends over to listen to Judy sing herself to sleep. “I would dream that a Broadway producer was out in the driveway listening to me,” says Marshak, “I was a musical kid and had a strong fantasy that, one day, I would be up on stage performing.”

Marshak’s mother was a nightclub singer, who went by her stage name Linda Getz, and supported her own mother by singing from the young age of 14. Albert, Marshak’s father, was a Barber Quartet singer, with a natural sense of harmony. “I got my musical gifts from both my parents.”

Twice nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award, once for her role as Mrs. Potts in Beauty And The Beast, and for her portrayal of Fleur, the menopausal mama in Anne Marie MacDonald’s Anything That Moves (which won the Dora for Best Musical, 2001).

Marshak also received two ACTRA nominations for CBC radio musical performances. In addition to Beauty and the Beast (1995 to 1997), Marshak also includes her roles in Doubt and The Glass Menagerie as among her favourites. “Appearing as Mrs. Potts at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, was probably the closest to portraying who I am – cheery, nurturing and motherly,” says Marshak. “I loved that role. It’s one of the big highlights of my career.”

The role of Marilla in Anne of Green Gables, which Marshak performed in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, from 2001 to 2005, also resonates with Marshak. Marilla is known to be a stern character, so Marshak worked to find the parts of Marilla’s personality that didn’t make her a caricature. “My challenge was to find levels in Marilla that portrayed her as a real human being. The best characters that you see in films, or plays, do not encompass just one aspect,” says Marshak. “It’s one of my most wonderful, outstanding roles.”

Selfie with husband, Andrew, Port Hope, 2019

Marshak found playing the head chorus girl in the play, Pal Joey, to be somewhat of a stretch for her. Marshak laughs at the memory, “I always felt chunky growing up and there I was up on stage, with five other girls, adorned in tiny pasties and fishnet stockings.”

She was being typecast as a musical theatrical actress, but was able to gain more experience and hone her craft in a number of movies and television roles. Marshak appeared with Ellen Burstyn in The Stone Angel (2007); with Daryl Hannah in All The Good Ones Are Married (2007); and with Richard Dreyfus and Graham Greene in the 2019 film, Astronaut. On the small screen she appeared in Degrassi: The Next Generation (2014) and Being Erica (2009). “At this age, there isn’t much opportunity to play the lead,” says Marshak. “It’s usually an older person role.”

A few years ago, Marshak tore her meniscus during a rehearsal for It’s A Wonderful Life – one of the most painful things that she has ever experienced. “Fortunately, I was playing an older lady, and I had to use a cane for the duration of the play.”

The injury, however, has limited Marshak’s ability to take on roles that involve dancing or a great deal of physical activity. “I don’t audition for those parts anymore,” says Marshak. “I just don’t think that I can do it.”

Marshak says that she’s still pretty good at remembering her lines as an actress, but is finding it more difficult to remember lyrics, even to songs that she has written. “It does get worse as I get older. I always have to keep a music stand in front of me now.”

After the breakup of her 25-year marriage, Marshak used the pain to inspire many of the songs on her 2009 CD, A Matter of Time, which was one of Richard Ouzounian’s (Toronto Star) top eight picks of the year for the Broadway musical crowd. Not all of the songs are bittersweet. When Marshak met her current husband, she wrote a joyous song for the CD called How Do You Know.

Marshak had her first child at the age of 34 (Nicholas, now 35), and her second child (Matia, 32) at the age of 37. She had an opportunity to go to Broadway when they were young, but leaving her children behind wasn’t an option. “It was a heavy load performing eight shows a week. I missed seeing my kids and putting them to bed, so I declined the opportunity, and the role went to my understudy,” says Marshak. “My career is not always first and foremost for me. My kids are my blessings in life.”

Photo, Sarah Tacoma

“Stay creatively active. Part of me still feels like a child.” – Judy Marshak

Currently, Marshak is giving Ukeology workshops and lessons, and she performs on Vision Networks’ weekly singalong, Your All Time Favourite Hit Parade (Produced by Zoomer TV), which takes listeners back to some of their favourite pop music.

On July 26th of this year, Marshak will be doing a performance reading in Could I Have This Dance, a new musical at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The event is in celebration of the Anne Murray Centre’s 30th Anniversary. “The play is a compilation of several of Anne Murray’s songs. I play the mother of the lead actor,” says Marshak. “Anne Murray has given us a thumbs up – we have her support on the project.”

Marshak’s contagious positivity and free spirit has served her well. “The reality that we are not eternal is the hardest part,” says Marshak. “The trick is not to fall into the trap of aging. It’s a state of mind.”


Featured Products


The natural wonders of Collingwood

Latest News

The natural wonders of Collingwood

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

Incorporated as a town in 1858, Collingwood became a shipping hub for products that were destined for the upper Great Lakes ports of Chicago and Thunder Bay. For more than a century, shipbuilding was the town’s main industry. In 1986 the shipyards were closed, and the waterfront is now a revered leisure destination.

Bring it on

Located on the southern end of Georgian Bay, Collingwood is the gateway to the Blue Mountains, where skiing, snowboarding, shopping and fine dining offer the best that winter has to offer.

Blue Mountain is Ontario’s largest village resort, just 90 minutes north of Toronto and 11 kilometres west of Collingwood. There are 43 ski and snowboard trails, 365 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 720 feet. At the base of the mountain, The Village features more than 45 distinctive restaurants, bars and retail shops. Along with the popular Scandinave Spa, visitors can also enjoy the village’s two onsite spas.

Off-hill winter activities include tennis, the aquatic centre, snowshoeing, and new Woodview Mountaintop Skating Trail at the top of Blue.

With the growing popularity of Winter Fat Biking, mountain bikers can now spin their wheels all year long. Fat bikes use tires that are inflated with less air pressure, which make navigating through snowy terrain a fun way to improve balance and strengthen winter legs.


The Whiskylicious festival, running from Feb. 1 to 12, is a whiskey-infused celebration of local food. The outdoor ice bars and culinary pairings are inspired by Collingwood Whiskey – a toasted, Maplewood-finished Canadian blend. Located in the downtown core, the festival is a showcase of signature chef dishes, music, arts and brewers.

It’s the 10th anniversary of the The Apple Pie Trail – and apple pie is just the beginning. Inspired by South Georgian Bay’s applegrowing history, the mighty apple is celebrated with a culinary adventure trail, farms, shopping and local experiences.

Take the five-kilometre trek across southern Ontario’s longest suspension footbridge, and through the trails of Scenic Caves Nordic Centre.


The distinctive shoreline and blue waters of Georgian Bay, mixed with the area’s rich marine history, are natural highlights for all types of boaters.

The Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster (Ontario’s first) is a one-km ride through the Niagara Escarpment’s diverse terrain. Drivers can reach an exhilarating 42 kilometres per hour.

Popular golf courses in the area include the 18-hole, par 71 Duntroon Highlands Golf Club, which offers spectacular vistas of Collingwood, Stayner and Blue, as well as the Blue Mountain Golf & Country Club, The Georgian Bay Club and Batteaux Creek Golf Club.


With 60 kilometres of four-season, well-marked, multi-use trails, touring around Collingwood is perpetually pleasurable. The downtown core is jam-packed with trendy clothing stores, spas, galleries, fine dining, artisan cafes, live music venues, pubs and bars, in addition to dozens of art galleries and studios. Colourful panels and murals are creative reminders of Collingwood’s historical past, spanning more than two centuries.

Visitors and residents are passionate about the The Good Food Stroll – a walking or biking tour that showcases Collingwood’s love affair with food. Much is sourced from local farmers, and includes restaurant pit stops, cafes, specialty food outlets, food markets, cafes and sweet shops.


The soil and unique climate associated with this region are key elements in the making of the distinctive wine at Georgian Hills Vineyards. During the winter, visitors can snowshoe through the vineyards and enjoy artisanal cheeses and a glass of wine after their trek.

Collingwood’s craft breweries, include Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen, The Collingwood Brewery and Side Launch Brewing Company Inc. (named for the town’s shipbuilding industry).

Meaford is the heart of Ontario’s apple country. Stayner and Thornbury, a short drive from Collingwood, offer eclectic variations of the small town experience, and numerous pick-yourown farms en-route.


Featured Products


Cast in bronze – Ruth Abernethy, the artist and her art

Latest News

Cast in bronze – Ruth Abernethy, the artist and her art

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

Photo: Cassandra Koch

Ruth Abernethy’s multifaceted career has stopped at many creative stations. And, at each one, she’s proven herself to be an exceptional artist, musician and performer. Her first foray was with her family’s musical group – The Abernethy Family. Consisting of six family members, Abernethy’s mom played the accordion, she played the guitar, and the rest of the family sang and played various instruments. “We played mostly country stuff, everything from Charley Pride to Fleetwood Mac,” says Abernethy. “My parents were willing to have a lot of fun. I think that is something that we are missing today. We are all working so hard.”

Ruth Abernethy
Ruth Abernethy. Photo: JR Ribee

By the age of 17, Abernethy was immersed in theatre. She was head of props, when she was only 21, for the Manitoba Theatre Centre (now the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). “I was like a duck to water in the theatrical world,” says Abernethy. “I wanted to make symbols, which is really what my work is about.”

By 1981, Abernethy had moved on to the Stratford Festival, and it was here that she refined her method of mapping, and carving, figures. She completed her first bronze sculptures for the festival in 1997, entitled Raising the Tent, of two workmen, and a young girl with a dog.

Glenn Gould
Glenn Gould’s music filled the studio during the sculpting of his portrait (1998). Photo: Ellen Hadley

Shortly after, Abernethy was commissioned to create a portrait of Glenn Gould – the internationally renowned Canadian pianist. This sculpture, situated outside the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, was the catalyst that launched her career. It quickly gained traction with another commission in 1999 to enlarge a small-scale sculpture of actor, Anthony Quinn. The original bronze sculpture was only nine inches tall, and it lacked Quinn’s definitive facial features. It was up to Abernethy to reimagine Quinn’s nude portrait, and cast the actor’s chiseled, well-worn features into a show-stopping profile. Quinn was intrigued with Abernethy’s skills, and invited Aberethy’s sons, Glen (now 26) and Alex (now 24), to his Rhode Island home to watch his portrait evolve.

John McCrae Statue
John McCrae, author of In Flanders Fields, Guelph, Ont. A duplicate was installed in Ottawa (2015). Photo: Cassandra Koch

Lucky for us, many of Abernethy’s works of art are part of the public domain. They present in such a way that that those passing by have no option but to stop, and revel, in the emotional intimacy that each sculpture elicits. Jazz virtuoso, Oscar Peterson’s portrait is located outside Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, and is crafted at eight per cent larger-than-life size. At any moment, you get the sense that the pianist will turn to his piano and play Sweet Georgia Brown.

Other Abernethy portraits on public display, include Canadian Prime Ministers; Mackenzie King, Lester B. Pearson and John A. Macdonald, as well Canadian actor and director, Al Waxman, and Queen Elizabeth II. “Meeting the Queen was a highlight,” says Abernethy. “She and Prince Phillip were remarkable in their sincerity, making it a real moment. It was surreal, and yet real.”

Daurene Lewis Bust
Daurene Lewis, installed in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia (2018). Photo: Cassandra Koch

Each portrait that Abernethy sculpts is centred around the little eccentricities, and physical attributes, unique to each subject. Abernethy studies candid photos to ascertain the subject’s centre of balance, and to discern his/her public, and private, personas. For John A. MacDonald’s portrait, Abernethy explored why he usually sat down in a crowd, rather than place himself centre stage. It’s these subtle details that incite familiarity for both the sculptress and her audience. “It’s 80 per cent patience and 20 per cent aptitude,” says Abernethy. “And while the 20 per cent matters, it’s about the 80 per cent – the effort that allows people to attain their goals. Much of what I do is a pragmatic, patient observation. Three dimensional work takes so much time. I am making structures that will last 10,000 years.”

Ruth Abernethy
James Till and Ernest McCulloch, discoverers of transplantable stem cells, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto (2017). Photo: Cassandra Koch

Now 58, Abernethy has often been billed as the youngest artist, and the only Canadian artist, to participate in various disciplines and exhibits. She was the first Canadian artist to exhibit in both Sculpture- By-The-Sea in Sydney, Australia (2004), and Sculpture in Context in Dublin, Ireland (2007). She was the only Canadian artist short-listed for the Beijing Olympic Sculpture contest in 2008, and received an Award of Excellence for her submission. “I always felt that I had more than enough talent to pay my way.”

Ruth Abernethy
Detailed military regalia was required on John McCrea’s uniform. Photo: Cassandra Koch

Reflecting on an absence of women’s portraits, Abernethy released her Canadiana Collection in 2004, which spoke to a broader, social narrative through a compilation of handmade lace, textiles and stainless steel. Intrigued by deep-rooted perceptions of traditional brides being miserable or powerless, she created Nuptials #1, #2 and #3. The first 10 pieces of the collections were shown together in 2007 at Stratford’s Gallery 96, and five pieces of the Canadiana series are now housed at the ROM. “I wondered why we were having skewed conversations about marriage that were rooted in procreation, or the bride being akin to personal property,” says Abernethy. “Could we not, instead, have a conversation about perfect partnerships? And the beauty of watching two people do something together, that is more than the sum of their parts?”

Canadiana Collection
Nuptials #3 (2012) Canadiana Collection. Photo: JR Ribee

In 2016, Abernethy wrote Life and Bronze: A Sculptor’s Journey (Granville Island Publishing). In 2018, she received a Honourary Doctor of Laws Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Her husband, Mark Smyth, lives in Vancouver, and Abernethy splits her time between there and Wellesley, Ont. Smyth builds prototype equipment for stem cell research. Smyth also has a crab apple business in Shakespeare, Ont., called Appleflats. “I am so connected with my family that I’m not dependent on my work. I have two sons who I am immensely proud of, and a husband I adore.”

Canadiana Collection
Canadiana #1(2005) Canadiana Collection. Photo: Ruth Abernethy

Moving her studio to her great room has been advantageous. The natural light helps with her waning eyesight, and the wood stove keeps the room warm, which is preferable for the sculptress’ hands. “It’s more about my knees. I am finding it harder to get up and down. I can see a time when I won’t be able to do what I do now. But that is a few years out,” says Abernethy. “What I do never gets easier; I just get familiar with how difficult it is.”

Abernethy relies on her assistant to handle her social media and communication tasks, and finds that she can’t work the long days that she used to. Supporting, and encouraging, up-and-coming artists is very important to her. “At some point,” says Abernethy. “My contributions become the making of opportunity for other people.”


Featured Products


Tedde Morre strongly rooted In Canadian theatre

Latest News

Tedde Morre strongly rooted In Canadian theatre

By Cece M. Scott 

Granddaughter of the theatrical icon, Dora Mavor Moore, Tedde Moore has spent much of her life in, and around, the acting world. “I first appeared on stage on the CBC’s children’s show, Travelin’ Time, when I was 13 years old,” says Moore. “I’d been around the theatre since I was two years old, so acting was like old hat to me. I was hilariously casual about it and failed to learn my lines, which wasn’t good, because it was live-to-tape. The cameramen knew that as my eyes got wider and wider that there would be no more coming from me – that I’d dried up, with nothing more to say. It took me quite awhile to understand that I had to work at it.”

Photo: Jake Martella

Moore’s grandmother was the Canadian pioneer of live theatre, and for whom the annual Canadian live theatre awards are named – the Dora Awards. She greatly influenced her granddaughter with words of wisdom. “Her attitude towards human kind, life and death, were also a big influence on me,” says Moore. “She was a remarkable woman.”

Tall and slim, Moore’s grey hair is swept back with a barrette, and she looks very elegant dressed in black, when she answers the door of her 1883, 450-square-foot worker’s cottage in Parkdale. Her initial demeanour is somewhat reticent, but ten minutes into the interview Moore’s cool deportment implodes into a hearty laugh, which instantly changes the dynamics of the conversation.

Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann


Moore’s career encompasses a wide body of work in theatre, film and television. She won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Female Performance, in The Walls of Africa. She also won the Canadian Film Award for Best Supporting Actress, in Second Wind. During her 50-year career, the experience that resonates the most with her is the time that she spent acting in Stratford. “I was 22 at the time,” she says. “It was all wonderful, because I was just starting out. When you start at the top, you don’t realize that the whole of your life won’t be this wonderful. You have no frame of reference. It was a time never to be created again.”

In Man and Superman, 1976. Photography Photo Features Ltd., courtesy Tedde Moore

Playing Juliet to Christopher Walken’s Romeo, was Moore’s favourite role at Stratford. She talks fondly of her character in The Castle, her role in the Shaw play, Man and Superman (performed in Ottawa), as well as her last major, theatrical role in The Walls of Africa. “I was working with some remarkable people, including actor/director, Layne Coleman,” says Moore. “Our acting techniques were so different. I needed everything to be rehearsed and organized. Layne was completely the opposite – very free spirited. He believed in doing what he felt, a style that I was allergic to.”

With Mairtin O’Carrigan in Mistletoe Over Manhattan, 2011; Photography Photo Features Ltd., courtesy Tedde Moore

The role that Moore is most famous for, is that of the beloved Miss Shields in the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, for which she garnered a Genie nomination. The movie, hugely popular in the States as well, has achieved a cult following. Moore attends some of the events, and is buoyed by the number of people who say that they became a teacher because of her. At the time of filming, Moore was eight months pregnant. Being a single, pregnant woman in a movie that is set in the 1940s would not have been acceptable. “The director, Bob Clark, told me not to worry about it – I could sit behind a desk,” says Moore. “But I had never been in an MGM movie, and I was not about to do that.” Instead, Moore padded herself to give the allusion of chubbiness, a state that she thoroughly enjoyed.

Midsummer Night’s Dream, photo: Douglas Spillane


In 2001, Moore was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which, along with arthritis, has affected her life on many levels. She can no longer drive or walk far, and finds it difficult to plan ahead. However, she was most impacted by the fact that she had to give up acting and teaching – the two careers that she dearly loved. “I am a whore for acting,” says Moore with a jovial laugh. “But the MS, which affects the nerves, made it extremely difficult to do all the things that I was called upon to do. Giving up both my acting and teaching careers was the biggest challenge I have ever had to face. I always thought that when I got older in life, I could focus on my acting, and now I can’t. It has been awful.”

Another hurdle that Moore has successfully climbed, is her dedication to becoming sober. She describes her former life as haphazard. With the assistance of a good therapist, she now feels happier and more present. “I could always drink everyone under the table. And then, it always seemed like a dandy idea to get some marijuana,” says Moore. “It is the irony of my life that now that I’ve stopped smoking weed, it has become legal.”

Under the care of a naturopath and acupuncturist, she’s also experienced relief from the symptoms related to arthritis and inflammation. Moore says that getting clean and sober was the best thing that she ever did.

As Juliet, 1968. Photo: Patrick Christopher

“The idea of doing things on the edge has always appealed to me.” – Tedde Moore


Albeit physical restrictions, Moore is surrounded by friends and family. She describes her daughter Zoe, 45, as an extraordinary woman. Suzanna, 39, is a high school science and math teacher, as well as the manager of the school’s football team. Her son, Noah, 35, is a music producer and Drake’s creative partner. Moore accepted responsibility for a young girl named Chaunce at the age of three, and she is very much a part of their family. Moore also has five grandchildren.

Left to right, Don Shebib, Tedde, Suzanna Shebib, Noah Shebib, Zoë Carter, 1999. Photo: Tedde Morre

Moore was with filmmaker, Donald Shebib, for 40 years, and he is the father of Suzanna and Noah. While they no longer live together, Moore is still very fond of him and calls him her life partner. Now, at the age of 73, Moore lives on her own in her tiny cottage in Toronto.

“I was gifted with an extraordinary amount of privilege, including my creativity, the period of life that I lived in, the world of theatre – the culmination of all things,” says Moore. “It has been a rich, extraordinary time to be alive. I have been deeply, and extraordinarily, loved, which is a gift not everyone enjoys.”



Featured Products