John Candy, actor (b at Toronto, Ont 31 Oct 1950; d at Durango, Mexico 4 Mar 1994), a gifted screen comedian who got his start doing stage work and acting in commercials and low-budget Canadian films in Toronto before moving to Chicago to join the Second City improvisational troupe in 1972. Soon afterwards he returned to Canada to take his place as a regular in Toronto’s Second City company, eventually becoming one of the key players on its spin-off television show, “SCTV.” There he created and played regular characters Johnny LaRue, Doctor Tongue and, along with fellow castmember Eugene Levy, one half of the accordion-playing Schmenge brothers.
Roles in major films soon followed, with the rotund Candy often cast as a lovable slob or loser with a heart of gold, as in Splash(1984). His later films as a supporting player included Spaceballs, Planes, Trains and Automobiles (both 1987) and Home Alone (1990). As his popularity grew, he was increasingly cast in the lead in films such as Uncle Buck (1989), Only the Lonely (1991) and Cool Runnings (1993). In spite of living in Los Angeles, Candy was known for his profound attachment to Canada, which at one point manifested itself with his acquisition of the Toronto Argonauts football team in 1991, along with partners Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall. In 1992 Candy cancelled his appearance as host of the Genie Awards after the CBC promoted the show with a campaign that joked about his size. He died of a heart attack while shooting a film in Mexico in 1994. -The Canadian Encyclopedia-
During the 1970s, John Candy appeared in a number of television and big screen projects including ‘Dr. Zonk and the Zunkins’, ’90 Minutes Live’, ‘Coming Up Rosie’, ‘Second City TV’, ‘Tunnel Vision’, ‘The Clown Murders’, ‘The Silent Partner’ and ‘Lost and Found’. After this, in the 1980s, he was associated with the TV projects ‘Big City Comedy’, ‘SCTV Network 90’, ‘The New Show’, ‘The Canadian Conspiracy’, ‘The Last Polka’ and ‘Camp Candy’.
During this time, the actor also got featured in many films, such as ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘It Came from Hollywood’, ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, ‘Splash’, ‘Summer Rental’, ‘Armed and Dangerous’, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ and ‘Uncle Buck’, to name a few. Then in the year 1990, Candy appeared in an episode of ‘The Dave Thomas Comedy Show’ and also acted in the movies ‘Masters of Menace’ and ‘Home Alone’.
In 1991, he was cast in the films ‘Nothing But Trouble’, ‘Career Opportunities’, ‘Only the Lonely’, ‘Delirious’ and ‘JFK’. Soon after this, the Canadian artiste made his appearances in the movies ‘Once Upon a Crime’, ‘Boris and Natasha: The Movie’, ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Cool Runnings’. In 1994, he did the TV flick ‘Hostage for a Day’. That year, his movie ‘Wagons East!’ was also released posthumously. -Famous People-
Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an American-Canadian anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher, and lawyer. She was the first Black woman publisher in North America and the first woman publisher in Canada.
Mary Ann Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on October 9, 1823, the eldest of 13 children to Abraham Doras Shadd (1801–1882) and Harriet Burton Parnell, who were free African-Americans.
Shadd Cary was an abolitionist who became the first female African-American newspaper editor in North America when she edited The Provincial Freeman in 1853.
She attempted to participate in the 1855 Philadelphia Colored Convention, but the assembly debated whether to even let her sit as a delegate.
In 1856, she married Thomas F. Cary, a Toronto barber who was also involved with the Provincial Freeman.
She wrote for the newspapers National Era and The People’s Advocate and in 1880, organized the Colored Women’s Progressive Franchise.
She died in Washington, D.C., on June 5, 1893 from stomach cancer.
Mary Ann implored blacks to take the initiative in anti-slavery reform without waiting for whites to provide beneficence or support. Shadd, only in her mid 20s, had thus gained considerable recognition by articulating what would become her perennial themes: black independence and self-respect.
Shadd’s prominence was truly established, however, when she became a leader and spokesperson for the black refugees who had fled from the United States to Upper Canada after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Believing that she could help these black emigrants, in the fall of 1851 Shadd moved to Windsor, where she opened a school with the support of the American Missionary Association.
In the summer of 1852 she had published A plea for emigration, a pamphlet in which she sought to encourage American blacks to immigrate to Canada and simultaneously attacked the growing separatist philosophy of Canadian blacks. Despite the widespread circulation of this pamphlet, Shadd desired a continuing medium through which she could disseminate her beliefs. In early 1853, with the timely help of fellow black abolitionist Samuel Ringgold Ward, Shadd published the first edition of the Provincial Freeman.
By March 1854 she had found sufficient support for the Provincial Freeman to resume publication. With the motto “Self-Reliance is the True Road to Independence,” the Freeman, now based in Toronto, began appearing on a regular basis. Shadd used her newspaper to comment on all aspects of black life in Canada, but she focused especially on problems of racial discrimination and segregation. She assailed anyone, blacks and whites alike, who sought to compromise with slavery, and she particularly castigated her fellow blacks who were prepared to accept second-class status. She reserved her greatest vituperation, however, for self-segregated black settlements: to her, these settlements only fostered discrimination, and she urged blacks to seek assimilation into Canadian society. John Scoble and Josiah Henson* of the Dawn settlement were pilloried almost as exhaustively as Bibb, while grudging approval was granted to the Elgin settlement under William King.
Regular publication of the Freeman was interrupted several times because of financial problems. On 30 June 1855 William P. Newman became editor, though Shadd may well have remained a powerful background force, and the paper was moved to Chatham. In January 1856 Shadd married black businessman Thomas Cary and that May she returned to the Freeman as one of its three editors. After 1856, however, it appeared only sporadically and by 1859, when the financial burden had become too debilitating, publication ceased entirely.
In the wake of the Freeman’s demise, Shadd remained in Chatham and returned to teaching. Yet she watched with great interest as the sectional crisis intensified in the United States. Her hope for the destruction of slavery in the impending conflict had been heightened by John Brown’s arrival in Canada in the spring of 1858. Part of a group that met with Brown, Shadd became privy to the visionary’s intended plans. Another member of the group, Osborne Perry Anderson, a young black, was so taken with Brown that he joined him at Harpers Ferry in October 1859 and survived the raid to record his memoirs in A voicefrom Harper’s Ferry, edited and prepared for publication by Shadd in 1861.
Through the early years of the Civil War, Shadd continued to teach in an interracial school in Chatham. But she soon grew tired of watching the conflict from a distance. Anxious to assist in the Northern war effort, in late 1863 she accepted an invitation from Martin Robinson Delany to serve as an enlistment recruiter; she returned to the United States to participate in the recruitment programs of several states. Shadd agonized over whether to remain in the United States after Appomattox. She finally concluded that she could best serve her people by remaining to help with the education and assimilation of the millions of newly emancipated blacks. Toward this end, in July 1868 she obtained an American teaching certificate and taught briefly in Detroit before relocating in Washington, D.C. Supporting herself by teaching, she would eventually receive a law degree from Howard University in 1883.
Shadd continued to participate in both civil rights and equal rights movements in the United States, returning to Canada only briefly, in 1881, to organize a suffragist rally. Enfeebled by rheumatism and cancer, she died in the summer of 1893.
Born July 22, 1945 in Regina and laid to rest September 28, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario.
Written by MARTIN MORROW SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2, 2015 and UPDATED MAY 15, 2018
Michael Burgess made you feel proud. Whether he was singing the national anthem, stirringly, for a Toronto Maple Leafs game or leading an exceptional cast as a mighty Jean Valjean in the landmark all-Canadian production of Les Misérables, Mr. Burgess knew how to pluck the national heartstrings. He was the world-class singer who chose to remain in Canada; the exquisite theatre artist whose biggest thrill was playing old timers’ hockey with the NHL greats.
Mr. Burgess was also a man with a big heart to match his big voice, whose acts of generosity were legion. He continually lent his golden tenor and magnetic presence to charitable causes and was always there for his friends. Their appreciation was reflected in the huge outpouring of love and affection that swiftly followed the news of his death at the age of 70 on Sept. 28. Everyone from theatre impresario David Mirvish to hockey legend Bobby Orr expressed their sorrow via both traditional and social media. “Today, we have lost a great Canadian,” Mr. Orr said in a statement – a sentiment few would dispute.
Mr. Burgess, known as Wally to his family, was born Walter Roy Burgess in Regina, on July 22, 1945. A Roman Catholic, his confirmation saint’s name was Michael and he later adopted it as his professional name. He was the oldest child of William (Bill) Burgess and Dorothy (Dolly) Burgess (née Aldercotte), who would go on to provide him with six brothers and sisters.
Bill Burgess, an aspiring lawyer, moved the family to Toronto in 1946. Growing up in suburban Etobicoke, Wally began to embrace two of his lifelong passions at an early age. “He was an excellent hockey player,” his brother Wayne recalled. “Every winter, between the ages of eight and 13, we created a hockey rink in our backyard and broke many a basement window with our unerringly accurate slap shots.”
His true gift, however, began to emerge when he and Wayne were enrolled at St. Michael’s Choir School. By the time he was a teenager, Wally Burgess was singing on CBC Television’s Cross-Canada Hit Parade and Holiday Ranch as well as on the radio.
After briefly considering the priesthood and a career in law, he studied acting at the University of Ottawa, inevitably playing the lead roles in student and amateur productions
As his career progressed, Mr. Burgess began to shift away from musical theatre and into opera. It wasn’t until the end of the 1980s that he found the perfect role that melded both art forms. When he landed the part of Jean Valjean in the first Canadian production of the London-New York hit Les Misérables, which opened in March, 1989, at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, he helped prove that his country had talent every bit as extraordinary as what could be found on West End and Broadway stages. And while Les Mis was an ensemble show with no official “stars,” Mr. Burgess’s performance soon became one of its major attractions.
While there was nobody like Mr. Burgess for making hearts swell at the singing of O Canada, his signature song remained the tear-inducing Bring Him Home from Les Mis. It’s the hero Jean Valjean’s aching plea to God to take him in exchange for sparing the life of the young man whom he considers a son. Perhaps the power of Mr. Burgess’s rendition rests in the way that prayer seemed to come from his own heart, reflecting his own selfless nature.
After what is seemed like hours going over a “So called menu” George looked pleadingly at Jan. “OK George”, she offered willingly, “You do have choices. We vegan’s, aren’t insensitive to meat eaters, you know,” she quipped. “Do I detect a teensy bit of sarcasm?” he mumbled. “Now come now George!” Paul interjected. “Here look! This one, features a sun-dried tomato walnut “meat”, shredded kale, salsa, spiced tomato rice, green onions, black beans, and humus. Divine!” George cringed at the very thought of walnut meat. “I’ll have a large salad I think, Paul. That’ll do the trick for me, but thanks.” “For you madame number 2? ” Yes thankyou” smiled Jan. The waiter turned his attention to Paul. “Sir?” “I’ll have what she’s having.” He gestured to Jan. “But hold the nuts.” He instructed. “Very nice” the waiter agreed.
“Well!” Jan sighed, “Here we are.”
“George darling! There you are. What does a girl have to do to pin you down?” came a familiarly, sweet voice behind him. “Pam! Hi! Where’d you come from?” he faltered, “I meant to say, long time no see.” He panicked, as he glanced at the smirk on Jan’s face. “Yes! Too long I’d say. It’s so good to see you after so many years. Still as handsome as ever.” she glowed. Jan began to giggle, and quickly covered up behind her napkin. Paul was in awe. What’s this guy got that I don’t, he thought. Paul stood up and quickly introduced himself extending his hand. Hi, I’m Paul, he offered. “So, George do you have plans for this evening?” she smiled sweetly turning from Paul. “I’m going to a Murder Mystery tonight at The Bartlett. Should be so much fun!” she said exuberantly. I’m sure they can find room for one more!” she offered. “Well”, George reluctantly added, “we’re just having a light bite.” GEORGE! Light bite? He regretted. Been hanging around with Paul too long. “Well no! I mean yes, I mean, all of us are going tonight,” he stumbled. Jan could hardly contain herself. “Well then, I guess I’ll see you all later then. I’m on my way to get my costume.” Costume? We need a costume? George suddenly felt sick. “Sure, yes, we’ll see you later then,” he offered quickly.
“I didn’t even think to read the rest of this paper. Must be more instructions.” As the waiter was attempting to serve the table, George was excitedly trying to read the yellow sheet. “George?” Jan said quietly, while lightly removing the sheet from his now trembling hands. “Relax, we have time. Eat your salad, slowly, and then we’ll figure things out.” “I agree with Jan” Paul said skeptically as he flipped his napkin, placed it in his lap and began to eat. Costume? George murmured to himself. Costume? I don’t want to wear a costume, he whined to himself. Jan gave him a motherly look and picked up her fork. He obeyed.
The salad wasn’t half bad George pondered, but he hoped upon hope there would be real food at this event. “Totally enjoyable!” Paul chirped. “I’d recommend this establishment to anyone!” Jan nodded and smiled. “So!” George added, “we now have about 3 hours to gather our thoughts and get ready.” For who knows what, he thought to himself. “Well let’s take a read!” Paul commanded and added “Over coffee and a little dessert?” he inquired. George looked at Jan painfully. She winced and nodded. “Why not.” He grumbled. “Waiter!”
“So!” George took the lead, “Papers out!” Willingly, his loyal troops laid their instructions on the table. “Role Call” Mr. Primrose commanded. “Miss Partridge?” “Here, Pears and all!” Jan said laughing. “Monsieur Richard?” “Je suis Ici!” Paul stood abruptly almost taking the table-cloth with him. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Paul apologized Now what George muttered. “Let’s take a look.” “More coffee?” The waiter offered. “Yes please.” said George. “I think we’re going to need it.” He peered over at Jan pleadingly, “Why don’t you start Jan? You’re the actor around here.” “I’m not sure what you mean by that George.” she got defensive. “I meant that you studied the Theatre and would be the best one to help us.” GEORGE! You blunderer! Now look what you’ve done! “Jan, we need your help.” He said with his best forgive me eyes. Jan melted. “OK guys!” as she now assembled HER troops like a General. “Each of us will take turns reading our character descriptions, out loud, and we’ll go from there.” George looked at Paul, Paul looked back at George, then they both nodded sheepishly at Jan. “Yes Ma’am.” They helplessly whispered. Thankyou God George mused, we might just enjoy this. We will certainly enjoy this. He melted into Jan’s eyes. “Waiter!”, he commanded. “More coffee!”
Mary Treadwell: “Everybody on this ship is in love. Love me, whether or not, I love you. Love me whether I am fit to love. Love me whether, I am able to love. Even is there is no such thing as love. Love me.” Ship of Fools
Three P.M. was looming like a huge charging elephant in George’s vivid imagination. “Shall we take a walk through the park, before our pending liaison, with PAUL?” George quipped. “That is unless you’d rather check out our “Roles” for this evenings event.” “That wasn’t the first thing on my mind” Jan giggled, “But maybe we should be prepared. This could be my big break!” she smiled. George was delighted. “After you my little starlet!” Jan curtsied. “Let’s get ready for your big debut!”
Most were still in class, so their early arrival took Miss Jones by surprise. “We’re here for our scripts Miss DeMille!” George said exuberantly. “Oh, I’m Miss Jones” she apologized. “I don’t think there’s a Miss DeMille working here.” Poor miss Jones was so taken aback she blushed. “I must apologize Miss Jones, I was joking, sorry”, he whispered. “We’re here for our character descriptions for this evening’s Murder Mystery, can you help us with that?” “OH YES! Yes! Certainly! Now let me see, where did I put those papers” she scrambled. “I think we’re early,” He nudged Jan. “You may be right,” she whispered. While Miss Jones was losing her grip, George decidedly looked around her desk. “How about these?” he queried. “OH, my goodness. Yes! That’s them! Very good! Very good! How could I have missed them!” she rambled. “It’s ok Miss Jones, I only noticed because they’re yellow. They kind of stood out!” he was trying to be nice. “Just pick one”, she instructed. “Any one?” George quipped. “Well, a male one for you.” she added. “Of course.” George smiled. “Well, we’ve managed to get this far.” George laughed. “Yes,” Jann giggled, “I’ll take Miss Partridge, sounds interesting.” “If pears are to your liking.” George grinned. “Let’s see. How about Mr. Primrose for me, how much trouble could a Mr. Primrose get himself into?” he inquired. “Well, we’ll soon find out” Jan said. “Shall we prepare to the Park my fellow thespian?” George grandly gestured. “After you Mr. Primrose.” Jan curtsied. “Nice day, if it doesn’t rain.” George laughed.
“George?” Jan said as they took a park bench not to far from the school, “Have you ever done a Murder Mystery before?” “No, come to think of it, I haven’t. But there are people I’d like to murder.” he laughed. “George! You’re not serious!” Jan giggled. “No, of course not” George lied. “You don’t suppose Paul would like to participate in our little adventure, do you?” “Well,” said Jan “We could ask him over lunch.” “LUNCH! Oh, geez what time is it?” stammered George. “Time, we sauntered back, unfortunately.” Jan sighed. Time flies when you’re having fun, George pondered sadly.
“There you are!” shouted Paul. “J’ai trouvé un magnifique français buffet dans la ville!” George cringed. “It’s going be the hit of the show!” Paul was so ecstatic George swore he’d faint. “Marvelous!” Jan offered. George shook his hand. “Well after your successful sojourn,” George pumped, “I presume you’re famished.” It was the least he could say. “OH! Paul?” Jan quickly inserted, “We’re all invited to participate in a Murder Mystery this evening. I don’t suppose you’d like to join us.” she offered. “Mademoiselle, Je serais honoré!” Figures George murmured. “George? Let’s go get Paul’s sheets, he’ll need to pick a role.” Uh huh, George sighed under his breath. “De cette façon, mon homme!” George said smugly. “We’re back Miss Jones.” She jumped. “We need one more character breakdown.” “Let’s see,” George pondered, as he shuffled the sheets of paper. Hmmm. “How about this one.” he offered. Paul examined the role. “Perfect!” Paul said “Le chef du manoir!, Monsieur Richard.” “Yep! I can pick em,” thought George.
“Now for a nice light pre-dinner snack. You never know what’s going to be on the menu this evening.” He pondered. “Hopefully they’ll have real food tonight.” He spouted. Now who’s the jerk, he regretted. “Just kidding of course”, he quickly corrected, as Jan nudged him. “George?” she reassured him, “I’m sure it will be lovely.” “Lead the way Monsieur Richard!” George commanded. “Bien sûr de cette façon!” Paul replied. This IS going to be fun, George grinned, as Jan rolled her eyes.
George couldn’t help thinking about those “Bad times,” Jan had fleetingly referred to. Everyone goes through “Bad Times”. His mind started to work overtime. Just how bad and bad how? Now he was starting to sound like a jealous lover he thought. I hope this guy’s got better things to do, he projected.
“Jan, I just happened to be in town collecting some antiques for our new season and heard you were here. How lucky is that!” Paul said exuberantly. Yah, how very lucky, George grumbled to himself. Jan smiled and had to agree. “So! George! Are you planning to stick around? I thought I’d take Jan off your hands to see the town. Don’t get to these little places very often.” Little places my Ass, George thought. Some sort of big time Jerk. “Um” George stumbled. Quick George think! “Well Jan and I have plans for Dinner.” He smartly quipped. “Good! I’ve heard there’s a great little Vegan restaurant not far from here! I’ll join you. On me!” he pumped. George was now in panic mode. “Why don’t we finish our lunch?” he smartly suggested. “Will you have a something?” “I’ve had my lunch.” Stated Paul, “One lunch per day will suffice, but Thanks.” George was at a loss for words. “Look! I’ll let you guys finish up with your school business, however important that could be, and meet up with you later. Say three o’clock?” he questioned. “Fine!” George said happily. Better qualify that George thought. “Too bad you can’t stay.” He quickly added, trying to be sincere. “Well Jan my dear, I guess later it is! Be back at 3 on the nose!” he added. He’s currently got one damn lucky nose right now, George imagined. One DAMN lucky nose. “
This, time Paul swung OUT, of the room hailing good-bye to the crowd. George waved a happy anon.
Jan had been sitting there watching George’s futile attempts to put Paul off. “George, come sit by me.” She patted the couch next to her. The animal in him obeyed happily. No whimpering! George! NO WHIMPERING! as he sat close. “George.”, she reassuringly said, “Paul is just a dear old friend. As simple as that.” she put. “It was frankly nice to see him after all these years. He’s harmless.” George considered this for a moment but quickly concluded HARMLESS as my great aunt’s cat! “Oh, I understand Jan, just a good friend from way back.” He smiled, as thou he understood. “It’s time!” cried Carl. “Let’s not let our fearless leader wait! Off to the foyer! Shall we.” What now he thought.
As the group gathered slowly everyone was curious. Murmurs here and there and some pretty sarcastic remarks were dismissed. “Settle down please! Settle down.” Demanded our fearless leader. Just then everyone gasped at the sight of a mystery guest striding towards them. Who could this be? Jan looked at George and George shrugged. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Please settle down.” The man was tall and lanky, all dressed in black. He had a monkey on his back. His face was painted with black and white stripes. “A rather unusual man” whispered George to Jan. “Unusual is putting it mildly” added Jan as she grasped his hand. I kind of like this guy, mused George, as he tightened his grip.
“OK, here’s the happy surprise!” This fine gentleman will be our host for this evening’s proceedings. “We are having a Murder Mystery Night tonight! The room gasped. I expect all of you to participate. No excuses allowed. We will be passing out your character descriptions and a general scenario for the evening. We will begin at precisely 7 p.m., at which time a formal dinner will be served on the auditorium stage. Any questions?” He acted like he was merely announcing an upcoming recess, George pondered. “What should I wear?” A despondent Jerry cried from the back. “How long will this thing last?” from another. Carl almost fainted he looked so white. Questions flew! Suddenly the Monkey got excited and started screeching. Jan’s grip got tighter as she slid closer to him. George’s mind then started to wander but quickly came to, when the man in black threw up his massive arms and waved his cape into the air. Silence suddenly prevailed. “Well! If you’ll all now return to your classes, we can get on with our day. Your instructions will be disbursed accordingly. Should you need any assistance please proceed to the office.” Slowly the group disbursed. Jan’s hand slipped back to her side, as she calmed. George secretly stretched his fingers trying to get the circulation back. “What now?” Jan whispered, with a twinkle in her eyes. George shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile, “Just another day, but a whole lot better than the last.” “Shall we?”
“I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.” Leonard Cohen