Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

True patriot love

Chad and Avril aren't the first Canadian celebs to pool their star power

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This just in: Not only is love blind, it's also hard of hearing.

How else can anybody explain the news that pop chanteuse Avril Lavigne is set to tie the knot with Chad Kroeger, the frontman for a rock band whose name -- Nickelback -- is defined by as "the act of willingly allowing one's ears to bleed."

Lavigne, 27, and Kroeger, 37, apparently fell into each other's arms about six months ago, not long after Kroeger began helping the Belleville, Ont., native with her forthcoming album. A source for People magazine said, "A romantic relationship blossomed as they spent time writing together." (Hey -- who wouldn't go for a guy who pens such poignant lyrics as "I like your pants around your feet," from Figured You Out?)

Social-media types were quick to hang the Brangelina-like tag "Chavril" on the duo.

Others tweeted that Lavigne and Kroeger, who hails from Hanna, Alta., are this country's biggest "power couple" since '60s folk duo Ian and Sylvia. No disrespect to the Tysons -- or their four strong winds -- but that isn't necessarily the case, as evidenced by the following list of all-Canadian canoodlers, past and present.


Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

HE'S a Hollywood heartthrob who narrowly lost out to Bradley Cooper as People magazine's 2011 Sexiest Man Alive. She's a Genie- and Gemini-nominated actress who first lit up the big screen in 2002's The Hot Chick. (Yes, she was the hot chick.)

Gosling and McAdams -- both were born in London, Ont. -- began dating after portraying lovers in the 2004 tissue-fest The Notebook.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: Gosling and McAdams were an on-again, off-again couple for about three years. After their final parting of the ways, Gosling referred to McAdams as -- here come the tears again -- one of the great loves of his life.


Belinda Stronach and Tie Domi

SHE'S a Canadian businesswoman from Newmarket, Ont., who once had aspirations of becoming Canada's second female prime minister. He's a former NHL enforcer from Windsor, Ont., who sits third on the list for career penalty minutes (3,515). Politicos dubbed the duo "beauty and the beast" after Domi joined Stronach on the campaign trail in 2006.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: Although Stronach and Domi never officially declared themselves an item, sources close to the auto parts heiress told The Canadian Press that the relationship never made it into overtime, after Stronach dumped the ex-tough guy sometime in 2007.


Ryan Reynolds and Alanis Morissette

HE is the star of The In-Laws, The Proposal, The Amityville Horror and The Change-Up, as well as a few flicks that don't start with "The." She is a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter whose angst-ridden album Jagged Little Pill has sold over 33 million copies worldwide.

Reynolds and Morissette met at a birthday party in 2002. They got engaged two years after that.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: Reynolds and Morissette ended their engagement in 2007. If you're looking for clues why, pick up Morissette's 2008 effort, Flavors of Entanglement. Following its release, Morissette told a reporter from Access Hollywood that the collection of songs is a chronicle of her grief caused by the breakup. Cheery.


Terry Jacks and Susan Pesklevits

WINNIPEG-BORN Jacks and Saskatoon-born Pesklevits were both Vancouver-based musicians when they began performing together in the mid-1960s. After exchanging "I dos," Terry and the newly minted Susan Jacks formed the Poppy Family -- a saccharine-coated pop ensemble that enjoyed its biggest success with the 1970 Can-con classic, Which Way You Goin' Billy?

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: Billy wasn't the only person going places; the Jacks went their separate ways in 1973. But not before Susan contributed backing vocals to Terry's breakthrough solo album, Seasons in the Sun. The title track from that record -- four minutes of joy, fun and death -- inexplicably topped charts around the world in 1974.


Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod

JOHNSON and McLeod are both accomplished athletes. For over two decades, they've been the stars of Bodybreak, a series of television commercials that promote physical fitness to Canucks from coast to coast.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: Johnson and McLeod started dating in the 1980s, exchanged vows in 1999, but kept their relationship a secret from viewers for five more years after that. According to a radio interview in 2004, the pair said that TV execs asked them to keep their lovebird status hush-hush, because they didn't think viewers were "ready" for an interracial couple when Bodybreak first aired.


Sam Katz and Lisa Best

ONCE upon a time, he was a highly visible businessman who promoted concerts and operated tanning salons. Meanwhile, she was the face of a Transcona car dealership, known as much for her blond mane as her signature phrase, "You've got it, Park Pontiac."

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: It's hard to put a date on the Katz/Best split. What is known is that Katz went on to become mayor of Canada's eighth largest city. And that Best has stayed forever young, thanks to a YouTube channel called RetroWinnipeg, which specializes in locally produced commercials from the 1970s and '80s.


Archie Wood and Tammy True

ARCHIE and Tammy were ventriloquist dummies who first appeared on Archie and His Friends and later, Funtown. Both children's programs starred Winnipeg puppeteer "Uncle" Bob Swarts. Although Archie and Tammy rarely appeared onscreen together -- some contend that Tammy was simply Archie in drag -- there wasn't too much competition in Funtown for Archie's affections, unless you count Marvin the Mouse or Robbie the Robot.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?: CKY-TV pulled the plug on Swarts and his entourage in 1986. Rumour has it that Archie and Tammy are presently holed up in a hospital storage closet somewhere in Winnipeg, where they await the day they can rekindle their love. (OK, so maybe kindle isn't the best word to use, when referring to wooden puppets.)



Novelists Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson; Winnipeg indie darlings John K. Samson (Weakerthans) and singer-songwriter Christine Fellows; Pierre Elliott Trudeau and classical guitarist Liona Boyd; CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge and actor Cynthia Dale.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 1, 2012 e1

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