Original art piece, herself: The lovely and talented Leala Hewak is back in town from Toronto -- bringing a first-ever showing of original art to an iconic lounge. We're talking LARGE pieces of art and photography displayed in the historic Palm Room at the Fort Garry Hotel. Hewak's a "go big or go home" kind of gal, whose parties were imaginative and gossip-worthy when she lived in the 'Peg. Her art-filled garage sale, when she departed Winnipeg, was the talk of the town. Painters and photographers for the exhibition include Hewak plus William Eakin, Cliff Eyland, and Craig Stuart Love. The opening is tonight, art lovers. Cocktails and art appreciation are a great combo. "Join us for drinks after your First Friday adventures," says Hewak, referring to open studio/party happenings in the Exchange on the first Friday of every month in Winnipeg. Hewak says she is "very excited" to be bringing a brand-new type of event to the Palm Room and to Winnipeg. The exhibition starts at "9 p.m. or earlier," according to the adventurous artist. Come too late and you might not get in the door!
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Ironic, don't you think? Crew for One Christmas Eve, the movie that started shooting in Winnipeg this week, had to spray fake snow on top of the biggest snowbanks in umpteen years. Why? They were black! Looked ugly with the sparkly oversize red, green and gold Christmas decorations being hung on the old block's entrance at Lilac Street and Dorchester Avenue.
So they sprayed the dirty snowbanks with zillions of white paper snowflakes for the daytime shoot -- and then they had to turn around and suck the fake snow back up with giant vacuum hoses at day's end. The deal is you have to leave the location the way you found it, even if it's ugly. And wouldn't you know it -- a blanket of perfect real white snow fell Thursday morning after they were gone. Anne Heche, of Men in Trees fame and a former partner of Ellen DeGeneres, is the star of the movie produced for Hallmark Hall of Fame and ABC. They expect to be shooting in different locations around Winnipeg for about a month.
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Takin' care of business: Randy Bachman of BTO fame, in town last weekend for BTO's Juno Hall of Fame induction, took time out after rapidly signing umpteen copies of his new book Tales from Beyond the Tap in the back room at McNally's books, for a little chat with yours truly. Fans of his CBC Vinyl Tap nighttime radio music program know Bachman does the whole show with a guitar on his lap, and he even sings -- sometimes off key. Why leave that in? Bachman says he likes things to be natural. "You always get the best out of a musician when he breaks his guitar string. While he's fixing it he has to talk to the audience, so he starts with, "Well, I was born in... and really talks to them. That was the kind of sound I wanted. I did the first few Vinyl Tap shows by reading everything, and it sounded bad. So now I have my guitar, and it's like I'm sitting talking with a friend." During his interview in McNally's atrium with 92 CITI FM's Howard Mandshein, Bachman confessed he flunked Grade 11 twice by skipping school every afternoon and sneaking over to play guitar with Lenny Breau. "I learned everything I know about guitar from him. Lenny played in his family's band and got to quit school at 13. I thought that was really cool at the time."
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Tom, Larry, shock radio: Co-hosts Tom McGouran and Larry Updike have just finished the first three weeks of their new online morning radio show called TomandLarry.ca, weekdays 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., broadcast out of McGouran's kitchen -- and there have been some shocks. Says McGouran: "The first week my wife Stacy came downstairs just as we were finishing the show, to have her shower. Larry didn't notice her, and inadvertently walked in to use the bathroom, and there she was -- standing there naked. I heard a big scream -- but it wasn't from Stacy. It came from Larry!" This week, Shaw-TV is coming to film them doing the show in their pyjamas and Tuesday's guest at 7:30 a.m. is Taz Stuart, the former City of Winnipeg entomologist, who mysteriously disappeared from the scene. Nobody can fire these online show hosts anymore, and Stuart no longer belongs to the city. Should be good.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6