Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Filmmaker dreaming of a white Christmas

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NEWSPRINT TO THE RESCUE: The Home Alone 5 Christmas movie started shooting in Winnipeg this week, without the natural snow California movie makers expected here in March. But never fear! California crews have been faking snow scenes for years, using newsprint. "Yes, we can do this, but it's very, very expensive," said co-executive producer Dennis Murphy, surveying their snow-making effort. They need seven days of snow shoots before they film indoors at the Manitoba Production Centre soundstage on Pacific Avenue. Yours truly saw huge lawns in The Gates mansion area being covered with humongous white blanket undercloths, to be sprayed with heaps of bleached and shredded newsprint. Sophisticated neighbours in the area are taking a suspicious number of "health walks" to see Tinseltown types decorate for Christmas Hollywood-style. Yours truly saw one guy on a ladder up an evergreen tree, hanging two-foot shiny coloured balls over a green lawn. Surreal!

Dayle Goertzen, owner of Vintage Bling, is excited to be creating special jewelry for the "bad guys" in the movie. Her dramatic designs became known to the stars, thanks to gifting suites at the Golden Globes and The Oscars in Los Angeles. "I gave away thousands of dollars worth at the Golden Globes in 2010." Some stars wore them on the red carpet. Ironically, when the word got out, it launched her back here in Canada. "In an ideal world, Hollywood is my target market, but famous jewellers lend out their expensive designs for red-carpet mentions." After a red-carpet event Elena Levon from Oceans 13 sent her necklace back again with a thank you and an autographed picture saying, "You might as well sell it. I'll never wear it again because it's been photographed." Goertzen's glamorous online store is at She works as an educational assistant for River East Transcona School Division by day and as a jeweller by night. She started by taking apart sparkly vintage jewelry seven years ago -- and making scintillating new pieces. "I got so many requests it turned into four hours a night watching CSI and filling orders."

STEPS FOR LIFE: Most of us can't run a marathon. But most of us can walk five kilometres with friends around Kildonan Park on a lovely spring day. The Steps for Life Winnipeg gang is starting to gather the walkers they need to raise money for survivors of workplace injuries and their families, with early-bird registration today until April 1. Many people involved in organizing the May 6 event (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) are walking in memory of 15-year-old Andrew James who died in a workplace accident while at a summer job three years ago.

"The money raised goes to the Threads for Life group, which helps the families who have lost loved ones due to workplace accidents or people whose lives have been altered, and need supports like counselling," says Andrew's aunt, Vicki Ellison Anderson.

"Andrew was a super-hard worker," says Aunty Vicki. "His nickname was Woodtick at work because he was so interested, always around. Work was his life... He was a very loving boy and is horribly, terribly missed."

As are all the others who die tragically in the workplace year after year -- more than 1,000 a year across Canada. The family is Team Woodtick and includes Andrew's parents Roberta and Rick James and his siblings Tiffany and Matthew, plus cousin Dusti Richardson and her son Kyle Richardson with his famous autism working dog, Bella. For more information, send an email to:

Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 474-1116, email or send mail to The Insider c/o The Winnipeg Free Press at 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 16, 2012 B2

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