The group includes Peter Jessiman of Bison Transport, business guru Hartley Richardson and his wife, Heather, Diane Gray of CentrePort and Mariette Mulaire, president and CEO of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg. Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer is jetting in from Washington, D.C., and will be interviewed onstage about the wonders of Manitoba. Mayor Sam Katz and family are all going, as is Advance Electronics owner Arnold Frieman and Robin Hildebrand of Golden West, which owns new Classic 107.1 radio -- a classical and jazz music station. Travellers are extending their trips to hit the theatres and sign up for sightseeing tours -- many through the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), which partnered with WSO for this big travel event.
To raise money for the Carnegie Hall gig, the WSO offered "adoptions" of all the orchestra members and guest artists at $300 to $5,000 a pop. Schroeder says every one of them has new "parents" now. Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate's prestigious adoption cost a whopping $15,000, happily paid by Marcel Desautels, a music-loving philanthropist originally from Winnipeg. When Schroeder called him, he just said, "Yes indeed!"
"It's absolutely not too late to book," says Schroeder. She adds packages start at about $1,800 for one person on a three-night jaunt. The tickets-and-party-only package for people making their own flight and hotel arrangements is only $299. For more info call WSO's Jason Hayes at 204-949-3973, or go to www.caamanitoba.com/wso.
OZZY'S PEOPLE HIT OZZY'S BAR: About a dozen roadies with the Black Sabbath tour, which stopped at the MTS Centre on Wednesday, hit Ozzy's bar Monday night at the Osborne Village Inn. "They found Ozzy's on the computer under entertainment, and thought they should come and check it out," said Osborne Village Inn co-owner Dave Green. When they got there and discovered it was comedy night, one of the crew, known as "Big Dave," signed up and did a set. "You could tell he'd been onstage before, but it seemed like he was just commenting on our cold weather and the city and making fun of some of the other comedians," said host Dave Herrick, who added the performer got a noisy reaction from his own crew. Unfortunately, the star of the MTS Centre concert -- Ozzy Osbourne -- wasn't with them, but Winnipeg fans were itching to know what it's like to hang out before a concert with the heavy-metal party boy. "It's not like you think it is," said one of the crew. "It's more like seeing an old guy having a nap!"
DJ MAMA OFF TO BRAZIL: World-famous Winnipeg DJ Mama Cutsworth is heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she has been invited to join two Cirque de Soleil-style performers from La Gato Cirko to form a special group called Speechless. She flies out May 10 to start practising the act with her new compadres. Sao Paulo will be wild that week with crazed soccer fans. "We're playing in a city of 27 million people the week before the World Cup!" she laughs.
Circus performers Felipe Ortiz and Daniel Orrantia discovered Winnipeg's famous DJ when she was playing in Wurtzberg, Germany. "I was at an improv festival DJing," she says. For their new act in South America, she will provide her unique style of DJing -- dancing as she works, using many of her own remixes, strange sounds, scratching and scribbling. The circus performers "combine mime, clown techniques and physical theatre," say Cutsworth, a.k.a. Sarah Michaelson. Check out Speechless on Facebook for more info on catching them in Winnipeg this summer.
LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD: Neophyte filmmaker Judith Morrow arrived back in Winnipeg this week after winning top honours at film fests in the U.S. and Canada for her controversial documentary The Healing of Heather Garden. "I just won Best Short Documentary in Los Angeles at First Glance (film festival). Things are afoot!" she says. Her 30-minute film is about a young woman from Brandon who healed herself from an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis, using a series of alternative methods over several years.
Morrow also won the Jury Award ("most liked by the jurors") at the Canadian International Film Festival in Toronto last month, competing against 1,000 submissions from around the world. "I got one of the top two awards. I still can't believe it!" says the Winnipeg social worker, who spent 10 years painstakingly putting the film together from scratch. The little engine that could has caused a big buzz in the international documentary film industry.
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.