Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

L.A. galas and hearse-power

CMHR, duke of desserts in the limelight lately

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Movie stars, comedians, L.A.- based Canadians and a contingency of Winnipeg philanthropists and politicians made the long guest list. She staged the party beside a sparkling pool with 12 vintage Hollywood-style cabanas -- and entertainment under the stars by country singer Bobby Wills and Burton Cummings, who promised to do Share the Land.

Included on the "Yes, we're coming!" side of the guest list, were Kiss's Gene Simmons and his wife Shannon Tweed, Winnipeg-born comedian David Steinberg, Catherine O'Hara of Second City fame, plus movie stars Colin Farrell, Nia Vardalos and director Ron Shelton.

"At the charity party people will donate to the museum. We're building awareness of it here," says Stewart. "For instance, South African filmmaker Kweku Mandela (Nelson Mandela's grandson) didn't know about the museum until he heard about this event. We're getting together at the Oscars to talk."

Stewart rented the American Idol house for two weeks so she and her entourage of 22 had a home base for prepping her twin projects -- the posh par-tay and her Lilyfield Cakes O Canada gifting lounge for the Golden Globes, which sees hundreds of stars and their reps coming through in the days before the awards. "The party project was attached to the gifting lounge and re-launch of my worldwide Lilyfield Cakes business -- and I think the Golden Globes was a good fit for it all."

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DESSERTS TO DIE FOR: "For 10 years now, my motto has been Desserts to Die For and I always thought it would be cool to have a hearse as one of my delivery vehicles," says Doug Krahn of Chocolate Zen bakery on Osborne Street South. This week, his dream is coming true and his shiny black 1994 Cadillac hearse, in perfect condition, is going into a secret shop for its special decals, including the names of four supporting shops -- the Gates, Chocolate Decadence, Beyond Flowers and Tapestry at Amici.

The bakery near Morley Avenue is co-owned by Krahn, veteran pastry chef Betty Lai and PR guru Barbara Rudiak, a local character. She's the 6-foot blond model who appears at fancy galas in a red dress with a 20-foot front panel to be used as the red carpet. Says Rudiak, "Across the front window it says 'A Taste of Heaven' and on the back door that opens it reads 'Sweet Endings by Chocolate Zen Bakery.' " Krahn says he has two other vehicles for deliveries of a sensitive nature. "We would never deliver to a funeral or a wedding in the hearse, but lots of other people will want it to come to their places. The hearse may be on the road as early as Monday, so watch for it. The licence plate is -- you guessed it -- To Die 4."

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STARTER ART SHOW: If you're not a regular art show type, this show's for you. Random 18 by 18, a one-week-only show opening tonight at Cre8ery, 125 Adelaide Ave. boasts 18 artists showing just one very special piece each. Curated by 34-year-old Jordan Miller, owner of Cre8ery (and also 2011's Woman of Distinction) -- this show is new and fresh. "In my gallery I want artists who haven't had shows before right alongside people with big CVs."

This show includes photographers and artists such as Susie Brown and Bazil, Carla Dyck, Pamela Desmet Franklin, Alerry Lavitt, Lee Beaton, Natasha Lowenthal, Andrew Marek, Manny Martins-Karman, Gail Sawatzky, Candace Propp, Irene Rowland, Bonnie Cadieux, Helen Lyons, Roberta Sparling, Sarah Neville and mixed media by Jayne Nixon and Chu Pei.

"I am a mixed-media artist myself, doing image transfers and some collage," says Miller, who has a private studio in the gallery. "And selling my paintings helps to pay the bills here."


Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 204 474-1116, email, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., R2X 3B6.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 10, 2014 B2

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