A WHIFF OF TIFF: Winnipeg acting star Mitchell Kummen, 14, flew off to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this week, as new movie Horns is premi®ring tonight. This could be Kummen's big break! He plays with international star Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, minus the round glasses. The storyline? After his girlfriend's mysterious death, a young man awakens to horns coming out of his temples. Radcliffe stars in that role and Kummen plays Ig Perrish at a younger age in this fantasy/horror flick. "It will be a real career-booster for him. I'm going with Mitchell to see it," says Onalee Ames, a Winnipeg acting teacher who coached Kummen. She spoke by phone from Toronto Thursday as stars were pouring in to all the hotels to get ready for the fancy film fest, known for great new movies and a fun atmosphere.
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BOCCE BUZZ: Not everybody plays football for big money and goes home to cry. Some people play bocce ball for no salary and laugh all night. Yours truly spotted "Dom's Dolls," a bocce ball team featuring Dom and Gail Aurito, Teresa Van Osch and Laurie James. They were happily fighting it out with the Buona Fortuna team composed of Rhonda Cantor, John Heminger, Neil Murray and Sherrie Moir. 'Twas 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night on the grassy pitch patio alongside the Mona Lisa Ristorante, in the dark, with yard lights. Said bar server Alfie Imbrogno, who brought out the glasses of what one player euphemistically called aiming fluid: "This happens to be "Winesday!" She says the Italian sport is growing in popularity in the Peg and people are quite passionate about it. This year, 22 teams play weekly from June to October. Marilena Moccia runs the league. "It's so much fun," says bocce athlete Gail Aurito. "It's what we live to do all summer!" Winnipeg Jet Jim Slater, who got injured (no, not playing bocce), is still known to tweet props to his bocce team on game nights. Lots of well-known Peggers play regularly, including Simon Waller of Simon's Imports and his wife, Deb, FABCA construction's Greg Fiorentino and wife, Maria, Joe Paletta, of the Clarion Hotel, Free Press notables such as publisher Bob Cox, associate editor Julie Carl and humour columnist Doug Speirs.
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CEO SLEEPOUT: "Change for the Better" night is set for Sept. 26 and there are already hot front-runners to help meet the $150,000 challenge set for this year by Downtown BIZ organizers. The first year raised $100,000, the second $119,000, and this year they're pushing for a bigger number to raise money to help homeless people with housing and employment to effect meaningful change. The fastest money-raiser out of the gate is RBC regional president Rob Johnston, who had more than $12,000 posted beside his mug shot on the website Thursday. Those in the four-figure range include Manitoba Hydro president and CEO Scott A. Thompson, Impark general manager Bert Treller, Sean Barnes, the PCL Constructors Canada VP and district manager, Marilyn McLaren, president and CEO of Manitoba Public Insurance, and Tom Malone, CEO of the Winipeg Clinic. Also in the category is MTS president Kevin Shepherd, Albert El Tassi president and CEO of Peerless Garments LP, Diane Weiusenthal of Corporate People Responsibility, Carole Vivier, CEO of Manitoba Film and Music and Stephanie Forsyth, Red River College president and CEO and Stefano Grande of the Downtown BIZ.
This year's Celebrity Sleepers include Tim Hague Sr. and Tim Hague Jr., the father-and-son team from The Amazing Race Canada, and Michael Redhead Champagne from Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO!).
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BEST FREEBIE OF THE SUMMER: Manyfest is happening day and night today through Sunday on Broadway. Be aware the free night-time action is great for a date or a group of friends. Last year, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ made it magical and exciting, and this year more activities are happening. Tonight, hit the outdoor movie Up in Memorial Park tonight at 8, shown on a giant inflated screen. Saturday night, it's all about dancing in the streets. On the Carlton stage, starting at 6:30 p.m., you can catch Suzanne Mariani and bands the Revival and Lost Weekend. On the Memorial Park stage starting at 7:30 p.m., it's NAfro Dance, Don Amero and Ministers of Cool. If you come down early to grab a bite, you can participate in the Downtown Food Truck Wars all weekend.
The Saturday-night Lights on Broadway starts at dusk, with people assembling at 8:40 p.m. on foot, all decorated in glow sticks or riding on light-decorated bikes.
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., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6