Lately I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of film trailers around town. They’ve been at the Leg (pronounced ‘ledge’), on Wellington Crescent, the Exchange District, even mysteriously set up around Sobey’s. They aren’t all low-budget Lifetime movie affairs either. These are the real deal with well-known actors like Keanu Reeves and Kristin Stewart. It’s pretty amazing to think that our little area has become so popular with Hollywood. But then you find out that the types of movies which are being filmed are titled Siberia or the setting is small-town Minnesota. It’s quite humbling actually.
As you may or may not be aware, Winnipeg is not what you would call a glamorous city. With those working class roots and a general distaste for big dreams, it kind of makes sense that Winnipeg hasn’t produced many celebrities. And we hold on so tightly to the famous folks that we do have some affiliation with. It’s been almost 50 years since he moved away, but Neil Young attended Kelvin High School! Anna Paquin? Sure, she may have been age 4 when she left, but she was born in Winnipeg. Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman return on occasion which gives everyone a thrill. Nia Vardalos had that Greek movie in the early aughts. Truthfully, there isn’t anything wrong with being proud of these people, or wanting to believe that growing up here, in this place, contributed to their success in some way. I’m sure every home town feels the same pride.
This past summer, I had a few celebrity sightings of my own. Not of the Hollywood-caliber, but our very own hometown, local familiar faces. Within the span of a few days, I saw resident entomologist, Taz Stuart (Bomber game). Only in Winnipeg would a bug guy be so instantly recognizable. It says a lot about our obsession with mosquitos. My next big sighting was Rod “I never sleep!” Peeler (restaurant). Seriously, what a master of the art of realtor marketing. Lastly, the all too familiar face of Sam Katz (restaurant). If you’re wondering, yes I can confirm that he does have a Goldeyes license plate. There was also some exciting developments on the reclusive pseudo-celebrity front when this article ran in the Freep about Cheryl Lashek. She takes care of the elevators in my workplace and probably in yours.
While they aren’t exactly celebrities in the People sense of the word, they are certainly much more representative of our little city. Nothing could be more fitting for a working class city to celebrate their local, working class citizens.