Bob McGrath, an original cast member of “Sesame Street,” was known to steal the hearts of people through their television screens.
In Saskatchewan, he was a legend in another way — by being a friendly neighbour.
McGrath, was who 90, died at his home in New Jersey on Sunday.
McGrath was a permanent fixture on the Prairies with Saskatchewan’s annual Kinsmen Foundation fundraiser called TeleMiracle, which helps local charities and communities.
He hosted TeleMiracle for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2015.
Jeffery Straker, a Saskatchewan artist who co-hosted TeleMiracle with McGrath, says McGrath loved to teach people how to help their neighbours.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.
‘Everything Everywhere’ tops Oscar nominations with 11
By Jake Coyle in New York
NEW YORK (AP) — The multiverse-skipping sci-fi indie hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” led nominations to the 95th Academy Awards as Hollywood heaped honors on big-screen spectacles like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” a year after a streaming service won best picture for the first time.
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” landed a leading 11 nominations on Tuesday, including nods for Michelle Yeoh and comeback kid Ke Huy Quan, the former child star of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Released back in March, the A24 film has proven an unlikely Oscar heavyweight against the expectations of even its makers. Yeoh became the first Asian actor nominated for best actress.
“Even just to be nominated means validation, love, from your peers,” said an “overwhelmed” Yeoh speaking by phone from London. “What it means for the rest of the Asians around the world, not just in America but globally, is to say we have a seat at the table. We finally have a seat at the table. We are being recognized and being seen.”
The 10 movies up for best picture are: “Everything Everywhere All at Once,”“The Banshees of Inisherin,” “The Fabelmans,” “Tár,”“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Elvis,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Women Talking” and “Triangle of Sadness.”
Nominations were announced Tuesday from the academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams. If last year’s Oscars were dominated by streaming — Apple TV+’s “CODA” won best picture and Netflix landed a leading 27 nominations — movies that drew moviegoers to multiplexes after two years of pandemic make up many of this year’s top contenders.
For the first time, two sequels — “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” — were nominated for best picture. The two films together account for some $3.5 billion in box office. Tom Cruise missed out on an acting nomination, but “Top Gun: Maverick” — often credited with bringing many moviegoers back to theaters — walked away with seven nominations, including best sound, best visual effects and best song for Lada Gaga’s “Hold My Hand.” Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” made in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s death, also scored five nominations, including the first acting nod for a performance in a Marvel movie: Angela Bassett, the likely favorite to win best supporting actress.
Going by earlier guild nominations, Martin McDonagh’s Ireland-set dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin” may be the stiffest competition for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” at the Oscars. The Searchlight Pictures film landed nine nominations Tuesday, including nods for McDonagh’s directing and screenplay, and a quartet of acting nominations: Colin Farrell for best actor, Kerry Condon for best supporting actress and both Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan for best supporting actor.
Baz Luhrmann’s bedazzled biopic “Elvis” — another summer box-office hit, with $287.3 million worldwide — came away with eight nominations, including a best actor nod for star Austin Butler and nominations for its costumes, sound and production design.
Though Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” struggled to catch on with audiences, the director’s autobiographical coming-of-age tale landed Spielberg his 20th Oscar nomination and eighth nod for best-director. John Williams, his longtime composer, extended his record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person. Williams’ 53rd nominations trails only Walt Disney’s 59. “The Fabelmans” marks Spielberg’s 12th best-picture nomination as a producer.
In the ultra-competitive best actress race, “Fabelmans” star Michelle Williams was nominated after being passed over by the Screen Actors Guild. The other nominees for best actress are: Ana de Armas, “Blonde”; Cate Blanchett, “Tár” and Andrea Riseborough, who emerged as a late contender after a host of celebrities rallied around her performance as an alcoholic West Texas mother in the little-seen “To Leslie.” Notably left out of the category were Viola Davis (“Woman King”) and Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”).
Only one streaming title broke into the best picture field: The German WWI film “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Though Netflix for the first time in years lacks a possible best picture frontrunner, “All Quiet on the Western Front” landed a better-than-expected nine nominations, including best international film and best adapted screenplay. The streaming service also has the top animated film contender in “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” which was nominated for best animated feature alongside “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” “The Sea Beast” and “Turning Red.”
Along with Butler and Farrell, the best actor nominees are: Brendan Fraser, hailed for his comeback performance as an overweight shut-in in “The Whale,” Bill Nighy for “Living” and, in a surprise for one of the most critically lauded films of the year, Paul Mescal, for Charlotte Wells’ father-daughter tale “Aftersun.”
Brian Tyree Henry landed his first Oscar nomination for his supporting turn in “Causeway,” in which he starred opposite Jennifer Lawrence. (“I’m so grateful,” Tyree said in a statement. “And to the random man in the elevator who saw me scream at the news, thank you for hugging me and not freaking out!!!!!!”) In the supporting actress category, two “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actors — Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu — were nominated along with Hong Chau (“The Whale”), Condon and Bassett.
Quan and Chau — both the children of Vietnam War refugees — and the California-born Hsu and the Malaysia-born Yeoh together make it the most acting nominations ever for Asian or Asian American actors. For Quan, a much-loved face of the 1980s from “Goonies” and “Temple of Doom,” the nomination was a once-unfathomable pinnacle. After his acting opportunities dried up, Quan quit acting for years before being offered the part of Waymond. Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, Quan remembered having dreams as a child of attending the Academy Awards.
“It just seemed so far-fetched. Especially when I had to step away from acting for so many years, that dream seemed like it was dead,” Quan said. “My whole thing was: I just wanted a job.”
After the best director category saw back-to-back landmark wins for female filmmakers — Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) in 2021, Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) last year — no women were nominated for best director. But in the best picture group, one of the up-for-grabs final slots went to Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” a parable of sexual assault and justice. Polley was also nominated for best adapted screenplay.
In the end, the Oscar push for the Indian action sensation “RRR” landed a sole nomination: best song for M.M. Keeravaani’s “Naatu Naatu.” The Palme d’Or-winning satire from Swedish director Ruben Östlund, “Triangle of Sadness,” scored three big nominations, for best picture, best director and best original screenplay.
Along with “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the nominees for best international film are: “Argentina, 1985” (Argentina); “Close” (Belgium); “EO” (Poland); “The Quiet Girl” (a first for Ireland). The category has been criticized for allowing submissions to be chosen by each country’s government, a process that disadvantages filmmakers working in oppressive regimes. Iranian director Jafar Panahi, whose “No Bears” was hailed as one of 2022’s best, was imprisoned earlier this year.
Current politics were also front and center in the documentary category. Nominees include “Navalny,” an up-close portrait of the jailed Russian dissident Alexie Navalny; “A House Made of Splinters,” about a Ukrainian halfway house; and Laura Poitras’ “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” about Nan Goldin’s opioid activism. They were joined by the volcanologist romance “Fire of Love” and Shaunak Sen’s about three men’s efforts to save New Delhi’s pollution-ravaged birds of prey.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences will surely celebrate a best picture field populated with blockbusters; according to data firm Comscore, their collective domestic box office of $1.574 billion is the most ever at the time of nominations. Ratings for the telecast have typically been higher in years with much-watched films as favorites. Last year’s awards had been looking like a comeback edition for the Oscars before “the slap” came to define the ceremony. In the aftermath, the academy banned Will Smith from attending for the next 10 years. Though he could have still been nominated, Smith’s performance as a runaway slave in “Emancipation” didn’t catch on.
But larger concerns are swirling around the movie business. Last year saw flashes of triumphant resurrection for theaters, like the success of “Top Gun: Maverick,” but less stellar results for most dramas. Partially due to an inconsistent stream of major releases, ticket sales for the year recovered only about 70% of pre-pandemic business. Stocks for streaming services, meanwhile have plunged as Wall Street looked to streaming services to earn profits, not just add subscribers.
Last year’s Oscar broadcast drew 16.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen, up from the record-low audience of 10.5 million for the pandemic-marred 2021 telecast. This year, ABC is bringing back Jimmy Kimmel to host the March 12 ceremony, one that will surely be seen as a return to the site of the slap.
For more on this year’s Oscars, visit: http://www.apnews.com/academy-awards
Edmonton to host “Road to the JUNOS Concert Series” leading up to Juno Awards week
From Explore Edmonton
Road to The JUNOS Concert Series Builds Excitement to JUNO Week.
Access and Diversity Key for Fans and Artists.
The JUNOS 2023 Host Committee is excited to announce an Edmonton-based concert series, titled Road to The JUNOS, as a lead-up to The 52nd Annual JUNO Awards Broadcast and JUNO Week from March 9-13.
The concert series will be set in small, intimate venues around Edmonton and feature local and regional artists who one day may end up on the JUNOS stage. Road to The JUNOS is a collaboration between the JUNOS 2023 Edmonton Host Committee, CBC Music and Explore Edmonton. It aims to provide excitement and create momentum leading into Canada’s biggest celebration of music.
The 10-show concert series will run from Monday, February 6 through Tuesday, February 28 at local venues in Edmonton. Of note, the artists playing these events come from a wide variety of backgrounds and genres and offer an opportunity to see some of Canada’s newest and most exciting talent. Fans can be a part of an intimate JUNOS concert with an affordable advance ticket price of only $10.
Road to The JUNOS is possible thanks in part to federal funding through PrairiesCan’s Tourism Relief Fund. This Fund is positioning Canada as a destination of choice for domestic and international travel. PrairiesCan administers the Fund in Alberta.
“Edmonton is a vibrant and dynamic cultural hub and our government’s support for Road to The JUNOS will bring that experience to visitors from across Canada and around the globe. Through the Tourism Relief Fund and our partnership with organizations such as Explore Edmonton, communities across Canada will capitalize on the jobs and economic activity generated through Edmonton’s growing tourism industry.”
– The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan
“Road to The JUNOS is an important step in positioning Edmonton as an all-season destination and celebrating our community’s business and arts districts. I’m proud to see our government supporting Edmonton to build on its leadership in arts and culture while strengthening local tourism activity that benefits businesses in our city.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“Road to The JUNOS is an exciting opportunity to grow Alberta’s music industry, showcasing local talent to visitors from all parts of Canada. The Alberta government is proud to support this series of concerts that features Alberta’s talent on stage as well as the venues, promoters and other music professionals.”
– The Honourable Jason Luan, Alberta Minister of Culture
“Canada has a long history of producing exceptionally talented musicians. The Road to The JUNOS concert series hopes to help give a platform to some of our up-and-coming artists and audiences a chance to say ‘we saw them when’.”
– Aimée Hill, co-chair, 2023 Host Committee
“Explore Edmonton is proud to support The JUNO Awards in March and we are delighted to be a part of this grassroots concert series. Promoting our local music venues, supporting talented Canadian musicians, and giving Edmontonians quality music experiences at an affordable price is such an important piece to the whole JUNOS experience. And we get to show off a little for the rest of Canada!”
– Traci Bednard, CEO of Explore Edmonton
The JUNOS Experience starts here. For more information and to buy tickets, visit: https://edmonton.junoawards.
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