Talk about connections. Slawko Klymkiw arranged for another perfect day Sunday for his little burger fest at the Canadian Film Centre’s annual barbecue as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. Kyymkiw–who secured another $9 million from the Ontario government for the film and TV school earlier this year–and Shaftesbury Films head Christina Jennings made speeches and so did Ontario minister of culture and tourism Michael Chan (always surprisingly funny at these things) and, of course, CFC founder Norman Jewison. And they all got it done in under 20 minutes. A bow everybody.
I made the scene thanks to Dr. Ike Ahmed, who was poking around my left eye ball Wednesday, pulling out lenses, sanding down posts with a laser and snapping in a new bionic lens. Ahmed is The Man, let me tell you, and while I kidded him for playing “Blurred Lines” in the O.R. (really? For eye surgery??), many thanks to Ahmed and his crack team at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga. I’ve had bugs go into my eye that were more intrusive than Ahmed’s steady hand.
Needless to say I did not expect to be making my usual two-and-a-half stops at TIFF this year but there I was at the CFC BBQ, glad handing with Jennings and a couple of her stars from The Listener and Murdoch Mysteries: Lauren Lee Smith (a regular Listener who guests as a short-haired scientist on an episode of Murdoch this season), Lisa Ray and Helene Joy. Ran into George Anthony, director Gail Harvey and her daughter/sidekick Katie Boland and spotted Greg Smith from Rookie Blue.
Also said hi to Canadian TV veteran and Facebook golf pro Art Hindle, who stepped in and shot the two of us with his pocket cam when he saw how lame my Instagram technique was. Just call me Instagrampa!
The beautiful weather brought a big crowd to the affair, with long lines everywhere. It was easier to close a TV or film deal on the CFC lawn Sunday then to actually get to the burger stand. I bailed after 30 minutes and settled for water. This after paying $25 bucks for parking! Jewison probably shot Forty Pounds of Trouble for less than the drive-on take at Sunday’s industry mixer.
Still, it was probably worth the $25 bucks just to see Slawko wear those red pants. For a minute there I thought there was still something wrong with my eye.