Today, Oct. 30, is National Publicist Day. I know it’s true because a publicist told me so.
Thanks to two in particular who helped bring this day to my attention: Lisa Ghione and Sue Baldaro. I’ve worked with both for years and in the last few weeks alone they’ve guided me through separate, on-location jaunts to Winnipeg — for Season Three of CBC’s Burden of Truth — and to St. John’s. The latter was to witness a Season Two excursion to the island of St. Pierre for a special episode of Hudson and Rex (coming in November).
Closer to home, Renee Pye, who I’ve also known for years dating back to virtually everything that ever shot in Halifax, recently walked me through the set of CBC’s Coroner in Toronto.
There are many, many more, in both Canada and the U.S. Some I’ve flown the world over with, including former CTV publicist Jim Quan, who got me to Vietnam and Beijing and back, among other far-flung destinations, while trying to keep up with The Amazing Race Canada.
Others, including Jonathan Schwartz (Kim’s Convenience), would have counselled me not to start using any of their names because I would leave too many of them out.
So I’ll stop there, but I’m happy to salute all publicists on this National Publicist Day. Many could have opened very successful practices as shrinks given all the cranky, overindulged and temperamental people they have to deal with — and that’s just us critics.
Their union (in Canada: IATSE 667 / IATSE 669) has more on why today is their day here. Scroll down to the third video for a three minute salute from some of their employers, including director Ron Howard. “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained” producer Stacey Sher also salutes unit publicists as “the first line of defence in the marketing of your film.” I’ll second that, and wave the NDA.