Entertainment briefs – April 25

Kids in the Hall comic Mark McKinney has won a special achievement award from the Writers Guild of Canada.

Special achievement award for ‘Kids in the Hall’ comic Mark McKinney

TORONTO — Kids in the Hall comic Mark McKinney has won a special achievement award from the Writers Guild of Canada.

The veteran TV scribe was presented with the guild’s showrunner award, which recognizes “exceptional leadership, impressive body of work and unique creative vision.”

McKinney’s writing credits include the defunct Movie Central/The Movie Network series Slings & Arrows and HBO Canada’s Less Than Kind.

The Writers Guild of Canada handed out its annual screenwriting awards Monday.

Other winners included Larry Bambrick for CTV’s cop drama Flashpoint, Craig David Wallace for the Space comedy Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Darrin Rose for the YTV animated series Scaredy Squirrel and Bruce Smith for the CBC-TV movie John A: Birth of a Country.

The Writers Guild of Canada represents more than 2,000 English-language screenwriters across the country.

Memorial set for Levon Helm at his home in Woodstock

WOODSTOCK, N.Y. — Levon Helm’s friends and fans have been invited to a memorial at the home where the late drummer and singer for The Band staged his Midnight Ramble barn concerts in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Helm’s family says on his website that parking will be available at three locations in Woodstock and there will be shuttle bus trips to the Woodstock property from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. A private funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Helm died April 20 at the age of 71 from complications of cancer.

Quebec comedy ‘Starbuck’ spawns U.S. remake by DreamWorks Studios

TORONTO — The francophone smash Starbuck is getting a U.S. makeover by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios.

The Canadian comedy, about a middle-aged man whose life is turned upside down when he learns he fathered 533 children through sperm donation, is set to be filmed in New York this fall.

Quebec producer Andre Rouleau says the deal came together after Spielberg watched the film last month and was enthralled by the story.

He says the remake will be written and directed by original writer-director Ken Scott and that he’ll stay on as a producer.

Rouleau says he’s thrilled to be working with DreamWorks, noting it’s highly unusual for a U.S. studio to allow a film’s original creative team to also helm a remake.

DreamWorks says casting has begun but no details were revealed.

“We were completely charmed by the story in Starbuck and saw the potential for a commercial remake with universal appeal,” Stacey Snider, co-chair and CEO of DreamWorks Studios, said in a release.

“We are excited to be working with the original filmmaking team of Ken Scott and Andre Rouleau and look forward to our collaboration on this film.”

The original Starbuck was released in Canada last summer and collected several awards on the festival circuit, including audience prizes at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Sonoma International Film Festival.

That film was set in Montreal with Patrick Huard playing the inadvertent dad, David Wozniak.

The original film was co-written by Martin Petit.

Commonwealth Book Prize short list has three Canadian authors

LONDON — Johanna Skibsrud’s Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel The Sentimentalists is among three Canadian titles on the short list for this year’s Commonwealth Book Prize.

The other Canuck finalists are The Town that Drowned by Riel Nason of Quispamsis, N.B., and Dancing Lessons from Jamaican-born, Toronto-based Olive Senior.

Skibsrud, who grew up in Pictou County, N.S., won the Giller for The Sentimentalists in November 2010. At 30, she was the youngest recipient ever for the $50,000 honour.

Jay Manuel clears air about ‘Top Model’

TORONTO — Canadian fashion guru Jay Manuel is stamping out rumours that he and fellow America’s Next Top Model cast members Nigel Barker and J. Alexander were fired.

In an interview on CNN’s Showbiz Tonight Monday, Manuel said it was a case of their contracts on the CW reality show expiring and not being renewed.

“That’s the thing that people don’t know, and the show was at a point where they had to make a change,” Manuel said.

“It’s not a huge surprise to us. They just didn’t do new contracts with us, so we weren’t really fired for doing something wrong.”

Just Posted

Update: Hundreds pay respects to Stettler homicide victim

Gofundme account created to help the Heritage House in Stettler

Victim Services information event planned

Information on becoming a Victim Service volunteer available at April 26 meeting

Much left to fight for beyond legalization, pot activists say as they mark 4-20

TORONTO — Cannabis activists say although this year’s 4-20 celebrations across the… Continue reading

Canadian Pacific starting operations shutdown ahead of possible strike

CALGARY — Canadian Pacific Railway says it has begun shutting down train… Continue reading

Nicholas Butcher says he fatally stabbed Kristin Johnston by accident

HALIFAX — Nicholas Butcher has told his second-degree murder trial that he… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Sarah Jessica Parker calls Cynthia Nixon’s run ‘exciting’

NEW YORK — Cynthia Nixon’s quest for the governorship of New York… Continue reading

Lawyers for Russian player say FIFA ends anti-doping case

By Graham Dunbar THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA — Lawyers for Russia defender… Continue reading

Woman who lost pink house, court case seeks box office win

WASHINGTON — Susette Kelo’s Supreme Court case now has a Hollywood ending,… Continue reading

Recent retail sales far weaker than initial estimates, revisions suggest

OTTAWA — Canadian retail sales during the crucial holiday shopping season were… Continue reading

U.S. woman sentenced to life in Valentine’s Day shooting plot at mall

HALIFAX — An American woman who plotted to go on a Valentine’s… Continue reading

Alabama mail-bomber the oldest executed in US modern times

ATMORE, Ala. — An Alabama man convicted of sending mail bombs during… Continue reading

The Latest: It was Putin call that had Trump fuming at Flynn

WASHINGTON — The Latest on former FBI Director James Comey’s memos (all… Continue reading

Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Riley Nash step up in Game 4 win over Leafs

Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1 TORONTO — The Boston Bruins didn’t need… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month