Ondaatje to kick off Blyth Festival

Blyth Festival will celebrate its colourful beginnings at the theatre’s 30th anniversary season launch with An Evening With Michael Ondaatje, reported the London Free Press April 30. The event will feature recollections by the celebrated Canadian author and poet (and English professor at York’s Glendon College), the screening of excerpts from The Clinton Special: A Film About The Farm Show, one of three works contained in a newly released DVD, “Films by Michael Ondaatje.” The Farm Show, which premiered in a barn outside Holmesville, halfway between Clinton and Goderich, inspired James Roy, a 1974 York University theatre graduate, to establish the Blyth Festival in 1975.

A hearty and commanding presence

Mike Wadsworth, a 1969 graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, died April 28, reported the Globe and Mail in an April 30 obituary. He was always a hearty and commanding presence, whether it was on the football field in the middle of the Toronto Argonaut defensive line, or as Canada’s ambassador to Ireland, or as a lawyer in the middle of labour negotiations, or in a board room, or in the athletic director’s office at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, said the Globe. After Osgoode, he studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

On air

  • Jim Laxer, political science professor at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, discussed how US scrutiny has intensified on Canada’s efforts to police its own border, on CBC-TV’s “The National” April 29. Laxer said, “I worry this emphasis of trying to go to the Americans and say look how gung-ho we are about security and hoping to get something on the economic side does imperil the civil rights, the human rights of Canadians.”
  • Fred Lazar, airline industry expert and economics professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, discussed the possible downfall of Air Canada and what can be done to save it, with host Bill Cameron on CTS-TV’s “Michael Coren Live” April 29.
  • Some students will get help for their tuition at York University because of a trust fund set up in the memory of Pakistan’s founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah, explained Shahzad Shah, a third-year business administration student at York and president of York’s Pakistani Student Organization, reported OMNI.2’s “Omni News: South Asian Edition” April 29.