He imagined himself a war correspondent on a battlefield, writing about costumed soldiers that bled emotions on a stage, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 12. But the struggle that Herbert Whittaker (DLitt. ‘71) documented and supported for almost half a decade was a real one. As The Globe and Mail‘s emeritus drama critic until 1975, Whittaker found himself on the front lines of the creation of a distinct Canadian theatre. He was also a frequent recipient of theatrical awards and picked up honorary doctorate degrees in arts from York University and McGill University in Montreal. Herbert Whittaker was born in Montreal Sept. 20, 1910. He died of natural causes in Toronto on Saturday.
STS-115’s MacLean carries some special items into space
Canadian Space Agency astronaut and York alumnus Steven MacLean (BSc ’77, PhD ’83) had packed aboard the space shuttle Atlantis several items he thought were “neat”, reported Collect Space.com. “A friend of mine has climbed all seven mountains, the highest mountains on all seven continents, so I have a small stone off of Mount Everest that I am carrying in what is called an Official Flight Kit.
“Also we have some apple seeds that are unique – you know Sir Isaac Newton ‘found’ gravity with an apple falling on his head. Wel,l the university in Europe kept that tree going over the generations. And York University up in Canada recently got a sapling, a cutting off of that tree and planted that tree in Toronto. And I have the first seeds from that tree,” MacLean told collectSPACE. “I don’t know if that’s really important but it’s kind of neat.”
York student scores big win in petite pageant
A York University student whose father and grandparents hail from North York is the new Miss Canada Petite, reported the North York Mirror Sept. 8. Jessica Bertolas won the competition last month in a pageant at the Yorkwoods Library Theatre near Jane Street and Finch Avenue. She will be off to a global petite pageant in Puerto Rico later this year. The 20-year-old Bertolas, who stands around five feet, four inches tall, said there are a lot of “tall, skinny women” in the pageant industry. The miss petite pageants give women who are more of an average height a chance to compete. Jessica lives on campus at York during the school year. She is a computer graphic arts student who hopes to start her own business.
Dusk likes the sound of movies
For Toronto-born jazz singer Matt Dusk (BFA ’02), having his music in a film would be a dream come true, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 12. “There are countless numbers of tunes that have become legendary because they were associated with film, so to be a part of that process is pretty cool,” said Dusk in a phone interview from Vienna. Dusk is one of 15 performers chosen for this year’s Canadian Music Cafe, put on by the Toronto International Film Festival Group starting today at the Rivoli on Queen St. W. In its second year after a highly successful debut last year, its goal is to expose Canadian artists to the international film community for movie placement possibilities. “Music and sound is such a large part of movies,” says the York University grad, who performs this afternoon. “The soundtrack to any specific film is actually what builds the story in my opinion.”