Oscar win is an animated one for Timmins native

Like many movie fans, former York student Randall Finnerty watched the 79th Academy Awards from an Oscar party, wrote the Timmins Daily Press March 15. But unlike most viewers, Finnerty walked away a winner.

Shortly into the annual awards ceremony, The Danish Poet, an animated film in which Finnerty was the digital imaging specialist, was named winner in the short film (animated) category. His responsibilities include adding colour and animation to drawings. "It’s been a whirlwind in a way," said Finnerty, a former Timmins resident who now calls Montreal his home. "When you get nominated you don’t want to get your hopes us, but I felt near the end that it had just as good a chance as the other films."

After graduating from high school, Finnerty took off with his friend Paul Bellini (BA ’92) to York University to study art. Bellini followed his dream to write comedy for the Canadian series "Kids in the Hall," while Finnerty focused on the fine arts. He finished his education at Sheridan College and the Ontario College of Art & Design.

Osgoode alumnus wins local honours

Ray Stortini (LLB ‘60), who retired in 2004 after 33 years as a judge, will receive a Justice I.A. Vannini Award of Merit at an awards banquet on April 27, wrote the Sault Star March 15. The award of merit is presented each year by the Guglielmo Marconi Society and the Elettra Marconi Society to people of Italian descent in recognition of outstanding achievement. Stortini, 78, grew up in Sault Ste. Marie.

Stortini graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and began operating a general law practice in the Sault. He was appointed a judge of York County in 1971 and was appointed to the Algoma District Court in 1976. He was appointed a Justice of the Superior Court of Justice in 1990. 

Young publisher ready for big ventures

A Mississauga media mogul and York university student has made the top five in a contest to crown Ontario’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year, wrote the Mississauga News March 14. Andrew Au, who started up Mogul Media and its main property, Campus Life Magazine, has been chosen by Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) to take part in its competition. The winner will be selected on March 16. Au is a student at York’s Schulich School of Business.

Todd hosts legal affairs show ‘The Verdict’

Paula Todd (BA ’82, LLB ’88), former co-host of TVOntario’s Studio 2, which was cancelled last year, begins hosting a new legal affairs show Wednesday night on CTVNewsnet, wrote CBC.ca News March 15. "The Verdict" kicks off with a huge legal story, the beginning of Conrad Black’s trial for fraud, racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Todd will host the show live from Chicago for the first several days of the Black trial, which begins with jury selection on Wednesday. Trained as both a lawyer and a journalist, Todd aims to provide viewers with in-depth examination of legal issues and high-profile court cases.

Meteorite was small but bright

York University astronomy Professor Paul Delaney said a meteorite visible from north of Toronto through to Wisconsin last week, likely landed as a rock no bigger than a fist and weighed about a kilogram, wrote the Sarnia Observer March 14. And, just like a red-hot stick waved around at a campfire, a meteorite doesn’t have to be big to leave a brief but extremely bright trail. If anyone finds it, Delaney doesn’t think it will be recognized as a meteorite because it will look like any other rock.

Baroque violinist has York honorary degree

Canada‘s top Baroque violinist Jeanne Lamon (DLitt ’94) has an honorary degree from York University, BC’s Goldstream News Gazette noted March 14 in a story about an appearance she was making with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra on March 18. Lamon is currently the music director of the internationally acclaimed Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto and will both conduct and be the guest soloist Sunday at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium.

Catholic school teacher was a York alumna

More than 200 people filled the venue known as Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Jan. 14 to celebrate the life of Christina Hapon Walters (BA ‘72) in a special way, wrote a relative in The Globe and Mail’s Lives Lived feature March 15. Walters died of cancer Oct. 26, 2006, at age 56.  A trust fund started by her husband Vern was boosted by Chris’s eclectic collection of hats. Twenty-four of them were sold at a silent auction and the $2,300 raised was added to the Christina Walters Endowment for the Arts. The endowment fund, which has now reached $15,700 through the generous donations of family and her many friends, will be used annually to subsidize and encourage the exposure of students to music, theatre and visual arts at Canadian Martyrs Catholic School, where Chris last taught. 

On air

  • Dawn Bazely, director of York’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS), spoke about her research project for International Polar Year, on CBC radio (Yellowknife) March 14.