Hot Docs showcases York student’s work

Within moments of meeting his great aunt, York film student Wayne Robinson abandoned plans to make a documentary on former meth addicts, wrote the Toronto Star May 7. “She totally intrigued me,” says Robinson, who arrived at her apartment in downtown Vancouver on a late April evening in 2007. He had met her before, but had never spent much time with the tiny, frail woman.

Auntie Bess, his grandmother’s sister, was in her mid-80s, a caretaker for an apartment building. She always kept a large butcher knife in her skirt pocket. “She showed me the knife and told me stories about how she has single-handedly thwarted robberies in the building,” says Robinson, 18, a film production student in the Faculty of Fine Arts, who comes from Langley, BC.

He knew most of the accounts were untrue but she had such a fascinating way of telling stories, he decided to make the documentary about her. He named it The Caretaker.

Two years later, the 10-minute documentary, co-directed by friend Nathan Deschamps, is being screened at the Hot Docs festival’s Doc It! youth showcase, which features films by 14- to 18-year-olds. Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary film festival, runs to May 10 in Toronto. This year it is showing 171 titles from 39 countries.

Bartering for business

It may be challenging for small business owners to establish “a fair value for a barter,” says Eileen Fischer, a marketing professor who holds the entrepreneurship and family enterprise chair at York’s Schulich School of Business, wrote the Toronto Star May 7 in a story about a web site devoted to pros business-to-business bartering. For small businesses, “the risks are that you aren’t getting a good deal or that you are putting too much time into making sure you do.”

Grandmother went back to school for two York degrees

York grad Miriam Wynn (BA ’80, BA Spec. Hons. ’84), whose life journey is now complete, passed away on April 28, 2009 at the Muskoka Landing Care Centre in Huntsville, Ontario in her 82nd year, wrote May 6.

Following high school in Toronto, Miriam began her training as a nurse at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, graduating as a registered nurse in 1949. In addition to being a loving wife, mother and grandmother, she found the time and energy to resume her own love of learning by way of earning two BA degrees from York University; one in 1980 in humanities and the other in 1984 in classical studies (Greek, philosophy and theology).

North Bay shot putter sought expert advice at York

St. Joseph-Scollard Hall Bears thrower Allison Loyst spent time last summer working with Richard Parkinson, assistant track & field coach at York and some York varsity athletes, picking up pointers about throwing techniques, wrote the North Bay Nugget May 7. Loyst said Parkinson noticed her at a York Invitational meet last season and Loyst sought out some advice, which helped at last year’s Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association championship.

On air

  • Michiel Horn, University Historian and professor emeritus in York’s Glendon College, joined Patrick Monahan, vice-president & provost designate, Andrea O’Reilly, professor in York’s School of Women’s Studies, Thabit Abdullah, history professor in the Faculty of Arts, and student Krisna Saravanamuttu in a panel discussion about York’s future on TVO’s “The Agenda”, May 6.