Captain my Captain

On the day after the biggest pop culture gathering of the year, the Oscars, I looked back on a number things I posted reacting to what various people looked like in relation to how old they were.

I almost fell out of the chair when I realized that the Kim Novak, who was presenting an award with Matthew McConaughey, was actually 81 years old. How was that possible?  As soon as she opened her mouth and spoke, the dissonance between her years and her visage was clear.  The one didn't add up to the other.

Sally Field (67) and Goldie Hawn (68), both aging gracefully, looked stunning, as did Bette Midler (68), who delivered a fantastic version of "Wing Beneath My Wings".

Admittedly, these behemoth stars have had access to the resources that have likely contributed to their bodies being able to belie their years. Yes, they've probably had a few cosmetic tune-ups.  And in the case of the aging star of Vertigo, it's apparent that she has undergone a complete overhaul.

It was great to see Sidney Poitier on that stage last night, so dignified and articulate, despite his 87 years.

I'm not sure if William Shatner was in the theatre in Hollywood last night, but I do know he's going to be in our theatre on March 15th. Not quite as mature of Mr. Poitier, the famous actor of stage and screen, will turn 83 exactly one week after he connects with Fort McMurray as part of The Affair for the Arts at Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre.

He's aged exceptionally well.  Though when you look at the big poster in the lobby of the theatre and really look close, there are many well-earned lines and wrinkles.  He's lived a life, and he's still living it.

What is most intriguing to me about William Shatner coming to Fort McMurray is that he actually reached out to find out about us.  Alan Roberts, Director of Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre, took a surprising phone call earlier in December.

"Hello Mr. Roberts," said the friendly voice on the other end of the handset.  "Would you have a few minutes to talk with Mr. Shatner?"

"Uhhh, yes," replied Alan haltingly.  He was about to speak to Captain Kirk, a reality akin to getting a call from the President of the United States.  (I'd say Prime Minister, but I'm afraid Mr. Harper doesn't quite have the oomph of Mr. Obama).

"So Keyano College," began Mr. Shatner.  "Yours, mine, ours.  Is that Cree?"

That began a surreal and unexpected conversation as this entertainment phenom peppered my friend and colleague with questions about our region, economy and history.  Despite the fact that he may be as rich and famous as any star that we saw walk the red carpet at the 86th Academy Awards, and though he could easily just step off his private plane, come to Keyano College and say whatever pops into his mind, he has no intention of phoning it in.

Celestial comets came around once in a lifetime.  This is our moment, once-in-a-lifetime, up-close-and-personal, with a television and motion picture icon who has taken us on unforgettable voyages to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

My understanding is that he is going to talk about the arts, this incredible lens through which we interpret, understand and celebrate life.  I'm sure we'll hear amazing stories, interesting reflections and observations about this place we call home, and the voice of someone who might be as familiar, comfortable and endearing as an old friend.

The Affair for the Arts is the major fundraiser of the year for Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre.  In attending you will be supporting and encouraging the magic we experienced through Les Mis, Hometown...The Musical! and countless other productions, concerts and experiences.  You'll be able to bask in the glow of a passing star, enjoy some amazing wine, food and fellowship.

Tickets are on sale now for The Affair for the Arts at


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