Friday, February 17, 2012

Whatever happened to Remy Shand?

This week Canadians learned of the unfortunate passing of Neil Hope, the actor who played the character "Wheels" on the CBC hit series "Degrassi Junior High."  Hope was found dead in a Hamilton rooming house on November 25, 2007, although his death was not reported until this past week.  Hope was 35.

The tragic ending to Hope's life is disturbing, to say the least.  One wonders how a star of a television series that was arguably one of the most popular teen sitcoms in Canada for most of the 80's and early 90's could have ended up so desolate and reclusive.  It personally reminds me of a once young promising local star, who seemingly vanished off the face of the earth less than a decade ago.  Remy Shand.

Remy Shand, a native Winnipegger from Garden City, sent in a demo tape to a record producer Steve Warden at the age of 19.  Warden was so impressed by Shand's work, which he managed to convince Motown Records to sign him.  Soon he released his debut album "The Way I Feel," which went on to win a 2003 Juno award for Best R&B/Soul recording.  The album was a massive hit in Canada, sold 500,000 copies in the U.S., and was even nominated for Grammy Awards. 

Shand was scheduled to release his much anticipated follow-up album "Day in the Shade." in 2003.  However, for unknown reasons, the album was never released.   Since that time, the whereabouts of Shand have been a mystery.  There has been much speculation as to where the artist disappeared to, but there has been no public confirmation as to where he resides, or if he is involved in the music industry at all.

A commentator by the name of "Jarvis"(and a supposed insider I assume), recently posted on a 2006 blog article about the whereabouts of Remy Shand.  He had this to say:

"He went through a messy divorce a few years back, and was said to be suffering from depression. He was finally getting back to making music last year, but then his mother died. According to family it hurt him so much that he didn’t even attend the funeral. Let’s just hope this man can catch a break and get back to making amazing music in the near future."

Wherever Remy may be, I hope he is enjoying life.  Perhaps the media spotlight was just not for him.  Regardless, I would not ever wish for Shand to suffer a fate similar to that of the late actor Neil Hope.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Free Press Columnist Gordon Sinclair Jr: Are his stories fact or fiction?

I've noticed more and more Free Press posters calling out Gordon Sinclair Jr., for inconsistencies in his opinion pieces for the Winnipeg Free Press. I never like to accuse anyone of fabricating a story, but after reading the comments in response to this article, I could not help doubt his version of events:

"And then, about three years ago, he got a call from Animal Services.
They had found a cat with an identification chip that led them to his phone number. John recalled how Curious George reacted when he saw him at the shelter. It was as if the cat was holding out his paws, asking John to take him into his arms.
Begging for John to take him back.
And that's how the two best friends were reunited."

"Then, he thanked me for listening.

And I stood up to leave.

But before I left, I told John to stand up, too. And then I reached out my arms, the way Curious George once seemed to do with his paws. And I held him -- the way I sensed no one had for years.

Not even his best friend, Curious George."

Seems like a touching story. Except for the fact that one Free Press commentator called him out.  It raises some questions about the article:

"Let me make something clear. Animal services cannot, nor has ever, housed cats. They simply do not have the appropriate kenneling space or facilities. Animal services and the Winnipeg Humane Society have always gotten along very well, so whenever cat space was needed, the Humane Society was called and things were arranged there."


So, did this actually happen? Is Sinclair exaggerating? Or is it completely fabricated?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winnipeg Zoom: The City's newest internet forum

Winnipeg has a new internet forum.  In December 2011, a forum member who uses the handle "Munchkinguy" created Winnipeg Zoom after a forum by the name of closed it's doors after 11 years of being the main place local residents could debate politics, the arts, sports, and issues facing the city.   Having existed for less than two months, it continues to add members with each passing day.

Current issues members of Winnipeg Zoom have voiced their opinion on include the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a rapid transit system for Winnipeg, the Northern Gateway Pipeline, Bill C-10: the new proposed crime bill, and much more.   If you would like to become a member of the Winnipeg Zoom forum, please register here.