Daphne Korol has been a dancer, an actor, a director and a teacher. Now a documentary is coming out about her, just in time for her 90th birthday.
Daphne Korol: The Drama Queen of Winnipeg follows the life of this remarkable pioneer of the Winnipeg arts scene.
'She's been a force of nature in the arts community.' - Rebecca Gibson
Korol was the granddaughter of Canada's 6th Prime Minister, Sir Charles Tupper. But she grew up in Argentina where she trained with Russian ballet dancers and became friends with Eva Peron.
Eventually she was summoned back to Canada by her aunt, where she lived with her grandfather, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
"When I was in South America I lived in a boarding house. When I came to Canada I lived at Government House. So I went from the bottom right up to the top," she says in the documentary.
Rebecca Gibson of Red Czarina Entertainment is the director of the film. She said when she was a teenager Korol gave her her first break as an actor.
"That was one of her gifts, to see talent, and that's something that I noticed as I continued my career in the arts, that so many people that I came in contact with had been touched by Mrs. Korol," she said.
Korol became a trailblazer in the world of dance and theatre.
"If she saw a gap in the arts community in Winnipeg she would fill that niche, and that's how she brought outdoor Shakespeare to Winnipeg, which started the careers of so many professional actors," she said.
Shakespeare in the Park later became Shakespeare in the Ruins. Korol danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she co-founded Actors' Showcase, which later became Manitoba Theatre for Young People, she performed in all the emerging theatre companies like Rainbow Stage and Manitoba Theatre Centre. She also appeared in films of Guy Maddin and in the hit Shall We Dance with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez.
She went on to be a director, producer, artistic director and treasured dancing instructor.
"She's been a force of nature in the arts community. She's a dynamic woman and a passionate woman and she speaks her mind constantly. She's a pistol. She's full of vitality and always has a comment on the arts."
"She really is the queen of drama in Winnipeg and our artistic community would be very different had it not been for her contribution,"
"Daphne Korol: The Drama Queen of Winnipeg" premieres at Cinematheque on Aug. 9 at 2:00. It will also be available on MTS Stories from Home on Aug. 9.