CBCradio

October 10, 2010: Margaret Trudeau, Changing Her Mind - Did My Mom Ever Run? (Doc) - Toronto Politics - Vancouver Opera: Librettist John Murrell

Margaret Trudeau: Changing My Mind - From the time she was a little girl, her parents said, "There's something different about Margie." It was an astute observation that time would reveal to be a significant understatement. Margaret Jean Sinclair was a mix of ferocious and free spirit. She grew up in a political family but, like many children of the sixties, became a hippy with the heart of a wanderer. She traveled, smoked pot and became a vegetarian. And she was stunningly beautiful. Margaret Trudeau's memoir, Changing my Mind, chronicles a life shaped to a disturbing degree by mental illness, lived in the public eye with all of its highs and lows on view.

Read more here

Listen to Hour One:

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Did My Mom Ever Run? - Next Sunday morning, two very fit middle aged women will be hard to spot in a sea of thousands itching for the gun to go off at the Good Life Toronto International Marathon . The first time the two runners paced a starting line together, the world was very different. Just the idea of a woman in a marathon was considered radical, even dangerous. Coaches said women didn't have the strength or stamina to go the distance. Doctors warned of future childbearing complications. Critics said it was unfeminine. Here is the story in their voices. Our documentary, Did My Mom Ever Run?, was produced by John Chipman.

Read more here

Listen to Hour Two:

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Vancouver Opera: Librettist John Murrell - Lillian Alling was a poor Russian immigrant living a life of drudgery and loneliness in New York City in 1927. In the summer of that year, she set off on foot for points west. She got as far as the Bering Strait. Lillian Alling the opera will have its world premiere next week in Vancouver. It has music by John Estacio and a libretto by John Murrell. John Murrell is also of course one of Canada's most esteemed playwrights. His plays include Waiting For the Parade, The Faraway Nearby and Democracy. Michael spoke with John Murrell.

Read more here

Listen to Hour Three:

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Elsewhere on the show: Michael's Essay on Mass Arrests, a documentary from Karin Wells discovering how environmentalists and oil men square off against each other on the B.C. coast and a look at municipal politics in Toronto.


Hour 1

Music
Song: Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K 488 (1st mv't)
Artist: Jacques Loussier Trio
Album: Jacques Loussier Trio: Mozart Piano Concertos

Michael's Weekly Essay

This week, Michael examines mass arrests in Canada, particularly what happened during and after the G20.

Music
Song: Portly Pear
Artist: Michael Kaeshammer
Album: No Strings Attached

Margaret Trudeau: Changing My Mind

From the time she was a little girl, her parents said, "There's something different about Margie."

It was an astute observation that time would reveal to be a significant understatement.

Margaret Jean Sinclair was a mix of ferocious and free spirit. She grew up in a political family but, like many children of the sixties, became a hippy with the heart of a wanderer. She traveled, smoked pot and became a vegetarian.

And she was stunningly beautiful.

She met and married one of the most powerful men in Canada and, barely out of her teens, Margaret became the youngest wife of any Canada prime minister when she married Trudeau, on March 4th 1971. He was 29 years her senior.

And thus began what promised to be a charmed life. In reality, it was a roller coaster of mania and depression, humiliation, anguish and loss.

Margaret Trudeau's memoir, Changing my Mind, chronicles a life shaped to a disturbing degree by mental illness, lived in the public eye with all of its highs and lows on view.

Music
Song: The Silent Wisdom of Green Prophets
Artist: David Restivo
Album: Prayer for Humankind(ness).

Music
Song: That'll be the day
Artist: Buddy Holly
Album: Buddy Holly - The Definitive Collection

Music
Song: Fore Phil
Artist: Phil Dwyer
Album: Road Stories


Hour 2

Music
Song: Troll Kingdom Polska
Artist: Jayme Stone
Album: Room of Wonders

A Folk Storm is Brewing

The other day, the pastor of the Mountain View Alliance Church was talking to a friend in the A & W in Kitimat , B.C. "I do want this Enbridge pipeline to succeed," he said. "I like business to succeed. But then a little bell goes off in the back of my head. What about that Gulf Oil spill? What if something like that happens here?"

That's the dilemma facing a lot of folks on the coast of British Columbia these days.

The Calgary based Enbridge Corporation, backed by a consortium of oil companies, hopes to build a massive pipeline to carry oil from the Alberta oil sands to Kitimat. From there, the oil would be transported in supertankers to Asian markets. That would mean about two hundred massive oil tankers per year traveling the coastal waters off Britiish Columbia. It would also mean much needed jobs and an economic lifeline for some desperate towns.

Not surprisingly, communities are divided.

Ten days ago the chiefs of B.C. first nations told the federal government to cease and desist on the proposal. On the same day the B.C. federation of municipalities did much the same. Environmentalists have moved into high gear.

So have the people of Hartley Bay. This tiny first nations community of 150 people on the north coast is hoping that the power of celebrity will help their cause. They've invited some of the best photographers in the world to come and take pictures of the pristine beauty of the place where they live - a place whose existence, they feel, is threatened by big oil.

The photographers have conducted what they are calling a RAVE - a rapid visual assessment expedition. They are veterans of environmental battles all over the world. They come, they snap, they champion.

Karin Wells' documentary is called, A Folkstorm is Brewing.

Music
Song: Margarita
Artist: Maza Meze
Album: Hypnotika

Did My Mom Ever Run?

Next Sunday morning, two very fit middle aged women will be hard to spot in a sea of thousands itching for the gun to go off at the Good Life Toronto International Marathon.

The first time the two runners paced a starting line together, the world was very different. Just the idea of a woman in a marathon was considered radical, even dangerous. Coaches said women didn't have the strength or stamina to go the distance. Doctors warned of future childbearing complications. Critics said it was unfeminine.

But on a cool Toronto morning in May 1967, Katherine Switzer was itching to race. She was a headstrong university student with something to prove. She would go on to become a running icon - an elite marathoner, a global advocate for women's running and a driving force behind adding the women's marathon to the Olympics. That morning, she was fresh off a dramatic run in Boston.

Maureen Mancuso was 13 - shy, unassuming and a long-distance running prodigy. She had trained hard, and the longer she ran, the stronger she got. That morning, the grade 8 student was aiming to run the marathon faster than any woman ever had.

On May 6th, 1967, Katherine Switzer and Maureen Mancuso slipped in behind a huddle of men, the only women in a field of thirty runners.

It turned out to be a hugely important leg in a remarkable long distance journey.

Here is the story in their voices. Our documentary, Did My Mom Ever Run?, is produced by John Chipman.

Music
Song: Jerusalem Ridge
Artist: Mike Stevens
Album: World is Only


Hour 3

Music
Song: Blues For Akmad
Artist: Eric Reed
Album: It's Alright to Swing

Toronto Politics

It's election time in many cities across this great land. Time for the orderly transfer of power from one administration to another - except that this year's mayoral election has the populace of Canada's largest city in a frenzy; a free fall of political angst.

The reason is a rotund ball of anger named Rob Ford who has made his reputation as a municipal tightwad who buys his own stamps.

He has also been drunk in public, arrested in the U.S. on a drug charge (later dropped) and madcap author of some of the most outrageous statements in local history. Reporters love to quote him.

And because Councillor Ford has jumped into the lead in the mayor's race, the city has freaked.

Emergency meetings in church halls, hand-wringing letters to the editor, cries of Anybody But Ford rising to the heavens.

One local columnist even went so far to assure voters that Mr. Ford was not the anti-Christ.

Other pundits say that Councillor Ford is the leading tribune of Tea Party North, an inevitable swing to the vocal right across the country.

Is the October 25th municipal election in Toronto a localized infection like mumps or is it symptomatic of a wider pandemic?

Michael speaks with John Tory, former mayoralty candidate and current host of the John Tory Show on CFRB Radio in Toronto; Shelley Carroll, Toronto Budget Chief and councillor for the city's Ward 33 and former Toronto Mayor David Crombie.

Music
Song: Mustang Sealy
Artist: Joe Sealy & Paul Novotny
Album: Blue Jade

Music
Song: The Land is Large
Artist: Vancouver Opera
Album: Lillian Alling

Vancouver Opera: Lillian Alling librettist John Murrell

The Land Is Large: the simple contemplations of a woman about to set out on a journey that was anything but simple - a trek that would take her across the North American continent on foot. It's a story that will soon be featured in the Vancouver Opera Company's new opera, Lillian Alling, performed by soprano Frédérique Vézina.

Lillian Alling was a poor Russian immigrant living a life of drudgery and loneliness in New York City in 1927. In the summer of that year she set off on foot for points west. She got as far as the Bering Strait.

Her incredible journey, and her reasons for making it, are the stuff of which legends are made and, not coincidentally, operas.

Lillian Alling the opera will have its world premiere next week in Vancouver. It has music by John Estacio and a libretto by John Murrell. John Murrell is also, of course, one of Canada's most esteemed playwrights. His plays include Waiting For the Parade, The Faraway Nearby and Democracy. Michael spoke with John Murrell.

Music
Song: No one can tell me
Artist: Vancouver Opera
Album: Lillian Alling

Music
Song: I've found a place of pure delight
Artist: Vancouver Opera
Album: Lillian Alling

Music
Song: Gospel Improv No.1
Artist: Cyrus Chestnut
Album: Spirit

  | Bookmark and Share

  •