Manitoba

Not quite the Oscars: Manitoba man has his own epic awards gaffe

When all of the people on stage at the Oscars were looking around confused on Sunday night, it was a moment all too familiar for Winnipeg’s Dave Barber.

Dave Barber was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, but it was meant for someone else

Dave Barber had a sense of déjà vu watching the Oscars on the weekend — his film Will the Real Dave Barber Please Stand Up? is about his experience receiving a medal that wasn't actually intended for him. (Will the Real Dave Barber Please Stand Up?)

When all of the people on stage at the Oscars were looking around confused on Sunday night, it was a moment all too familiar for Winnipeg's Dave Barber.

La La Land was awarded best picture during Sunday's ceremony for just over two minutes before there was a realization of a very serious mistake — Moonlight was the actual winner.

Dressed up to the nines and ready to be handed an award, only to find out it was meant for someone else, is a situation Barber can relate to.

In 2013, the long-time programmer at Cinematheque received a call that he was going to be awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal at the Legislative Building.

"I went and I rented a suit and I went down there," Barber said on CBC's Up To Speed on Monday.

When he arrived, he was told that out of all the people getting the medal, he would receive his first. His name would be called, he would go up to shake the hand of then-Premier Greg Selinger and he would pose for a photo, Barber said.

It wasn't until Dave Barber stood up to receive the award that he realized it was for someone else. (Will The Real Dave Barber Please Stand Up )
It seemed like a clear process and a large honour but everything quickly changed. 

"They say, 'Dave Barber, the director of global climate change, has won the Queen's Diamond Jubilee award,' and I shake my hand sideways and said, 'No! I am not that person'," Barber said.

It became clear that the organizers had contacted the wrong Dave Barber to receive the medal.

Barber said after a quick discussion, the organizers and Selinger decided to give him the medal anyway.

"I felt great but I didn't think the other Dave Barber would feel very good. But he is now vindicated because he is getting the Order of Canada," Barber said.

Barber ended up making a short film called Will The Real Dave Barber Please Stand Up about the experience which he shared with the other Dave Barber, who got a "good yuck about it," Barber said.

Watching the Oscar blunder on Sunday, Barber said he felt for all of the people involved but thought, in those circumstances, the La La Land producers responded well.

"They were very classy about it. I thought they handled it really well," he said.

While they may have handed over their awards to Moonlight, Barber wasn't quite so generous. He kept his Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

"It's in my desk drawer," he said with a laugh.

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