Hamilton to Hamilton…

7 04 2009

The morning started with a forty five minute drive (through the blowing snow this time) to Hamilton – Hamilton ,Ontario that is.    The meeting with Mayor Fred Eisenberger was to discuss film incentives, cultural policy , museums, environment , the economic downturn (Hamilton is a steel town whose mills have fallen silent in the last month as a production “pause” takes place) and of course Homecoming.   Hamilton, like all places in Canada has a healthy proportion of first, second, third and many generation Scots settlers.   Inviting them to visit Hamilton , Lanarkshire – as well as lots of other places – seems a good idea.

Toronto SkylineThen back to Toronto to deliver a lecture on the Constitution to the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto.   There was a lively question and answer session afterwords which included the observation by one man that I was not the type of “wild eyed separatist” he expected.   Good !

After a Visit Scotland photocall (of which more later because I am attending a joint Visit Scotland and SDI reception tonight)  I talked Oysters with Patrick McMurray of Starfish – an Oyster and Fish Restaurant who is the world record holder for shucking Oysters; 33 in a minute.  He lives, breathes and talks Oysters, hasstarfishoysterbed written a book about them and wants to import them from Scotland. I hope we can make it happen soon – there don’t seem to be any insuperable obstacles.

dsc03809 Then a chat with Duncan McKie and a very knowledgable President of the Canadian Independent Record Producers about the legislative system which supports Canadian music on radio and which has produced a huge flowering of Canadian talent.   Worth learning from.

Finally a bi-lateral witht he Ontario Culture Minister, Aileen Carroll at which we talked film once again as well as her Council of Arts and Media Advisers.    It was a useful insight into cultural activity in the Province and she was full of praise – as several people have been – about the National Theatre of Scotland and “Black Watch”.    It has literally swept the world !

Now off to that reception at which I will be presenting the annual Ontario “Scot of the Year” award.  I wonder who to???

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