National Newswatch

Tireless punk band Pup wants to make the most of second Polaris prize nomination

Sep 13 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Punk road warriors Pup missed their first opportunity to bask in a Polaris Music Prize nomination three years ago, so when they landed a second shot at the event on Monday, all other priorities were tossed aside. Not that deciding between the notoriously off-kilter Polaris awards or a now-cancelled show in Jacksonville, Fla. was really a tough choice, they […]

Streep urges actors to be ‘mindful,’ Phoenix thanks brother River at TIFF Tribute

Sep 10 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Meryl Streep accepted her TIFF Tribute acting award on Monday with a message for her fellow performers and filmmakers: be mindful of what you send out into the world. The three-time Oscar winner used her speech at the exclusive fundraiser for the Toronto International Film Festival to reflect on the power of cinema, and how it can affect […]

As doc on his career opens TIFF, Robbie Robertson says he’s not slowing down

Sep 5 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Robbie Robertson has spent more than half a century as one of Canada's most active musicians, earning him the privilege to take a load off. But after a documentary about his career opened the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, he says that's definitely not happening. In fact, the 76-year-old guitarist and film composer can rattle off […]

‘It’s about time’: Ottawa’s Indigenous Theatre prepares to launch first season

Sep 3 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — OTTAWA — Stage director Muriel Miguel is beaming as she shuffles among the cast members of the inaugural production in Ottawa's new Indigenous Theatre. Opening night, set for Sept. 11 at the National Arts Centre, is inching ever closer, and there's a crackling energy in the air at this late-August rehearsal for "The Unnatural and Accidental Women." It's a […]

YouTube puts original series in front of paywall as streaming competition heats up

Aug 29 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — YouTube is introducing a new option to watch full seasons of its original TV shows for free, as long as viewers are willing to sit through a few commercial breaks. The Google-owned company says it's lifting the paywall on upcoming seasons of marquee programs after they were previously only available through its ad-free subscription service called YouTube Premium. The ad-supported alternative will […]

Disney Plus, Cable Minus: Analysts say streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Aug 19 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — The Walt Disney Company is swooping into the Canadian market with its powerful new streaming platform Disney Plus in November, and analysts say the menu of Marvel superheroes, Pixar characters, and Disney animated classics could give viewers another reason to drop cable altogether. The company says Disney Plus will cost $8.99 per month, or $89.99 […]

Frank Walker sets aside Stronach family empire to chase DJ dreams

Aug 15 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Life can lead to the most extraordinary of crossroads when you're the grandson of a billionaire auto industry magnate. That's where Frank Walker found himself three years ago when he faced a rare career quandary: should he settle into a comfortable job at Magna International, the auto parts giant his grandfather Frank Stronach built, or pursue his dream of becoming a globally […]