Lunch with GG
Clarkson no stranger to the art world

Michele LeTourneau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 18/00) - Adrienne Clarkson is no stranger to the art world.

The former host and executive producer of CBC's Adrienne Clarkson Presents, she featured creative Canadians from across the country. From musicians, visual artists and dancers to those involved in theatre and film.

So it was no surprise that Clarkson, who has been our Governor General since 1999, would choose to meet with local artists of every discipline during her trip North last week.

About 40 residents received a card with the GG golden crest that read: Her Excellency The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, and His Excellency John Ralston Saul are pleased to invite you (name of artist in calligraphy) to a luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2000 at The Wildcat Cafe.

"I felt really honoured to be invited to meet her," says publisher Diane Brooks.

"I was very excited about the prospect. And I was very impressed with Her Excellency."

Brooks says that being "selected as one of a certain number of people that are going to have the opportunity to meet the governor general in a more social setting, where we get to chat and everything like that ... it seemed very special. And it was."

The Northern publisher offered Clarkson a few books that her company has published: Said the Raven, because it has the Wildcat Cafe depicted on the cover, and A Winter Walk with Haley, because the author, Jaya Bastedo, is a child.

Clarkson told Brooks that she would give the books to her godson.

Painter Ann Timmins was also invited to the luncheon. "It was neat. It was really nice to talk to her. She's a really nice person."

On a personal note, Timmins says she attended the same high school in Ottawa that Clarkson attended.

"I remember thinking years and years ago, 'Oh, that's the gal that's on television.'"

"She shook hands with every artist individually," adds Timmins.

"Everybody had to say who they were and what their artwork was. When I said silk banners, she said, 'Oh, the ones at the legislature.' I was quite surprised that she had remembered that."

The food was provided by Julie Pin.

"Delicious," says Timmins.

Timmins says the special gesture towards artists was appreciated.

Potter Linco Schoenne agrees with Brooks and Timmins: "I was honoured to be invited. It was cozy."

Performer Tracy Riley felt a combination of nervousness and excitement.

"They made quite an effort to meet everyone in the room. Although it may have been a stressful situation, they seemed relaxed and they seemed to enjoy the atmosphere of the Wildcat."