Ar­chiv­ist ‘sells’ Stanstead to TV show

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

Some peo­ple around town may have been won­der­ing, in early April, why Kathy Curtis, the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum’s ar­chiv­ist of the last fif­teen years, was seen run­ning around Stanstead for a cou­ple of days with a strange man and a video

cam­era. Well, the ‘cat came out of the bag’ last Wed­nes­day with the wel­come an­nounce­ment that the new CBC tele­vi­sion com­edy Still Stand­ing was com­ing to Stanstead!

Still Stand­ing, which de­buts on Mon­day, June 22nd, fol­lows ac­tor and co­me­dian Jonny Har­ris when he vis­its small, ru­ral towns across the coun­try look­ing for big laughs as he gets to know the lo­cal peo­ple and places. Af­ter spend­ing a week in the cho­sen com­mu­nity, Mr. Har­ris presents a free, stand-up com­edy show about the town and for the town, a co­me­dian’s way of say­ing “Thank-you”.

“One of the pro­duc­ers of the show, Robin Waite, called me at the Mu­seum af­ter find­ing my name on the Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s web­site. He told me about the show and asked if I could help him con­tact peo­ple in Stanstead. It re­ally caught me off guard!” said Kathy Curtis who has lived in Stanstead East for thir­tytwo years and knows the com­mu­nity well. “Later he sent me a link so I could watch a whole episode to see what it was like. It was so well done!” added Kathy who had a few small, ini­tial con­cerns about the show’s premise.

Ap­par­ently, ev­ery­thing hap­pens fast in the won­der­ful world of tele­vi­sion and, two days af­ter Kathy was first con­tacted by the CBC, she was in­tro­duc­ing Robin Waite to all the lo­cal at­trac­tions, peo­ple in­cluded. “The first place I con­tacted was ag alm and, when Robin ar­rived, we jumped in my car and off we went.” Af­ter a visit to the fac­tory of that fa­mous skin emol­lient, Kathy and the pro­ducer vis­ited ock of ges for a tour of the fac­tory and epitre ran­ite for a les­son in sand­blast­ing gran­ite. “I also brought him to the gran­ite quarry; that’s pretty im­pres­sive.”

Pulling out all the stops as Stanstead’s of­fi­cial ‘tour guide’, Kathy brought Mr. Waite to see the Stanstead Stone Cir­cle, which un­for­tu­nately was still half-cov­ered in snow, the world-fa­mous CanUsa Street, the ran­ite useum, the Pat urns rena and, of course, the Haskell ree ibrary and Opera House. “At the Haskell Robin learnt the whole his­tory be­hind the big flower pots.”

Kathy had to keep quite ‘ Mum’ about her im­promptu stint as a Stanstead guide while the town was be­ing con­sid­ered for the thirty minute long show. She even had to face a re­porter from an English daily who came to town be­cause he had heard the ru­mour that ur­doch ys­ter­ies, the show that Mr. Har­ris stars in, was com­ing to film an episode in Stanstead, and wanted con­fir­ma­tion. So she was thrilled to fi­nally hear that her ef­forts had paid off. “I re­ally, re­ally, re­ally wanted it to hap­pen. It wasn’t my place to say any­thing about the show, and I didn’t want to jinx it ei­ther. I’m happy that now I can share what I know!”

“I’ve also been work­ing with an­other pro­ducer of the show, Catherine Swing, giv­ing her names of lo­cal peo­ple to con­tact. She told me that with all the things go­ing on and in­ter­est­ing peo­ple here they could do a two hour show. But what re­ally grabbed me about the peo­ple at the CBC that I’ve been talk­ing to is that they are re­ally car­ing. I think they’ll be able to show our story and I think that Jonny Har­ris will put on a great show at the end of it all,” com­mented the ar­chiv­ist.

The film­ing of the Stanstead episode will begin on May 10th when a CBC crew of about twelve shows up with an enor­mous amount of equip­ment. “I only wish that Stanstead had a ho­tel that they could all fit in. They want to stay in Stanstead and spend their money in Stanstead,” said Kathy. The film­ing wraps up on May 17th with Jonny’s com­edy per­for­mance at the Haskell.

While Kathy was strolling down CanUsa Street with Mr. Waite, she men­tioned to him: “You don’t stop and think about your home­town so much un­til you’re show­ing some­body your world. For the first time I saw my town as a tourist would.” But what Kathy was most im­pressed with was her neigh­bours. “Ev­ery­one we ap­proached in town was so warm and wel­com­ing. They made me very proud of my town,” she con­cluded.

Seen here in front of the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum is its ar­chiv­ist, Kathy Curtis,

who is ex­tra busy th­ese days help­ing the

CBC plan the film­ing of a Still Stand­ing

episode in town.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Kathy Curtis, the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum’s ar­chiv­ist, was con­tacted by the CBC for in­for­ma­tion about the town and its in­hab­i­tants for the new com­edy Still Stand­ing.

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