by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(February 1, 2024 – Toronto, ON) The title of today’s article represents in publishing circles, that today is the first edition of our publication at the start of our 27th year online. The huge film hit of 1998 was James Cameron’s Titanic. In late 1998, Last Night was given Genie Awards for Best Actress (Sandra Oh), Supporting Actor (Callum Keith Rennie) and the Claude Jutra Award for the Best First Feature. It also won the Toronto International Film Festival Award for Best Canadian Feature and the Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. It was fun covering Canadian film.
In January 2003, Northernstars.ca was given a major international Internet award when we were honoured by the US-based Golden Web Awards, which is administered by the International Association of Webmasters and Designers. We had previously won The Golden Web Award for the year 2001-2002. Other Internet awards include being named Site of the Week by tdfilm.com and Canuck Site of the Day for three days: Friday, May 20 to Sunday May 22, 2000. On June 21, 2000 Northernstars.ca was also given The Cool Canuck Site Award. In addition, we were selected by the editors of The Internet Directory 2000 as one of the best websites in Canada.
Some of our milestones include switching from a .net to a .ca domain in January of 2001. In November of 2007, a couple of years after the demise of Take One Magazine, we acquired the digital archives of the once popular publication and added some of its best content to our growing resource documenting how the Canadian film industry was growing, while preserving some of its important news, interviews and reviews from the past. We also registered the domain takeonemagazine.com, which leads to Northernstars.ca when you click on it.In 2008 we began recording on-camera interviews. Our first was with Bruce McDonald talking about his film Pontypool, just as production was coming to an end. There are more than 30 on-camera interviews online with people like Sarah Polley, Don Carmody, Ali Hassan, Don McKellar, Deepa Mehta, Jennifer Podemski and Ingrid Veninger, to name a few. With COVID-19 hopefully behind us, we are ramping up plans to start a new series of on-camera interviews this year.
We also started an online Canadian Movie Trailer Archive. A little shy of 400 trailers are available and we are hoping to raid the archives of Canada’s film distributors to expand that content through much of this year. This is in keeping with our purchase over the last many years of more than 1100 rare posters, lobby cards, stills, class promotional slides in an effort to repatriate the history of Canadians in Hollywood from the very earliest days of filmmaking.
Our efforts supporting Canadian film and film history have been recognized by some fairly influential people in the biz over the years. Here are a few examples:
“Thanks again for your very, very useful site.” – Patrick Watson, Producer
“I find your site very useful for casting.” – Thom Fitzgerald, Director
“You’re doing important work in helping develop the star system in English Canada.” – Benz Antoine, Actor
“We’re very lucky to have your site.” Tim Southam, Director
“There’s nothing else like it in Canada.” Sarah Polley.
In closing, my thanks to all our users and those in the industry who support us. I look forward to another year of being involved with Northernstars™ at some level and I promise a new, highly improved far more functional website is coming.
Happy Birthday to us!
Ralph Lucas is a former broadcast executive and award-winning director in high-end corporate video production. The founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca, online since 1998, he began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.