In the News
PERTH COURIER - Private "I"
Wednesday, April 23, 1997
Screen tests to be held in Perth
By Maureen Pegg
Lights, action, camera! Those words, or something like them, will be heard in Perth in June.
Perth resident Steve Cole, who is a second year student at Sheridan College, is beginning a major project. In June he will be filming the story of the last fatal duel, as told in Susan Code's book, A Matter of Honour.
Local residents are invited to take a screen test May 5, 6 or 7 at PDCI. Tests run from 5pm to 10pm at PDCI.
Steve is making the film with Kaleidoscope Productions, a business owned by his father, Rick.
Check the pages of The Courier next week for more details on this fledgling project.
Wednesday, April 30(?), 1997
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Caption: Doug McNichol, Perth Museum curator, and Kathleen O'Flaherty, museum board member, join Rick Cole of Kaleidoscope Entertainment, in efforts to assist Mr. Cole's son, Steve, with his film school project of recording Perth's famous Last Fatal Duel on film. Ian Gray photo
Perth's Last Fatal Duel to be recorded on film - and you can be a part of it!
By Ian Gray(?)
Perth's Last Fatal Duel is about to be recreated on film.
Twenty-two year old Steve Cole, a third year film major at Sheridan College, is attempting to provide his hometown with an accurate portrayal of the historic duel as part of a school project.
The film comes as a gesture to Perth Mayor Lana March and other local notables who assisted him with his audition for entrance into Sheridan. After an interview with Mrs. March, she suggested Steve might do something for Perth in his later endeavours.
The film, called A Matter of Honour, is adapted from a story in local author Susan Code's book of the same name.
The story will be a reenactment of the Last Fatal Duel, involving the cultural and historical events that led to the duel, the duel itself and the ensuing trial.
Rick Cole, Steve's father, reports cooperation from the Town of Perth is sure to make the film a success. A letter from town council indicated this support.
The VHS film rights are reserved for the town and the Perth Museum.
"As this is a project which has a vast financial undertaking, the producer (Steve Cole) is attempting to raise money through various resources," Mr. Cole said. Readers are invited to contact Perth Museum curator Doug McNichol with fund raising suggestions.
The Coles are soliciting technical and artistic talent from the community. PDCI students, under the guidance of Bev Garvin and Carolee Mason, are assisting.
Mr. Cole said the duel was chosen as an opportunity to tell a true story.
"There are so many different versions of the story. A judge in the 1950s verified the facts, and Susan Code's story is an accurate account," he explained.
"It lent itself toward film-making. There's action, a love triangle, culture and different classes."
Some students from Sheridan are expected to help with the film.
There are 14 main characters in the film. Three actresses are required. Two should appear to be aged 18 to 20, while the third should look to be in her early- to mid-30s.
Costumes for the women are to be rented from the National Arts Centre, and ladies' costumes from the 1830s are "on the small side." Two to three extras are required for various shots.
Several actors are required, with four ranging in age from 18 to 22, and another four aged 30 to 35. There will be a part for an older doctor, one middle-aged drunk character and a boy aged twelve to 14. Two to three men may be used as extras.
Screen tests are slated for Monday, May 6 in Gym 3 at PDCI from 5 to 10pm. Call backs are to be held Wednesday, May 7 at the same location. Everyone is encouraged to give it a try!
To register, send a fax to ###-#### with a brief portfolio and the preferred time and date for a screen test. This will be done on a first-come, first-served basis.
The projected date for shooting the complete film is June 22 to 30.
PERTH COURIER - Front Page
Wednesday, June 25, 1997
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Caption: TECHNICAL POINTERS: Matthew MacDonald (center) and Allison Lapensee listened carefully to Steve Cole's instructions on filming Sunday. Steve, a Sheridan College student, is shooting a film on Perth's last fatal duel for a school assignment. Maureen Pegg photo
Student is filming last fatal duel
By Maureen Pegg
If you happen to hear the rustle of a long skirt, the snap of a top hat or the pop of a gun this week, don't worry, you have not been transported back to another century.
Instead, you might have heard the sounds being created by Steve Cole and his merry band of volunteers.
Steve is going into his third year at Sheridan College, where he is studying media arts. This week he has been working on a 30 minute film in Perth which will be presented as part of his third year requirements at school.
The film is based on the tale of Perth's last fatal duel, as related in Susan Code's collection of stories, A Matter of Honour. Ms. Code co-wrote the film script with Steve.
"The story as told by Ms. Code is a very accurate account of the duel," Steve explained. "The duel wasn't just about the love of Elizabeth, it's also about honour. These men had smeared each others names in the mud."
The film had its genesis when Steve was preparing a film presentation for his college application two years ago.
"I decided to do a film called The Responsible Chairs of Perth," he explained. "I interviewed several people, including Mayor Lana March.
"When I was packing my equipment up, Mrs. March commented that perhaps someday I would be able to do something for Perth."
Steve did not forget the remark and decided to film the story of the fatal duel.
He was in town earlier this year auditioning actors and recruiting a technical crew.
He has done well on both counts. Familiar and talented local actors appearing in the film include Carolyn Sutherland as Elizabeth Hughes, Todd Schaus as Robert Lyon and Steve Whittaker as John Wilson. Also appearing, among others, are Bob Sneyd and Jonathan Tyrrell.
His technical crew is drawn from the ranks of volunteers at PDCI. "I went to the high school in February and talked to the teachers. Everybody was great.
"The students who are working with me all came highly recommended," he said.
Also assisting with the production are two of Steve's classmates at Sheridan. Working with him will give them experience and help them prepare for their own film projects, on which Steve will assist.
He expects to have filming wrapped up by the end of the week. He will take the film back to the school and begin working on it in earnest in September. He hopes to have the finished product completed by March.
During this week's filming, local residents may see the actors and technical crew whisking in and out of the Perth Museum or working on scenes along Gore Street. Steve points out that the filming on Gore Street will be done early in the morning when most people are asleep.
Filming in a number of locations means many people have been involved in the project. Steve is adamant that praise be given to all the individuals who have assisted with his film project. "It simply couldn't have happened without the help of the town, public works, public utilities, the Perth police and so many others. Everyone has just been great."
A Matter of Honour is being produced by Kaleidoscope Entertainment, a company Steve's father Rick recently started. In the future Mr. Cole hopes to be able to give exposure to budding filmmakers so that they can gain the recognition they require.
The film bug didn't hit Steve until late in his high school career. He took the drama-tech course at PDCI and became intrigued with filming. A short movie which he made with fellow students Steve Whittaker and Rob Coughler gave him a sense of the potential of film.
When he graduates he plans to pursue filmmaking. "I hope to be behind the camera and then one day perhaps direct. If this film is a good one and I get exposure... perhaps someone will see me and my work."
Right now he is happy with the film and pleased he is able to offer a little knowledge to the technical volunteers from PDCI.
PERTH COURIER - Private "I"
Wednesday, July 9, 1997
Local lad on CBC
By Maureen Pegg
Steve Cole, the third year Sheridan College student from Perth who is making a film based on the last fatal duel, is getting his share of media coverage. He was featured in The Courier two weeks ago and then was a guest on Radio Noon on CBC Monday. From all reports he sounded great! Good work, Steve.
PERTH COURIER - Community Page
Wednesday, July 9, 1997
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Caption: Sheridan College student Steve Cole took a break from filming "A Matter of Honour" recently to present Mayor Lana March with a souvenir of the production in recognition of her support for his large-scale school film project. Maureen Pegg photo
That's a wrap for filming of duel
By Maureen Pegg
It was a long week, but Steve Cole was pleased with the results.
The student director of A Matter of Honour is back in Toronto catching his breath after a week of whirlwind filming here in Perth.
Steve, who is entering his third year of media arts at Sheridan College, is doing the film of Perth's last fatal duel as a school project. It is based on local author Susan Code's book of the same name.
The film is the first major project of Kaleidoscope Productions, a company owned by his father, Rick.
Steve was in town two weeks ago filming at various locations, including Conlon Farm, Stewart Park and on Gore Street in front of the museum.
His cast and crew were recruited from local volunteers.
Most of the crew, many new to film-making, was made up of PDCI students.
Steve was appreciative of his volunteers. "Most of our days were long and we worked at a hectic pace. They were great. They never let up. Even when I needed them for an extra day, they were there."
Many of the students did not know what to expect until production began, he said, because they had never seen a film being made before. Offering students this experience was one of the reasons he decided to make the film in Perth. "It's something I never had a chance to do in school, so I wanted to involve students and give them that experience."
The film was developed in Toronto last week where Road to Avonlea is processed.
Steve is pleased with the results. "Everything looks great. We were worried about the rain scene (the film was made during a week of sunny, sultry weather), but the colourist was able to turn the sky gray and gloomy-looking."
The audio will be put on the film and his editing (a major task) will begin in the fall. Steve expects the film will be complete and ready for it's first showing here in Perth next spring.
Then he hopes the film might be picked up for television screening.
The project, he says, would not have come to life had it not been for the excellent cooperation he received from the town and from the many organizations and individuals here.
A gun collector loaned his pistols for the duel scene and even allowed them to be shot. The man, Steve said, had only shot the pistols once, when he bought them.
"The sports exchange had planned to use Stewart Park at the same time we did. We asked them if they could rearrange their schedule and they did.
"When we were at Conlon Farm, and I called in the microphone for quiet, parents were asking their children to be quiet so we could film.
"It was a real community thing and I feel I have to thank everybody in Perth for supporting us."
Buoyed by the experience, Kaleidoscope Productions, with Steve at the helm, hopes to be in pre-production at this time next year with a new project.
PERTH COURIER - Private "I"
Wednesday, July 16, 1997
Museum Curator Turns Innkeeper
By Maureen Pegg
Doug McNichol, Perth Museum curator, enjoyed his oh-so-brief brush with fame a couple of weeks ago when he played the part of the innkeeper during Steve Cole's filming of A Matter of Honour. Steve, who was making the film for a school project at Sheridan College, used many local volunteers (including Doug) for cast and crew.
The production was based at the Perth Museum, where costumes were stored and the crew met for briefings.
Wednesday, [Month / Day], 1998
Student hosts duel film debut
By Stephanie Strachan
Lights, camera and what a great deal of action!
Several local residents and dignitaries were treated to a premiere film event Saturday night at St. John high school. A Matter of Honour, a film based on Canada's last fatal duel, was brought to life by Perth native Steve Cole.
Steve completed the short film as part of his final year requirements for a media arts course at Sheridan College. Last summer, Steve and a group of enthusiastic volunteers filmed A Matter of Honour here in Perth, where the duel occurred. The script is based on the story by Susan Code.
An historically accurate rendition of the famous duel, the film was produced by Steve's father, Rick, who started a company called Kaleidoscope Entertainment. Steve brought together local actors, crews and resources to bring the film to life.
A short documentary about Perth was also shown, featuring a delightful array of local historic sites and information about the town.
Steve, who has completed school and is considering his next move, says he hopes the project won't end at this point, and plans to look into marketing and improving the films.
"I couldn't have done it without the support of everyone in the town," Steve told his audience at showings of the film Saturday night.
Copies of the flick were presented to Perth Mayor Lana March and the Perth Museum Board's John Stewart.
Wednesday, November 4, 1998
Photo: c:/web pages/honour/news/doug.jpg
Caption: Doug McNichol
Museum curator dies suddenly
Perth has lost a valued historian and promoter of the town's historical significance.
Doug McNichol, curator of the Perth Museum, died suddenly Monday night.
Responsible for much of the museum's evolution to its current splendor, Mr. McNichol believed in strong community involvement in the local landmark.
Born in Sudbury, he moved to Ottawa and was employed as a mapping technologist. He then worked as a legal assistant for ten years in a downtown Toronto law firm.
At age 38, his interest in collecting and history led to Algonquin College's three-year museum technology course.
After graduation he worked with Parks Canada and as the director of the Haliburton Highlands Museum.
He moved to Perth in 1985 to become the curator of the Perth Museum.
Under Mr. McNichols direction, Matheson House became a unique combination of a heritage house museum of 1840, showing the lifestyle of an upper class Perth family, and a showplace of Perth's history from 1816 to the present.
In his first eight years as curator, he raised about $1 million for the museum.
A big promoter of community involvement in the life of the museum, Mr. McNichol was always quick to pay tribute to the efforts and hard work of volunteers.
He worked with staff and volunteers to catalogue, store or display artifacts, treating each with utmost care.
The Perth Museum was more than just a tourist stop, he felt, always promoting it as a museum for the people of Perth first.
John Stewart, museum board chairman, expressed shock at the town's loss.
Describing him as a competent curator, Mr. Stewart said "he lived the museum - gave it his all.
"He was generous with his knowledge... a very good teacher. Doug understood and preached the importance of the museum to the community."
Mr. Stewart credits Mr. McNichol for engineering the completion of the Inderwick Wing at the museum, built in the mid-1980s.
Perth Town Councillor Steve Forster, who sits on the museum board, worked with Mr. McNichol both as a councillor and prior to that when he was editor of The Courier.
"He was a decent man - a man who took his job seriously. He was a dedicated employee and was devoted to the museum and the care of it's artifacts," he said.
"I genuinely liked Doug. It's so unfortunate. In any of my dealings with him he was always so positive."
Gord Cowie, another councillor who was involved with Mr. McNichol through the town's association with Inge-Va, said he had "a keen desire to further an understanding and appreciation of our past.
"His dedication and passion to preserving the artifacts of Perth's history will be greatly missed."
Mr. McNichol loved his work. In a 1993 interview, he described the Perth Museum as "a warm, energetic place. I find it exhilarating... I wouldn't change places with anybody," he said.