Joe Boyle was Dawson’s wealthiest citizen in 1914. He financed a machine gun regiment to go to war soon after war was declared in August, 1914. In return for his generosity, he was made an Honourary Lt-Col in the Canadian Militia. Sporting an officer’s uniform with Yukon gold buttons, Boyle went to London in 1916 to seek an assignment. He was sent to Russia to fix up the railway system, which led to his unplanned romance with Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania. By the end of the war, Boyle was also running a spy network of more than 400 agents for the British Secret Service.
At the Dawson Film Fest, 7pm programme Friday 18 April 2014.
See you there!
CBC Radio Interview . Host of A New Day, Sandy Coleman, interviews Yukon filmmaker Max Fraser about his experiences in Sicily, recording a documentary about Operation Husky 2013.
Scouted the route of the OpHusky marchers on 07July. The marchers, led by Steve Gregory, have a long way to go through some great country. Lots of hills and history. Met up with advance team and few marchers inclucing author Mark Zuehlke and march leader Philip Bury (ex RCR). We’re expecting more tomorrow and everyone in by Monday night, most important our film crew. The march starts on Wednesday with a ceremony at Pachino Beach.Countdown to OH2013 continues.
M A X F R A S E R V I D E O P R O D U C T I O N S
21 Harbottle Road – Whitehorse Yukon Canada Y1A 5T2 – 867.335.1959
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 24JUNE2013
JOURNEY OF “EXTREME REMEMBRANCE”
TAKES YUKON FILMMAKER TO SICILY
A journey of “extreme remembrance” is taking a Yukon filmmaker 8800 km to his next project – in Sicily.
Max Fraser will spend most of July leading a team documenting the arduous journey of a dozen Canadian men and women marching 300 km for 20 days under the scorching Sicilian sun. The local filmmaker will explore what is driving the people involved to retrace the route taken by the 1st Canadian Division 70 years ago during World War Two.
The marchers are part of a project called “Operation Husky 2013,” named after the original mission in 1943 that opened a western front in Europe and set the stage for the invasion of Normandy, France a year later. Their goal is to raise awareness about a forgotten part of Canadian history, the Italian campaign, which began with the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943. Fraser’s interest stems from his father’s role in the war; his dad was part of the original Operation Husky and landed on Pachino Beach with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. Fraser has been to WW2 sites in Italy before; those visits resulted in six short films in the “Documentaries of Remembrance” series.
“This will be my biggest and most ambitious project yet,” says Fraser. “I’ll be leading a five-person team for 20 days, a schedule more like that of a feature film than a documentary. The film will be from the marchers’ point of view; we’ll get to know the main characters and learn their motivations and why they have chosen to engage in what I call an act of “extreme remembrance.” It will be an emotional journey, and my job is to make a film that not only captures but treats respectfully the full range of experiences on this unusual mission.”
Fraser says it’s an important film about an important project. “The march of OH2013 is quite unlike any other act of Remembrance that honours the sacrifice of those who served and suffered or died in wartime. I have yet to find anything else quite like it.”
OH2013 wants more Canadians to understand the importance of July 10. Fraser made a short video featuring WW2 and Sicilian campaign veteran Charles Hunter to help make the point and is releasing it now, close to Canada Day, to help Canadians remember not just July 1 but also July 10, and learn about OH2013.
OH2013 also involves a number of other special activities that will be documented by Fraser’s team:
- July 10: ceremony to dedicate a new monument at Pachino Beach
- July 30: special roll call at the Canadian War Cemetery at Agira for the 562 Canadians who fell in the battle for Sicily; hundreds of Canadians will stand at the graves of the fallen and answer the roll call for the fallen
- July 30: special evening musical concert featuring the Seaforth Highlanders Pipe and Drum band; their predecessors played the first Allied musical concert in previously-occupied Europe in Agira on July 30, 1943. The concert was recorded by the CBC and broadcast around the world by the BBC.
- July 10-30: 562 “soldier’s markers” will be placed along the route of the 1st Canadian Division, an average of 28 per day, close to where the soldiers fell.
Fraser’s team includes Associate Producer Arlin McFarlane, Director Matt Pancer of Toronto, Director of Photography Oliver Glaser of Greenwood BC and Cinematographer Duncan Vogel of Langley BC. A unique visual feature of the documentary will be the use of a WW2 vintage camera to record special scenes and re-shoot footage in some of the same locations as taken in 1943 by the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit.
Individuals and organizations who wish to support OH2013 can sponsor a Soldier’s Marker by visiting the website www.operationhusky2013.ca. The trip is still open to anyone who wishes to participate.
Fraser is grateful to the Yukon Film and Sound Commission for its commitment to assist with up to 30% of the Yukon-spend expenses of the project.
For further information, contact: Max Fraser at 867.335.1959
The world premiere of Martinis of the Wilderness took place Friday evening March 29 at the Dawson City International Short Film Festival to a receptive crowd, who saw a number of other great new Yukon short films as well. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers for hosting another great festival; always a pleasure to visit Dawson.
We’re now working on a screening in Whitehorse plus a cast and crew party!
Thanks to Mike Rice of Catalyst Communications for the great design.