Cornwall Ontarip – A few years ago, January 20th, 2012 to be exact, I had the pleasure of writing an article about Kathy Smart, titled Kathy Smart – Local girl gone Big! Kathy, born a Burgess, is now a Multi-Award Winning Nutritionist, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, Huffington Post Writer and is also known as North America’s Gluten Free Expert.
Well, today, also in January but 5 years later, I am writing another article about another local born celebrity, this time titled “Ryan Gosling – Local Boy gone Big-ger!”
Why Big-ger you ask? Well, because last year at this time when the Seeker presented our Top 10 Citizens of 2015, guess who was first on the list? Don’t remember – well I’ll remind you … it was Cornwall’s very own Ryan Gosling who had already made a name for himself last year and embraced the fact, on American National TV and on Saturday Night Live, that he is not only Canadian, but grew up in Cornwall and still has family up here. What a great way to acknowledge our small city!
This January however, he has earned the title of Big-ger because last Sunday night, (January 8th) along with the entire cast and crew of the musical La La Land, he celebrated his Golden Globe Award and once again made Cornwall proud!
I listened to Ryan’s acceptance speech at the Awards where he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in the 2016 musical La La Land and then listened to an interview that he did back in 1993 with TV Cogeco here in Cornwall. In the interview with Cogeco he was asked – Do you have any tips for the Big Stage? and the answer from then 13 year old Ryan was “just be yourself”. During his acceptance speech he was just that, himself, and as Angie Sakla Seymour of Angie’s Models and Talent Inc., who saw him 3 or 4 years ago in New York City, said to me , “he is still the sweetest and nicest person. There is only one Ryan Gosling! We are very proud! ”
Ryan Thomas Gosling was born November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, the son of Donna
(Wilson) and Thomas Ray Gosling. When Ryan was young the family moved to Cornwall where Ryan attended Gladstone Public School and later CCVS. The family were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints on Cornwall Centre Road and that is where my sister-in-law, Denise McDonald met him.
“Ryan and the Gosling Family were well known in our church, as excellent musicians, singers and dancers.
They enjoyed participating in our talent shows and family skits. His uncle Perry Gosling did a great Elvis impersonation show, to which young Ryan would dance around and hand out Elvis scarves to all the swooning ladies in the audience. It was hilarious because he was this cute boy that could dance up a storm while singing! It’s an art that not many can accomplish, to be about to do both at once and to be skilled at it! He had all the right moves even at age 8 and 10.
His parents Tom and Donna were both very supportive of their children Ryan and Mandi and they drove him to Ottawa a couple of times each week so that he could learn how to dance professionally at a dance school.
Angie Sakla-Seymour of Angie’s Models & Talent Inc. (formerly of Cornwall, now an international agency and based in Ottawa) played a large part in having Ryan Gosling and our young daughter Caroline McDonald, who was also gifted in Hip Hop Dance and Jazz, perform before each of her local modeling shows. The audiences loved to see this tiny pre-teen boy and girl breakdance and hip hop.
Ryan later went on to star as a Mouseketeer in the Mickey Mouse Club, TV shows, on to a Hollywood star while our daughter became Dr. Caroline McDonald-Harker, a Professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary and an accomplished Social Researcher and author.
Cornwall should be very proud of our young people; if you work hard enough, you can become anything that you want to be in this world”.
Angie Sakla Seymour of Angie’s Models & Talent Inc. added, “I knew it from day one. That Ryan was a star! All he wanted to do is to perform. Singing and dancing was his passion. We booked him for the government Christmas parties. He would perform for all our fashion shows. The First fashion show was at the Cornwall Square, then over at the Massena Mall. His father would bring him to all our shows with his equipment. His Mom and sister Mandy would attend as well. He had great family support.”
I myself remember attending a few of Angie’s shows where Ryan would model and perform. The last show he did was at the civic complex after he booked the Mouseketeer show. He was modeling for Sports Experts and he couldn’t finish the runway walk. He felt he had to do something more instead of just walking. All these shows were to raise money for The Hotel Dieu Childrens ward.
Angie added, ” Ryan took his childhood singing and dancing, which he kept in his back pocket all these years and finally unleashed it to win a Golden Globe. So amazing!”
Congratulations once again, Ryan Gosling – truly a story which the Seeker can proudly add to “your weekly dose of positive news!”