Three Toronto schools are on the list of 17 Canadian public educational institutions that filmmaker Charles Officer will tour this month with Mighty Jerome as part of Black History Month activities.
Marc Garneau, Bloor and Parkdale Collegiate Institutes will welcome Officer and the documentary that will be screened to high school students in five Canadian cities.
The screening at Marc Garneau takes place on February 11 and at Bloor and Parkdale on February 18. The tour starts on February 10 in Montreal and ends 18 days later in Calgary, Alberta.
Each screening will be followed by a live question & answer session with Officer and the nearly 7,000 students expected to participate in the tour made possible by TD Bank.
Officer spent three years documenting the life of the Canadian legend and Order of Canada recipient who took part in three Olympics, set seven world records and was an advocate for amateur athletes and minorities before succumbing to a brain aneurysm in December 1982.
The documentary, which will also be screened in Winnipeg and Vancouver, was released in 2010.
A former hockey player, Officer took film crews to Vancouver where Jerome spent most of his life and is buried; Oregon where he attended university; Edmonton where Jerome’s ex-wife Wendy, their daughter Debbie and Lionel Jones, the best man at the Jerome’s wedding live and Toronto which has hosted the Harry Jerome awards administered by the Black Business and Professional Association.
The youngest of four children born in Toronto to a British father and Jamaican mother, Officer – who aspired to be an architect – left the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) to pursue a professional ice hockey contract in England. Drafted by the Calgary Flames, he returned to North America to play for the Flames farm team in Salt Lake where he developed tendinitis and quit the sport. He returned to the OCAD before attending the Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City.
Officer’s debut film, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, which ran during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), was inspired by his sister’s battle with sickle cell anemia.