Jesse Good

Like millions of people around the world, I watched Ryan Gosling sing his big musical number, “I’m Just Ken” at the Oscars this week and was blown away! He’s a generational talent!

Gosling and I are the same age. It’s been fun to watch Gosling grow up on screen, as I’ve gotten older too.

In 1993, when he was living in Cornwall, Ontario, Gosling got his acting break following an audition in Montreal. Inspired by his story – in 1994 – my sister and I hired our own talent agents in Montreal and began dabbling in acting ourselves. We didn’t have much success, but there are no regrets, since it was lots of fun!

As a teenager, I fell in love with Cornwall’s drama and theatre scene. Now decades later, my own children continue to love performing in Cornwall’s theatre groups. For every generation of young Cornwall actors that has come up since 1993, the mythology of Gosling lives on strong. There’s not a single youth theatre, dance or singing group in Cornwall that doesn’t still whisper about Gosling’s acting start and use it as motivation to achieve more themselves. Gosling’s ongoing successes inspire local youth to dream big about their own futures.

This week, there are thousands of newspaper articles, TV shows and influencers talking about Ryan Gosling’s very cool performance at the Academy Awards. Imagine if they also mentioned his fun and charming hometown of Cornwall, Ontario and the impact of his local legacy!

Recall that last year, there was a grassroots initiative to proclaim 21 July 2023 as Ryan Gosling Day in Cornwall – a date chosen to coincide with the release of the Barbie movie, which Gosling stars in. However, Councillor Claude MacIntosh argued against officially honouring Cornwall’s biggest cultural export, Ryan Gosling. Preferring to strike while the iron is cold, MacIntosh moved a motion to defer on the proclamation and Ryan Gosling Day never even came to a vote. How successful do you need to be to earn a star on Claude MacIntosh’s walk of fame?

Mac’s Flub was one of the worst examples of “scoring on your own net” I’ve ever seen, and he did it with a smile. Sometimes, people should muse less and listen more. Council’s mistake that day continues to compound as Gosling’s star shines brighter than ever.

Hopefully, the community brings forward another request to proclaim Ryan Gosling Day and Council supports it.

I wish Ryan Gosling lots of success and I look forward to watching his performances for years to come. Let’s not miss more opportunities to celebrate our hometown heroes and inspire the next generation.

– Jesse Good

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