Devony House stars in remake of Heritage Minutes


By Barb McKay

Kincardine youngster Devony House will soon make her small screen debut when the TFO network’s remake of the well-known Heritage Minutes airs.

The French language channel has been filming a series of the one-minute shorts featuring children as historical figures. The project is being undertaken to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Twelve-year-old Devony honed her acting skills with the Kincardine Theatre Guild in productions of Meet Me in St. Louis and Oliver and played the role of Esther Jane in the Grand Theatre’s production of A Christmas Story last year in London. When she learned about auditions for the TFO series she knew she had to try out.

The series is written and spoken entirely in French and Devony, a Grade 7 French Immersion student at St. Anthony’s School, reviewed the script with her teacher Mlle. Kim Demers before auditioning in Toronto in October for the part of Lois in a short about Superman creator Joe Shuster.

“At first I was really nervous,” Devony said of her first audition. “I really wanted to impress them, but it went well.”

She received a call-back later in October and was awarded the role. On Dec. 12, she returned to Toronto to read for the director and be fitted for her costume. The short was filmed Jan. 10 in Toronto at Roundhouse Park, also home to the Railway Museum. While Devony is used to projecting her voice for stage performances, learning to speak in normal tones for a camera that was directly in front of her was one of her first challenges. Filming outside in the cold was also difficult. But if she had to do it all over again, she would in a heartbeat.

“It was really fun; it was the best thing I’ve ever done,” Devony said.

Now that she has the acting bug, Devony said she would like to try out for other screen roles in the future. In the meantime, she is taking singing lessons and is working hard on her gymnastic skills with a goal to join the competitive team in Port Elgin next year.

The historical shorts will air nationally later this year and will also be posted on You Tube.