Remembrance Day + Canadian of the Month

A newsletter from a fellow Canadian organization in California.  Additionally, we thank them for promoting our events.


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November is quite the important month for Canadians Abroad of Southern California. Election Day in the U.S. is finally upon us. California has one of the largest diasporas of Canadians IN THE WORLD! For those of us with dual citizenship, this election is critical for us to ensure our voices are heard on policies that impact us like immigration, border security, climate change, foreign relations and billions of trade dollars between our two countries. We need to continue to protect our interests, so please, do not forget to vote!

It is also the month we all don our poppies in honor of Remembrance Day and mark the sacrifice of our distinguished military members. As with every year, we highlight one Canadian veteran bringing attention to their military service and their lives since leaving the service. This November, Anne Bedian is our Canadian of the Month. You may know her as the Palestinian Chicken Lady on Curb Your Enthusiasm. What you probably didn’t know is that she is a veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy and a NATO award recipient at the height of Canada’s peacekeeping missions. She’s one all-round badass.

Anne is also one of over 60,000 Canadian-Armenians who are living through the daily anxiety of war in their homeland of Armenia. Canada has always been a proud partner of Armenia, being the first western nation to recognize the country’s independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. Both countries have a strong military heritage and an equally strong commitment to peacekeeping. So, in honor of our Canadian of the Month, we pay our respects to those who have sacrificed in the past, and those who are sacrificing every day to bring peace. WE REMEMBER.

– Zoe, David & Erin

November’s Canadian of the Month
Anne Bedian  
Actor & Veteran

Canadian born actress Anne Bedian didn’t start her young career in the arts, but rather in the military as a soldier. Bedian served in the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 17 as a Bosn. She was one of the first women to enter that trade, which included training for demolitions, small arms, firefighting and chemical warfare. She was the youngest member on board the HMCS Nipigon, the first warship to employ women. Oddly enough in her theatrical acting career playing a variety of roles ranging from cops, psychics, waitresses – she has never portrayed a soldier.

However her proficiency for speaking several languages and incredible range of dialects has served her artistic career well. Bedian is fluent in English, French, Armenian, Spanish, German and self-taught reading Hebrew and Russian, and is also skilled at performing roles which require dialects including Middle Eastern and European.

Anne began both her Meisner training and her career in her hometown of Montreal, then moved to Toronto and then to New York where she furthered her Meisner training with Ron Stetson of the Neighborhood Playhouse, before finally landing in Los Angeles.

Being a veteran, tell us what Remembrance Day means to you?
As a civilian today (and have been for many years), Remembrance Day definitely evokes my past and gives me pause to both reflect and feel a very special sense of pride that I belong to this “club” of men & women who have served their country. My most formative and important years were spent as a soldier and for that, I have to thank the Canadian Navy.

You served in the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 17 as a Bosn, which included training for demolitions, small arms, firefighting and chemical warfare. What was it like to break into that position as such a young person and as one of the first females?
It was the most fantastic experience EVER. Canada was exemplary and ahead of many other countries with regards to opening up trades to women, posting women on combat ready warships versus supply ships only. I have to admit, recruiters were a little surprised at my trade choice and although no one discouraged me, some did have a look on their face as if to say ” are you really sure about this…?”

You’ve received a medal for serving in NATO – what was your experience like in NATO and what advice do you have for those looking to serve in the Forces?
I used to see young soldiers from other countries with several medals pinned on their uniforms and found out they were given to them for having graduated or passed various training or classes. We didn’t have that in Canada. So when I got a medal, I was shocked and confused. Apparently, in my three years of service, I had sailed 180 days (or over) on NATO tours and that had qualified me.
Imagine it’s 1990, the Nato fleet made up of approximately eight ships from different countries is sailing in formation, and seven ships are trying to have a peek at the Canadian destroyer because it’s the only ship in the fleet with women and alcohol. Everyone wanted to be us! No, I stand corrected. The Deutsch had alcohol. And they didn’t have to cut their hair. I mean, the men’s hair was longer than most women’s! Looked quite strange in a uniform but we got used to it 🙂

You speak English, Armenian French, German and Spanish and self-taught in reading Hebrew and Russian! How did you learn them all and what tips do you have for picking up a new language?
When you grow up in Montreal and come from immigrant parents, you will most likely be taught three languages simultaneously: French, English and your parents’ native language. As luck (or misfortune I had thought at the time) would have it, I was forced to begin studying Spanish in high school. Compared to Armenian, Spanish was a breeze, especially with having French as a background. Studying German was an elective I chose in university after my three years of military service. During a Nato tour, I realized that the German ship and its crew were kept a little bit at arm’s length by the other countries’ sailors. Sometimes even teased with chants such as ” Two world wars and one world cup dooda dooda…”. Not only did the Germans receive us Canadians like royalty onboard their ship but were friendly, kind, hospitable and eager to share/exchange trade skills and culture. I kept in touch with some of them and promised that one day I would call them and speak to them in German. And I did.

With such an incredible career in serving in the Forces and being such a skilled linguist, why acting?
The nudge for acting preceded the military. At the time, I could not convince my parents to let me pursue a career as an actress.

How did you make your break acting in Hollywood? 
I climbed small hills till it turned into a mountain. Started on the homefront in Montreal, once I was established there within the industry, I used that resume and experience to get an agent in Toronto. I duplicated that process in Toronto to get me to New York. I duplicated that process in New York to get me to Los Angeles. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance. Thank God for my military discipline, that’s all I can say.

What was it like working on Curb Your Enthusiasm and with Larry David?
Like making history. And we did! All I can say is that before LD, my people had a hard time getting me into a room for comedy. I kinda understood as my background and experience was heavy with dramatic roles and nothing funny really. Then Larry thought I was funny enough for his show. It’s definitely made it way easier to go up for comedic roles.

What are you working on now? 
I worked on a film called The Attempt and it went to both Cannes and Vienna Film Festivals. As a descendant of genocide survivors, taking on the role of an Armenian woman in 1915 hardly required any “role research” or even acting, to be honest.
That this film is currently winning awards and screening around the world at this critical time for Armenia is almost eerie. I have not been able to enjoy the success of this film, which I am extremely proud of, because as I write this, a genocide is being “Attempted” again by Turkey and Azerbaijan. The soldier in me has woken up, the actress has taken a seat.

More info for tv & film credits on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0619549/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

Remembrance Day Services in California

Join Branch #25, along with their comrades from other branches in the International Western USA Zone as they present a socially distanced, virtual Remembrance Day Service from Liberty Cemetery in Petaluma, Greenlawn Cemetery in Colma, and Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood Park. The service will be streamed on November 11th, 2020, beginning at 10:45AM PST.
To register, visit: https://tinyurl.com/rcl25-remembranceday

All are invited to join in person or online for the Annual Veterans Day Observance and Evensong hosted by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Covina Sunday, November 8th, 2020 from 4 PM PST – 5 PM PST.   The event will be streamed on the Facebook group of the Friends of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Covina. Be sure to request to join the group by the end of the day on Friday, November 6th. The service will require everyone to wear masks and maintain social distancing. To join, visit:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/27282737905

Both events are featured on the Legion website at: https://rclwesternzoneusa.org/
and the Legion FaceBook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/CanadianLegionUSA.
Order Remembrance Day Poppy merchandise from the Legion Here: https://www.poppystore.ca

Cross Border Investment Webinar –
Nov. 19th – 12pmPST

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 
Order Canadians Abroad Custom Poppy t-shirts Here!
Click Here to Visit our Shop
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