WRAL-TV Helps Celebrate July 4th In Ottawa

WRAL Helps Celebrate July 4th In Ottawa

North Carolina celebrated the 4th of July with the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.

Several members of the WRAL-TV staff celebrated the United States’ independence holiday outside the country. To encourage and expand trade relations, the American Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, invited North Carolina to attend a Fourth of July celebration in Ottawa last week, and WRAL was on hand to help cover the festivities.

“North Carolina on Location,” dubbed so because of the relocation of some of North Carolina’s film industry business to Canada, was hosted by U.S. Ambassador Gordon Giffin and wife, Patti, at their residence.

Hailed as the social event of the year in Canadian newspapers, the celebration began with an 80-person black-tie dinner for the event sponsors on Sunday, July 2, which Tom Allen, Senior VP of Broadcasting for CBC, and his wife, Patti, attended. WRAL

U.S. Ambassador Gordon Giffin hosted the event, along with his wife, Patti.

Tom Allen
Senior VP of Broadcasting for CBC

sponsored an HD demonstration at the dinner, the “Wilderness North Carolina” film that they commissioned for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

About 5,000 people, including the Allen’s, attended the festivities on the 4th. NC Governor Jim Hunt, Secretary of Cultural Resources Betty Ray McCain, and North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development Executive Director Gordon Clapp were among those who rubbed elbows with the Giffins, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and supermodel Carol Alt at the event.

The Old North State wound its way through every facet of the event. The Embers were the featured band, and barbeque, shrimp, spare ribs and fried chicken were served. WRAL ran a loop of “Wilderness North Carolina” in one of the tents to show the Ottawans HDTV. Ambassador Giffin said, “We imported a little piece of North Carolina to Ottawa today.

NC Governor Jim Hunt was on hand for the festivities.

Melissa Buscher
WRAL-TV Reporter

Michael Joyner
WRAL-TV Photographer

” WRAL reporter Melissa Buscher and photographer Michael Joyner provided on-site coverage for WRAL’s 5:00 and 6:00 newscasts as well as for WRAL-Online. The trip was quick for Buscher and Joyner; they flew out at 8:00am on the 4th and returned around midnight. Buscher said the whole event made her very proud to be a North Carolinian. They shot some footage around Parliament Hill and saw a lot of red, white and blue, despite the fact they

were outside U.S. borders. She said, “there were so many familiar sights and sounds from North Carolina at the event, you had to remind yourself you were actually in Ottawa! It felt like home.”

Unbeknownst to WRAL when making assignments, traveling to Ottawa was a trip back to his roots for Joyner. His father, a native of Fayetteville, NC, played professional football for the Ottawa Roughriders in the late 1960s. Joyner was actually born in Canada during his dad’s four years on the defensive line for the team. After a knee injury, Joyner’s father moved the family back to North Carolina when Joyner was about one-and-a-half years old. He said, “I have no memory of Canada, the snow, etc. I always wanted to go back and see the city and country I was born in. I am truly thankful [that] WRAL gave me that chance. Funny thing was they never knew it. They had no idea about my birth history. Must have been fate.”


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