The Life, Career and Legacy of Jaclyn Linetsky Celebrated at "Starry" Fundraiser
Over 300 people gathered at the Just For Laughs Museum on April 23 for a special fundraiser to honor the life, career and legacy of Montreal-born actress Jaclyn Linetsky. BEst known as the English language voice of cartoon character Caillou and as Megan O’Connor on the YTV teen series "15/Love", Linetsky was tragically killed in a car accident on the way to the "15/Love" set on September 8, 2003 at the age of 17. Entitled "A Night of tars", the gala fundraiser helped inaugurate the Jaclyn Linetsky Performing Arts Program at St. George’s School in Westmount, where Jaclyn was a student and performed in many of the school’s stage productions. "After five years, we wanted to find a way to pay special tribute to my daughter," said Larry Linetsky, Jaclyn’s father. "Jackie’s passion was theatre and arts, and there was no stage that she enjoyed performing more than at high school long side her classmates. This program would make her proud, because it will allow others o share the joy of performing on the same stage." The Jacklyn Linetsky Performing Arts Program will also create a bursary program that will enable deserving potential students who want to study acting and perform onstage at St. George’s by providing the necessary financial means to do so. "Jaclyn had so many outstanding personal qualities, such as armth, empathy, enthusiasm, loyalty and honesty with her family and friends; she was all character," said Jim Officer from St. George’s School. "With the bursaries, the future of the program is assured." The guests – many of whom were Jaclyn’s family members, friends, former classmates and "15/Love" colleagues – enjoyed an evening of good eats courtesy of Phil Bloom and an impressive lineup of entertainment, which included rising star singer and current St. George’s student Nikki Yanofsky (who sang a repertoire of songs from such legends as Duke Ellington and Jimi Hendrix); 11-year-old Alexandra Cohen, who charmed the audience with a monologue and song from "Mamma Mia!" (and will follow in Jaclyn’s footsteps next fall, when she begins her studies at St. George’s); opera singer Sharon Azrieli (who was Jaclyn’s singing teacher) and a sampling of improv comedy courtesy of the local improv troupe the On the Spot Players. There was also a silent auction, where eight exclusive high ticket items were up for bids, including a hockey stick autographed by Habs legend Guy Lafleur; a framed multimedia painting of the exterior
of Schwartz’s; and jewellery packages (which got the most number of bids). "This is a celebration, in which we can give something back to Jackie," said Mr. Linetsky.
"Her sparkling spirit will always fill this room with love."
By Stuart Nulman