A Glimpse in the life of Dr. Gerry Turcotte

Your name:
Gerry Turcotte

Your fondest memory as a kid:
Working elbow to elbow with my Dad in his hardware store. I especially liked unpacking the new stock orders when they came in and laying out the brand new tools, still greasy and shiny. It was like Christmas.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
From the earliest age I wanted to be a writer.

Your proudest moment:
When my kids were born.

Your biggest challenge:
When my kids were born. (There was no instruction manual!)

Your idea of the perfect day:
Doing crafts with my kids, preferably outside on a sunny day.

Your favorite indulgence:
Taking time to do anything creative. I am seriously late delivering my next novel, and ridiculously close to finishing it, but simply haven’t had the time.

Your favorite soundtrack:
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is an unbelievably talented musician. He is a blind, Aboriginal singer from an incredibly talented indigenous family whose voice makes the angels weep in envy. I recommend his debut album Gurrumul.

Your first Job:
Other than the work I did with my Dad in the hardware store, I worked as a busboy and later bartender at Blue Bonnets Racetrack in Montreal.

Your hobbies:
Woodworking, photography & writing.

Your life’s most embarrassing moment:
Too many to mention, though many gaffs in Australia where my unfamiliarity with local slang often meant that I took things literally that were meant to be ironic, or offended people unintentionally by misusing a phrase or word. My most embarrassing moment with my staff had to do with a typo in an email. Instead of writing “Dear Colleagues”, I accidentally typed “Dead Colleagues”. The sad thing is that half my staff didn’t notice and the other half concurred.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
I’ll avoid the obvious and won’t say Jesus. I would have loved to have dinner with Pope John Paul II. I also narrowly missed out on a meeting with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
When I did my first phone interview for this position I joked that I looked like George Clooney. Needless to say the Board were hugely disappointed when they met me and realized I looked more like Homer Simpson. I have been told that I look a little bit like Gary Oldman so perhaps he’d get the nod. Though the fact that he generally plays psychopaths may be a concern.

You are inspired by:
Faith, good hearts, selflessness, and my family.

What do you find is the biggest difference between Australia and Canada?
In Australia the spiders are so big they come with saddles. In Calgary it’s the mosquitoes that come with saddles. Incidentally, when we moved here we came via the Australian desert and it was more humid there than here. That, too, was a surprise. Hadn’t had a nosebleed in years.

Your first impression of Calgary:
Big, friendly, unpretentious, and beautiful. (Or is that 4 first impressions?)