Mom Knows Best…Even if You’re a Celebrity

Whether it’s our sense of humour, warm smile, or cunning smarts, we all carry parts of our mothers within us. In honour of this Mother’s Day, four Canadian celebrities pay tribute to the best advice their mothers passed on to them.  

Mom Knows Best...Even if You're a Celebrity

Debbie Travis, designer, Design It Yourself Kit

“My mom had four kids and was widowed so young at 33. I was the oldest and there wasn’t a lot of time. I think what she basically said to me was that she hated excuses. It was like nobody’s going to do it for you; you have to do it yourself. When I did the very first Painted House, I had a budget of $10,000 an episode. With that I had to do everything: make the show, edit the show, the whole thing. The challenge now [on Facelift] is that everything is bigger. It’s just little steps. Each little step you can do, you get puffed up and you are so proud of that one thing. When you know you can do that one thing, you say,’I can do that next thing’.”

Gabrielle Miller actor, Corner Gas

/“[My mother] and I had a housecleaning business when I was 17 years old. One weekend we had gone to clean one of our client’s homes and some girls that I went to high school with lived there. They were having a sleepover party and were doing fun teenage girl stuff while I was cleaning their en-suite. My mom could tell that I was having a hard time and feeling pretty heartbroken. And so afterwards, my mom had a talk with me and basically said, you know, there’s nothing wrong with doing this job; it’s a good job. But if your heart isn’t here and if you have a passion, follow it soon because life goes by quickly. Before you know it, you’ll wake up and  be my age and you’ll still be cleaning houses, and if that’s not going to make you happy you need to change it. And that’s when I started acting. It was after that conversation that I realized I needed to take action and decide what it is I want to do and not be afraid to follow my dreams.”

Chantal Kreviazuk
, singer/songwriter

/“When other people behave in a way that you do not agree with it’s hard to deflect; [my mother] said something to me when I was much younger: ‘look where it’s coming from.’ What that says to me is instead of just being angry and frustrated based on your own interpretation of life, if you look at where their behaviour is coming from, it will allow you to have have some acceptance, some peace and maybe even some compassion. Raine [her husband] and I are really into a program that War Child Canada has in re-building schools in the Congo. Let’s take for example, kids whose school has been bombed out or used for some kind of military bunker. If children do not have a school to go to and they have nothing going for them and nothing to do and no education or stimuli, inevitably they will pick up arms. Sometimes, I hear people judging other people or say, ‘Those people over there [in the Congo], they just love to fight.’ So hang on a second. Where is that coming from?”

Michael Smith, chef, Chef at Home

/“Eat your veggies. I did what my mom said; I ate my veggies and all that, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I fully understood what she meant, no doubt about it. [My son] does eat his vegetables on a regular basis but he’s still six-years-old and can be a little rambunctious when it’s dinnertime. Sometimes it’s as simple as making a spaghetti sauce and simmering it full of grated zucchini and grated carrots until he can’t see them any more. But at the same time, he’ll slam back the broccoli and the asparagus. On Chef at Home, vegetables are a big part of what we do. We’re always trying to think of ways to get kids excited about eating vegetables. I’m sitting writing an episode right now with a variety of things; sausage and pepper and hero sandwiches with turnip French fries. Why not cut turnip into French fry shapes?”