Home Grown Celebrities


Kristen Hager

Kristen Hager was born in Red Lake and grew up in Cochenour. She attended Golden Learning Centre and the Red Lake District High School. 

Kristen first launched her acting career with her appearance in 'Beach Girls, a TV mini-series starring Rob Lowe. Kristen has also appeared in big-name features including 'Wanted', starring Angelina Jolie, 'Alien vs. Predator - Requiem', and 'Leslie, My Name is Evil'.

Her biography also includes appearances in a variety of TV series: 'Sophie', 'Runaway', 'The Listener', 'Wild Roses', 'Valemont', 'CSI: Miami’, ‘Being Human' in 2014, and 'The Expanse' in 2015.  Kristen played Mr. Freeze's wife Nora Fries in the 2016 'Gotham' and Joan Kennedy in the 2016 'The Kennedy's After Camelot' TV Mini-Series. Kristen has starred in 'Textuality' and 'Servitude', in 2011, A Little Bit Zombie in 2012, and The Right Kind of Wrong in 2013.



Shy-Anne Hovorka
Singer/Song Writer

While growing up in Red Lake, Shy-Anne Hovorka has been singing since she was three and performing since nine. Enjoying a wide variety of musical genres, Shy-Anne performs blues, soft rock, pop, contemporary, and folk music.

Shy-Anne is an award-winning songwriter,  multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and performer. She has appeared on various television shows and has been interviewed by numerous radio stations across Canada. Over the years, Shy-Anne has embarked on multiple concert tours across Canada that continue to win over the hearts of her fans and admirers.

Visit Shy-Anne's website at www.shy-anne.com



Patrick Hunter

Patrick Hunter is an artist, graphic designer, and award-winning entrepreneur from Red Lake, Ontario. He is best known for his woodland art-style paintings. The intention that drives the work Patrick does stems from how a better world can be created through art, so future generations can see themselves reflected in mainstream culture. In addition, Patrick is creating awareness about his Ojibway roots and inspiring creative confidence through in-person and virtual paint workshops across North America.




Ken Leishman
The "Flying Bandit"

Nicknamed the ‘Flying Bandit’,  Leishman was considered one of the most beloved Canadian criminals.  He was responsible for multiple crimes from the late 50s to the 70s including bank robberies, stealing planes, escaping custody, and the largest gold theft in Canadian history.

The event occurred on March 1st, 1966, and involved $400,000 worth of gold from Winnipeg International Airport. From his experience as a pilot, he knew that regular flights of gold were made from Red Lake to Winnipeg. From there it was transferred to an Air Canada flight and sent to the Mint which was in Ottawa. Working with four accomplices in Red Lake and Winnipeg,  Leishman was involved in intercepting the gold on the tarmac. However, the plan was interrupted by the Great Blizzard which hit Winnipeg. The RCMP became suspicious of Leishman, and he was eventually caught and sent to Headingly Prison.

Upon his release, Ken Leishman, originally from Holland Manitoba, moved to Red Lake in 1975 and opened a tourist shop. He was a local celebrity and was elected as president of the Chamber of Commerce.  In December 1979 while in flight, Leishman's plane crashed, and his body was found sometime after the incident.

Documentary by Ken Leishman: The Flying Bandit



Linda Lundstrom
Fashion Designer

Linda Lundström was born in Red Lake. She studied Fashion Design at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. She then won a Fashion Canada scholarship and spent a year apprenticing in Europe. In 1974, she formed her company, Linda Lundström Inc. in a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto.

After having visited Japan and seeing the Japanese kimono had been brought back into the fashion scene, she became inspired to design a uniquely Canadian piece. Thus, the LA PARKA, a modern version of the traditional Inuit parka, was born. Linda then began working with local Native artists to create products and collections with a deeper meaning. Her designs are truly Canadian.

In 2008 Linda Lundstrom Inc was sold to an investment group Eleventh Floor Apparel. Retained as Chief Creative Officer, Lundstrom resigned in 2009 and since then has not been involved with the company that now owns her brand. 

In 2009, Lundstrom became a part-time professor at George Brown College and offered advisory services and workshops through Linda Lundstrom Works. In 2010 Lundstrom launched a collection of luxurious fur and leather, each with a label hand-signed with an 'L' and sold at consumer shows, pop-up shops, and online at www.designedbylindalundstrom.com



Cameron Mann
Hockey Player

Cameron Mann was raised in Balmertown Ontario. He is a Canadian professional ice hockey player. An alumnus of the Peterborough Pete’s of the OHL, Mann appeared in 94 NHL games with the Boston Bruins and the Nashville Predators. He also has an impressive four years in the DEL, Germany’s highly competitive and esteemed top league and he also had a season in the Finnish Elite League with top-flight club Tampere on his record.  The GMB Nottingham Panthers signed Cameron for the 2009/10 season. Mann retired from professional hockey on April 7, 2010.





Peter McLeod
Acrobatic & Race Pilot

Peter McLeod was born in 1984 in Red Lake.  Growing up in Red Lake exposed him to floatplane aviation at an early age.  At 16 Peter got his pilot's license before he even got his driver's license.  And he has been obsessed with aviation ever since.

As an acrobatic and race pilot, Pete has made some major accomplishments in his life. Some of these achievements include 12th place at the European Acrobatic Championship in 2008, 2nd place advanced in the U.S. National Championships, 2004 North American Collegiate Acrobatic Champion, and undefeated in 2004 with five 1st place finishes.

Pete has been named the youngest and first Canadian pilot to compete in the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. He placed 5th overall at the 2010 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Most recently he took his career first podium with a third-place finish at the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship season opener in Abu Dhabi in March 2014.

For more information please visit his website at  http://www.petemcleodaerosports.com 





Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau was one of the most original and important artists this country has ever produced. He was also one of Canada's most internationally known artists. Morrisseau, who spent a large part of his life in Red Lake, Ontario, was the first to paint his people's cultural heritage and, because of his work, the Woodland Indian School of Art evolved. He is the sole originator of the style. The myths, history, and environmental truths portrayed in his work have no precedence in the world. The genius of his paintings speaks to us of the past and cautions us about the future. Combined with legends are historical facts relating to early native history and archaeological theory.

Norval Morrisseau is considered one of the greatest Canadian painters of all time and is placed alongside Tom Thomson and Emily Carr. He was known as Copper Thunderbird, the Aboriginal Canadian artist.  And he was also known as the "Picasso of the North", creating works depicting the legends of his people, the cultural and political tensions between native Canadian and European traditions, his existential struggles, and his deep spirituality and mysticism. His style is characterized by thick black outlines and bright colors. He founded the Woodlands School of Canadian art and was a prominent member of the “Indian Group of Seven.
He was the recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal (1968), honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts Canada (1970), a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art (1973), the Order of Canada (1978), honorary Doctor of Laws (1980), recipient of the Lifetime Aboriginal Achievement Award, holder of the Eagle Feather, which is the highest honour awarded by the Assembly of First Nations, and Grand Shaman.




Eric Radford
Figure Skater and Musician

Eric was born on January 27, 1985, and began skating at the age of 8 after watching Nancy Kerrigan skate at the Olympics in Albertville. Skating reminded Eric of flying and he also loved the fact that you got to "fly" and perform to music.
Eric grew up in Balmertown and began skating with the Balmertown Figure Skating Club. His love of skating produced many national medals in Novice and Junior Pairs, and he was also the National Novice and Junior Men's Champion.
Radford and his partner Meagan Duhamel skated together between 2010 through 2017 during which time the pair put together an impressive resume winning many championships and medals. Radford composed music for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Eric and Megan skated their short program to the music, ‘Tribute’, which Eric composed as a tribute to his late coach Paul Wirtz. Eric also composed the music for fellow Canadian skater Patrick Chan's new free skating for the 2016-17 season. Radford retired from competitive skating in 2018.
In recognition of his many contributions to both the arts and culture in Canada, Eric Radford was awarded an honorary fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music at the 2019 Toronto Convocation ceremony.

Radford with new partner Vanessa James announced their return to skating in April 2021. They went on to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics as well as capture bronze at the 2022 World Championships. In April of 2022, they performed as guest skaters at the annual Balmertown Skating Club Carnival.

To learn more about Eric's skating career, please visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eric.radford.10



Mark Vermette
Hockey Player and Coach

Mark Vermette was born in Cochenour, Ontario. He played 67 professional ice hockey games in the National Hockey League between 1984-1994.
Mark Vermette played in four leagues over the course of his career: Central Collegiate Hockey Assn. - Div. 1., National Hockey League, American Hockey League, and International Hockey League. Mark Vermette played for the following teams: Lake Superior State University, Quebec Nordiques, Halifax Citadels, and Las Vegas Thunder. He was an assistant coach between 1995 and 1996 in the NAHL for the Soo Indians.


Amanda Wojtaszek


Amanda Wojtaszek
Camera Department

Amanda Wojtaszek was born in Red Lake and raised in Balmertown. Influenced by her father's eye for photography, she grew a liking to being behind the camera at the age of nine when her grandparents bought a video camera. The obsession with playing with cameras grew through high school when Ms. Hager, the Drama/Communications teacher/guidance counsellor gave her a co-op position in the communications lab shooting school sporting events, concerts, and the graduation video.

Amanda attended the Humber College Film and Television Productions program in Toronto in 1999. Following college, she volunteered on short films and independent features to gain experience in actual production work.  Paid gigs on music videos and commercials eventually led to television and feature film work. Her first big feature film was "Four Brothers" (Mark Wahlberg) in 2005 as a camera trainee.

Amanda continues to work steadily in the Toronto film industry as a second assistant camera person. A full list of credits is available on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1476013/


Successful Red Lakers

Dana Robbins - Publisher of Hamilton Spectator
John Geddes - Mclean's Magazine Ottawa Bureau Chief
Dr. Ryan Janicki - Neurosurgeon

If we missed someone who you feel should be mentioned, please contact us and we will gladly add them!