Community & Current Events

Adam Beach: Hollywood celebrity at home in small-town Ontario

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Adam Beach: Hollywood celebrity at home in small-town Ontario

Adam Beach is at home on the red carpet and in front of the camera. The award-winning star of Flags of Our Fathers, Dance Me Outside and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is one of the most recognizable Canadians in television and theatres today. So why would a famous actor with a free pass to V.I.P. events in New York and L.A. choose to live in small-town Ontario? According to Beach, his new digs in Kemptville are the natural place to call home.

Beach has two young sons, Noah and Luke, who live with his first wife in Ottawa. In order to be close to them, the actor likes to keep a home base near the nation's capital. When he and wife Tara Mason decided to move, however, they searched from Merrickville to Manotick to find the perfect property. The house nestled among cedars at the end of a long, private drive in Kemptville was the obvious choice for the pair, who love to entertain on weekends.

"We want this to be a retreat for our friends," Beach explained in this interview as he conducted a grand tour of his new home. The guest room features a view of the swimming pool on one side, and the mature forest in back. A black-and-white movie poster of Beach as the elderly Dr. Charles Eastman (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) decorates the wall.

The basement will eventually be sound-proofed and turned into a recording studio for Beach's other passion: music. He has played guitar and drums since his younger days, and has already become a regular at the guitar store in his new neighbourhood.
The garage houses his-and-hers all-terrain vehicles, for touring along paths through the bush. Beach points out where he plans to build a treehouse complex for his sons, complete with a hanging footbridge between the individual units.

Page 1 of 2Beach's own childhood was less than idyllic. Born on the Dog Creek Indian Reservation in Manitoba, Beach lost his parents in separate tragic accidents when he was eight. The young lad and his brothers were sent to live with relatives in Winnipeg.

A few years later, in high school drama classes, Beach realized he had a talent for acting. He began performing in local theatre, and at age 18 won a role in a television miniseries, Lost in the Barrens. In subsequent years, his theatre work continued while he performed guest roles on TV shows like Walker, Texas Ranger and Touched by an Angel.

Becoming a regular member of the cast of North of 60 made Beach a familiar face in living rooms across the country. Soon, Hollywood began to notice the young actor's obvious talent, and Beach's movie career began.

But his roots on the reservation hold fast to this rising star. Beach is involved with the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, acting as host of their annual awards ceremony for the performing arts. Keenly aware that there are few aboriginal actors in the market, Beach says that he would like to see more opportunities for young natives with an interest in acting. "It's time for the stories of Indians to be told by their own people," he says.

Beach returned to Dog Creek and ran for Chief a while back but, as his wife points out, it may be that he has a stronger voice for his people on the outside of the reservation, in his public life as a celebrity. For now, Beach knows where home is. It's a little piece of heaven 30 minutes south of Ottawa.

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Adam Beach: Hollywood celebrity at home in small-town Ontario

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