Back in the day, it was a bit of a point of pride that CBC’s savvy consumer show, Street Cents, was filmed in Halifax. Since I was booked solid with Saturday morning extra curricular activities and had no control over the VCR recording, I never really followed the show even though the daughter of a friend of a friend of the family–a local Chinese girl!–was one of the co-hosts. I even had the occasion or two of sitting at the same table as her father and my mother would tell me about the connection between everyone and, reading between the lines, frowned on letting their little girl in the show business arena.
But as a little girl, I was dazzled of course. Benita Ha was on TV and starred alongside Jonathan Torrens for a few years starting in 1989 while I toiled in highly unglamourous high school. There’s not a whole lot of information about Benita, no personal website, no trivia on her IMDB page–not even a birthdate–and little about the show on Wikipedia as well. In fact, the most personal and informative web document would be her Linked In profile.
While IMDB lists all the television shows and movie parts, it does not capture the other work like the time I saw her in the Neptune Theatre production of Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel. If there was little ethnic diversity on the screen, there is even less in theatre so I was pleased to see Benita Ha cast in a role that had little to no ethnical component.
Fast forward fifteen or so years later and I’m equally pleased when I could recognize her as a news reporter in a few episodes of locally filmed television series, V. Most recently, I spotted one of the BMO series of commercials where guileless customers are escorted into the BMO Room of Enlightment (my words) and Benita plays a welcoming BMO banker. If you peruse her Linked In profile, she’s not lacking for a cool day job and it seems like a good life to also pick up some local television spots intermittently.
Update: I found the YouTube video of the commercial I’m talking about!