Saturday, September 28, 2019

The City of Ottawa Renames Centrepointe Theatre to Honor Late 'You Can't Do That on Television' Actor Les Lye

A theatre in Centrepointe was renamed on Friday to commemorate a late Ottawa entertainer who starred in You Can't Do That on Television

The Meridian Credit Union is renaming one of the Meridian Theatres in Ottawa to honour the life and accomplishments of entertainer, Les Lye.

The City of Ottawa and the credit union will rename the Centrepointe Theatre, the Les Lye Studio Theatre.

"We are pleased to recognize one of Ottawa's greatest entertainment stars. During Les Lye's career of nearly six decades, he created iconic characters that are cherished by adults and children alike," says Mayor Jim Watson in a news release, "This theatre, and Mr. Lye's legacy, will inspire a new generation of local actors and entertainers to make Ottawa laugh and cry."

Les Lye on 'You Can't Do That on Television'

Les Lye, who died in 2009 aged 84, was known for his acting and entertainment career which spanned more than half a century in Ottawa, Lye started his career in radio but was better-known for his TV work with CJOH-Ottawa and Nickelodeon. He starred on You Can't Do That on Television, which aired on CJOH-TV in Ottawa, portrayING a variety characters such as Ross Ewich, Lance Prevort and Mr. Schidtler in 143 episodes over 10 seasons between 1979 and 1990, and Uncle Willy & Floyd, which he created with his friend and fellow entertainer, Bill Luxton. He is also known for his voice work and appeared in several animated works including The Raccoons, Care Bears specials, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin and Dennis the Menace. He also wrote three episodes of You Can't Do That on Television. You Can't Do That on Television aired on Nickelodeon in the U.S. throughout the '80s, where it became a instant hit, and introducing slime to the network.

In 2003, Lye's career and achievement were recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.

"Les Lye's career found him heavily involved in the Ottawa theatre community, with the Ottawa Little Theatre, the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, as well as countless live stages for events that spanned nearly sixty years. This theatre naming is a perfectly fitting tribute," says Emily Lye, Lye's daughter, adding that, "Les also spent much of his spare time devoted to community service in Ottawa, with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. He gave much to our city."

“Meridian joins the City of Ottawa in celebrating Mr. Lye for his unwavering, long-standing commitment to the acting and entertainment community he served. What better way to honour his legacy than renaming one of Meridian Theatres’ vibrant, artistic spaces to become the Les Lye Studio Theatre. We share the passion he displayed during his life and the commitment he made to his community,” said Mark Ostland, District Vice President, Meridian Credit Union.

Sources:, Ottawa Citizen; Additional source: IMDb (II).

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