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    Canadian tightrope walker Jay Cochrane dies of cancer at age 69

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    From Yahoo! Canada News:

    Celebrated Canadian tightrope walker Jay Cochrane died Wednesday in Niagara Falls, Ont., at the age of 69.
    A tribute on Cochrane‘s website to the man dubbed ‘‘The Prince of the Air‘‘ says he died from pancreatic cancer.

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    Jay Cochrane’s Skywalks

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    I haven’t had a chance yet to see Jay Cochrane walk the wire from the Skylon Tower to the Hilton Fallsview tower. I’ve seen him before and thought it was an excellent show.

    Apparently there are a couple of great ways to see the walk. The first is to be there in person. You can pay for your regular admission up the Skylon Tower and you will see him walk. There are signs around the property indicating this, as well as the fact that you can see him in person just before the walk.

    The other way is from the Skywalk 2012 web site. The Hilton has a webcam and you can view the walk. Cool!

    When he was here 5 years ago, I posted a couple of videos. You can see the shorter video (30s) here:

    You can see the longer video (2 1/2 minutes) here:


    Final word (I think) on Jay Cochrane for 2008

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    There has been some speculation that Jay Cochrane would be in Niagara Falls to perform on Clifton Hill this year. Recently, the Niagara Falls Review had an article saying this was unlikely. I have a source who has told me that Jay will be in Chicago (at the Navy Pier – Skyline Stage) this year working on the production of Cirque Shanghai: Gold (not as a performer but as a manager/adviser). International Special Attractions Ltd. is involved with the show, and when you visit their web page, you see that Jay has a couple of responsibilities.

    The Clifton Hill walk would have been cool. Who knows… there is always next year.

    Don’t forget to sign the petition!

    “Crossing the Falls” – the Jay Cochrane documentary

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    The other day I heard from Jay Cheel, the independent documentary filmaker who is working on a Jay Cochrane project. I’ve written about this a couple of times before. We had a bit of an email exchange, and with Jay’s permission, here is some of it:

    Jay Cheel:

    I just wanted to point you in the direction of a new updated proposal video I have online. The Jay Cochrane project is tentatively titled ‘Crossing the Falls’, and the new video features my interviews with Wayne Thomson, Tim Parker and some Cogeco footage of Wayne’s interview with Jay.
    Here’s the link:

    Graham Wing:

    Did the guy from Niagara This Week ever contact you?
    Do you have anything lined up with Jay yet?


    I haven’t heard from the Niagara This Week guy.
    I’m hoping Jay will make it down to Niagara this summer. If so, I’ll definitely be meeting up with him. If not, I’m considering flying down to Florida. I just have to decide what I’m going to do if his proposal is denied!


    That footage from Cogeco is great. You can really see how intense Jay is.
    What plans do you have for “releasing” the finished product when it’s done?


    Plans for releasing it are up in the air at this point. I still have a year and a half until it will be totally completed, and that’s dependent upon Jay getting permission to actually go through with his walk. I have my fingers crossed both for him and the film.I’ve started sending my proposal out to some production companies, but I will be finishing the film no matter what. At this point it’s a one man show, as I’ve been shooting, editing, lighting and what not all by myself. Hopefully in the future I’ll have some support from a production house. If not, I’ll probably enter the finished product into as many film festivals as possible in hopes to get distribution via television and dvd.

    I’m really confident with the footage I have thus far, and I think if everything goes as planned, there could be a great little film here.

    The video looks better than ever, and as I mentioned to Jay Cheel, the footage of that interview with Jay Cochrane is great stuff.

    Don’t forget to sign the petition!

    Proposal Video for Jay Cochrane Documentary

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    As I’m sure many of you remember, local documentary filmmaker Jay Cheel is doing a documentary based on Jay Cochrane. I was interviewed in September at Marineland and I previously posted the picture above with details of the interview. Shortly after the interview, he sent me a short preview video that he had put together. It looked pretty good, but he didn’t want it released yet. He is finally getting around to doing some more work on it, and has posted the video online. Jay has several other interviews lined up and I’m looking forward to hearing how they went. If you watch the video, you’ll hear my voice after Mayor Salci is done in the first segment. You then see me standing in front of the whales.

    Once on his site, you can click a link to visit Vimeo (the video hosting site). This takes you to a page for Jay Cheel where he has a couple of other videos posted. The video simply called “Untitled” is a mixed bag of several projects he’s worked on. About halfway through the video there are some of the same clips as in the main Niagara Falls demo, but there are also some new clips from Niagara Falls that I hadn’t seen before (Niagara SkyWheel, the former Marvel arcade, pictures of the Falls, etc).

    Don’t forget to sign the petition!

    Jay Cochrane equipment gone

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    Last Thursday when I was out and around, the towers and wires used for Jay Cochrane‘s skywalks were taken down.


    The concrete blocks that were on the sidewalks are gone, but the blocks that were on private property are still there


    You can see them taking down the tower closest to the Skylon Tower


    The tower at the corner of Murray Hill and Fallsview Blvd (next to Wolfgang Puck’s) was already down

    Other than the few remaining concrete blocks, there are no other signs now that Jay Cochrane was here.

    Don’t forget to sign the petition!

    Jay Cochrane and Harry Oakes

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    Yesterday when I was out and around I saw Jay Cochrane over on the HOCO property talking with Harry Oakes. Jay’s done now with his skywalks near the Skylon Tower. I didn’t hear what they were saying… I don’t know what they were talking about… but it would be pretty cool if Jay was back next year walking over the Niagara SkyWheel!

    Of course the coolest thing would be a walk over the Falls next year. I still have the petition going, and if you haven’t signed it, please do.

    Don’t forget to sign the petition!

    Update on Jay Cochrane Petition


    I mentioned that on Friday there was a link to my Jay Cochrane Petition in the Niagara Falls Review. I kept checking the petition throughout the day expecting the number of people who “signed” to increase dramatically. However, throughout the day it only grew by a couple of people and I couldn’t understand what was wrong. At about 5 pm I was looking at the paper again and it hit me… the URL was too long, and the publishing system had wrapped it automatically and put in a hyphen ( – ). The people saw the URL had to type it in themselves (since they obviously can’t click on an physical newspaper) and I’m sure they tried to put the hyphen in. Unfortunately, that URL with the hyphen doesn’t exist. Here is the paper.


    I contacted the online petition site and asked if they could make both URLs for me, but I never heard back from them. I also contacted the Review with a shorter URL they could put in the paper, but they didn’t get back to me either.

    For those who aren’t aware, this all started because a week ago today I saw Jay do one of his skywalks, and it was great. I went home and created the petition. I’ve also created a Jay Cochrane Petition page on the site with a link to the petition and banners to place on your site.

    Jay Cochrane’s Skywalk


    One of the people who really put Niagara Falls on the map was Blondin. Blondin’s story is told very well in the IMAX movie. There has always been something about Niagara Falls which has brought daredevils and other performances. In our more modern times, the only people like that you see are generally found in circuses. One exception to that is a Canadian performer, Jay Cochrane. Jay has performed in Niagara Falls before, and is back again this year walking between two large towers setup by the Skylon Tower. His scheduled performances are daily at 4 pm and 8 pm. We’ve had some poor weather, so for the last 6 days (Tuesday to Friday of last week and Monday and Tuesday of this week), he has been unable to walk at 4 pm (I’m not sure about 8 pm). Twice he had been up the tower and then come down.

    Finally yesterday I was able to see him. It is really quite amazing. He is focused. He is deliberate in his steps. There never seemed to be any doubt that he would complete the walk successfully. It’s all quite impressive.

    I’ve taken some pictures and posted them to the 2007 Jay Cochran Skywalks gallery. Here are some samples (the thumbnails are not clickable… visit the main gallery to see the larger pictures):

    I’ve also uploaded a movie to my YouTube channel that you can watch:

    Lastly, I was so moved by his ability to perform, I created an online petition to encourage the Niagara Parks Commission to allow him to walk above the Falls. You can read more about it on my Jay Cochrane Petition page. I also have images on the site that you can put on your site if you want to promote this.

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