More Than A Miner Character

By Norm Coyne on May 10 2016

Michael Coleman - Bio

A versatile character actor best known for his role as Happy on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Michael as also performed memorable roles on sci-fi and fantasy series such as Smallville, Stargate: SG- 1, Stargate: Atlantis, Fringe, Eureka, Blood Ties and Supernatural. His voice has also been used to bring to life characters on shows like Dragonball Z, Inuyasha, Hamtaro, Hello Kitty, Hellsing, X-Men: Evolution and Gundam Seed: Destiny.

When Northern FanCon came around on the calendar, Barkerville Historic Town got happy. To rephrase more precisely, Barkerville Historic Town got Happy. The character. The dwarf. The very one seen each week on the hit television show Once Upon A Time.

The actor who plays Happy happens to be a longtime friend of Barkerville’s manager of visitor experiences James Douglas. Douglas and Michael Coleman worked together as actors in the Vancouver production of Storyeum, a show depicting the history of B.C. Douglas played Captain Cook while Coleman played, of all people, Billy Barker.

Each year, Barkerville hammers out a partnership with FanCon due to the multiple ways the two entities fit together. The Victorian/Western aesthetic, the historical figures, and the underlying cosplay involved in the gold rush historic site finds kindred spirits in the FanCon audience. So much so that Barkerville sponsors one of the celebrity guests each year - someone who agreeably shows the national historic site some extra love.

This year, Coleman became available and Douglas picked him for Team Barkerville without even realizing how perfectly he would mesh.

“Believe it or not, I totally didn’t think of it until after we had done the deal, but, yes, of course, Happy is one of the seven dwarves from the Snow White story, and the dwarfs were old-school miners,” said Douglas. “And fans will love this: Michael has a sideline hobby where he takes a woodburning set and burns the word Happy into the handle of a pick-axe and he makes those available in limited numbers.”

The extra deal for FanCon participants is, anyone who spends the money for a photo with Coleman or pays for his autograph will receive a free weekend family pass to Barkerville Historic Town & Park.

One of the perks for Coleman is, he, too, has a family and will get to take them for an enhanced visit to the extraordinary historic site named for the character he once played at Storeyeum.

A2016Norm Coyne