Two mom’s perspective on… Raising Their World Famous Daughters

Lorne Abugov

In conversation with Old Ottawa East residents, Heather Moxley and Colleen Wrighte, three things in common emerge. First, they have both resided on Marlowe Crescent in Old Ottawa East, a block apart from each other, for many years. Second, they have shared rollicking times together over most of those years in a neighbourhood book club.

The third thing in common is a little less common.

They both have internationally renowned and highly talented daughters – Amanda Nimmo, the international fashion model we profile in our interview this issue, is Heather Moxley’s daughter, and Wallis Giunta, the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera singer now based in England who will be featured in the August issue of The Mainstreeter, is Colleen Wrighte’s daughter.

Both of their daughters left Ottawa at tender ages to pursue glamorous careers in their respective fields on a global stage. This experience left each of the moms bursting with pride for their daughters, but with some concerns for their wellbeing.

This photo of the Nimmo/Moxley family and family friends was taken in the context of OOE’s Christmas Eve sleigh ride. Pictured from left to right are Geoff Nimmo, wife Heather Moxley, youngest daughter Amanda, Brandon Simins, eldest daughter Victoria, and John Pratt. Supplied Photo

This photo of the Nimmo/Moxley family and family friends was taken in the context of OOE’s Christmas Eve sleigh ride. Pictured from left to right are Geoff Nimmo, wife Heather Moxley, youngest daughter Amanda, Brandon Simins, eldest daughter Victoria, and John Pratt. Supplied Photo

In discussing her daughter’s modelling, Moxley says: “From a mother’s perspective, it’s an interesting career. Whether it’s short term, part-time or full time, it’s a career where you absolutely want to validate who it is that’s partnering with your daughter in the business.”

“Amanda was always with agencies that commanded a lot of respect. It’s really important as a parent that the girls have agents that you trust because, for agents in New York or in London, you just can’t meet them personally all the time. Amanda worked with agencies with bigger, well-renowned clients, and they were quite reputable. I don’t know if everybody’s been fortunate enough to have those experiences. I think it’s an industry that definitely has a dark underside that Amanda and I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere near.”

Colleen Wrighte remembers how nerve-wracking it was when her daughter, Wallis, was selected to travel on her own to Japan as an 11-year-old for a month-long choir tour as part of a hand-picked group of talented young Canadian choristers. “That was probably the formative time in Wallis’ life, but you can imagine how hard it was for Mike and I to send off our 11-year-old daughter halfway around the world.”

Both moms share a love of Old Ottawa East and relish the time they have spent raising their families in this community.

Moxley moved to Marlowe Crescent in Old Ottawa East in 1991, along with her husband Geoff Nimmo and older daughter Victoria. “After we were in the house for a year and a bit, Amanda wandered by to complete our family. And we’ve been very happy in Old Ottawa East since we’ve moved here, we love it,” she says.

During the first week of the pandemic lockdown, daughters Victoria and Amanda returned home from Toronto. Victoria, now 29 years of age, is pursuing her doctorate in geography at the University of Toronto, conducting research and doing some teaching. Amanda, now 26, has been enjoying life at home with her parents for the past eight weeks of the lockdown as she completed the third year online.

This photo of the Giunta/Wrighte family was taken on the front steps of their Marlowe Crescent home. Pictured from left to right are Colleen Wrighte, eldest daughter Wallis, son Cal, husband Michael Giunta (in the Santa hat) and youngest daughter Marley. Supplied Photo

This photo of the Giunta/Wrighte family was taken on the front steps of their Marlowe Crescent home. Pictured from left to right are Colleen Wrighte, eldest daughter Wallis, son Cal, husband Michael Giunta (in the Santa hat) and youngest daughter Marley. Supplied Photo

Wrighte and her husband, Michael Giunta, along with their three children, moved from Old Ottawa South to a home they built on Marlowe Crescent, where they have lived since 2003. Although her daughter Wallis spent only three years living on Marlowe Crescent before moving to Toronto and then New York to learn her singing craft, “she knows this whole area really well because all of our kids went to Lady Evelyn School right from kindergarten onward, so this community was a big part of their lives,” Wrighte remembers.

Although their world-famous daughters spent three or four years living across the street from one another on Marlowe Crescent, the girls didn’t really know one another too well growing up. “Our girls I recall might have been heading into high school when Wallis’ family moved into the neighbourhood, and both of those girls are older than ours, so the kids didn’t really cross paths too much,” says Moxley.

Wrighte remembers that Wallis was just turning 17 when they moved to Marlowe Crescent, and was attending Lisgar Collegiate, whereas Amanda, who was considerably younger, was going to Hopewell and then on to Glebe for high school. “I think they knew of each other, but I don’t think they really had that much interaction.”

The two moms, however, were a different story, as they came to know one another well in a neighbourhood book club that is still going strong. “I’m a pretty social person, and I quickly integrated into our little neighbourhood community around us,” says Wrighte. “The neighbours on Marlowe sort of embraced me and said you must join our book club and so I met everybody that way, including Heather. There’s 12 of us and we’re still a pretty tight group!”

facebooktwitterby feather
Filed in: Features, FP, Front Page, Interviews Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You might like:

THE MAINSTREETER PRESENTS : SUSTAINING BIODIVERSITY IN OLD OTTAWA EAST THE MAINSTREETER PRESENTS : SUSTAINING BIODIVERSITY IN OLD OTTAWA EAST
When Harry married Su – OOE residents tie the knot at Brantwood in virtually unbeatable style When Harry married Su – OOE residents tie the knot at Brantwood in virtually unbeatable style
City’s new Official Plan looks to mimic the success of development in Old Ottawa East City’s new Official Plan looks to mimic the success of development in Old Ottawa East
THE MAINSTREETER’S SOCIAL ISSUES SERIES – Food Security in the Pandemic – and Beyond THE MAINSTREETER’S SOCIAL ISSUES SERIES – Food Security in the Pandemic – and Beyond
© 2021 The Mainstreeter. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.
Proudly designed by Theme Junkie.