Youngsters walking into Forest’s movie theatre on Sept. 11 to see a popular dog-based animated movie were in for a real treat.

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Lilly Bartlam, who voices the character Skye in PAW Patrol: The Movie, was there to greet the matinee goers and pose for photos before show time. The Kineto Theatre, operated by the service club, had held four screenings the weekend before but learned that Bartlam, who lives 35 km away in Grand Bend, was available to make a preshow appearance.

“We’re thrilled,” Ruth Illman, a Kiwanis Club of Forest member, said that she was happy to make a pre-show appearance. “She’s very gracious and the family is lovely to be able to accommodate and bring her here.”

“Lilly loves stuff like this,” Bartlam’s mom, Lara, said as her daughter greeted four-year-old – nearly five-year-old – Forest resident Mia Treamine, who was sporting a dog facemask and clutching PAW Patrol toys.

Bartlam, 15, landed the role of the fearless Cockapoo during the show’s sixth season and was also picked to be in the feature film, released late last month. The show has been approved for a ninth season.

“I’m still playing Skye, so that’s great,” She stated.

Bartlam, who attends St. André Bessette Catholic high school in London, used to record the character’s voice in Toronto but, like many in the industry, had to get creative when the pandemic arrived during the spring of 2020.

“Another show that I’m in sent me all the equipment and then I’ve been able to do it from my mom’s closet,” she said with a chuckle. “It’s very good equipment, which is nice.”

Bartlam already has an extensive career as a child actor, having recently worked on a show called Total DramaRama and previously appearing in The Handmaid’s Tale, but her parents aren’t performers.

“Lilly found her passion on her own,” Dave, her dad, said. “Her older sister was doing some acting and she was inspired by her.

“We know nothing about it. We’re learning from Lilly.”

Her 17-year-old sister, Anna, does theatre and is in Netflix’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom.

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