Monday, February 5, 2007

Winterlude begins...it's cold.

The cold helped out the organizers of Winterlude this weekend, as the canal was actually frozen enough to skate on, and I went out to check out the scene before the Randy Bachman show on Friday. Tons of people there to see the Winterlude kickoff, they were all over the NAC and on the bridge over the canal.

Our winners were in a beautiful roped-off section right up at the front of the stage, and I went to join them for a moment before taking off to the Hip show at Scotiabank Place. I wanted to see a bit of the opening ceremonies before I left, so I waited.

A giant BOOM! and fire shot into the sky from the sides of the stage. Smoke billowed out of the side stage area, and slowly cleared, to reveal...some guy. I was expecting KISS or AC/DC or something impressive. But it was just a guy singing a nice song about Canada in a James-Taylorish sort of way.

He was playing that Canada guitar that was made a few years ago. You know, that one they made out of bits of Wayne Gretzky's hockey stick, and the gallows where they hung Louis Riel, and Stompin' Tom's stompin' board, and Steve Nash's high school gym floor, and whatever else is Canadian and wooden. Jacques Cartier's canoe paddle, I suppose. A hot Frech girl came out and sang with him.

We were good to go, and had begun to leave, when Mikael Jean showed up. Not that I normally care what our governor general has to say, but she is HOT. And she was wearing tight leather pants. Which was awesome. And we were about three feet away, so I had to stay for at least a while. Gorgeous! And smart, classy, and a leather-pants enthusiast. My ideal woman. And her husband might be almost 100, so I don't have long to wait...

I had been debating with Jason for a while what the giant furry animals were. They were walking around Winterlude, and I thought they were beavers. Jason thought they were gophers. They looked a little like the one that was the mouse in Tom and Jerry. Jerry? I think. Well, they were introduced on stage. They are ice hogs! Which I think is great. The NCC has decided that Winterlude is so important that they have been given license to play God and create a whole new species specifically for the festivities. Just like when East Germany created a family of pork hawks to celebrate the tearing down of the wall.

We didn't want to leave in the middle of a speech or anything, since we were right up front, dead centre, so we stuck around for the speech from two ladies from the NCC. Which highlighted, for me, the inefficiency of the NCC, or at least the political correctness problem with city officials. One lady was a pleasant, well-spoken Francophone. The other was a pleasant, well-spoken anglophone. So, one is going to do the speech in French and one in English right? No! They both do bilingual speeches. So one speaks French and then struggles through Wnglish, then the other speaks English and struggles through French. It goes 20 minutes longer than it needs to. Great.

Then it was off to the Hip show, which was uneventful, for the most part.

We received an email this morning from two young guys who were near the canal after the show, and Randy Bachman passed by them, carrying his guitar back to the Westin hotel. They stopped him for an autograph, and he joked around with them, talked to them for twenty minutes, and walked back to his hotel with them. Randy Bachman is a fantastic guy, and he certainly made their day.

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