It's just after midnight and Steve and I just got home from a fundraising gala for the Royal Conservatory of Music. I must admit that attending this event was a bit tough, given the fact that I work for Toronto's competeing music school, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. But my Canadian music geekness won out when I found out that one of my favourite bands, Blue Rodeo would be recieving an Honourary Fellowship to the RCM at this event.
So we arrived at the posh Windsor Arms Hotel. From the moment we walked up to the front doors it was clear that this was a big freakin' deal. Glass water falls lined the red carpet entrance and a violinist in a strapless white dress adorened with faux monarch butterflies greeted the guests. (Ironcially, the violinist was a graduate of U of T, who is currently finishing up her studies at the Conservatory's Glenn Gould Professional School.) The inside was decorated with white candles and orchids. Very classy. After mingling and enjoying some fabulous hors d'ouvers, we entered the main room for the dinner and presentation. The room was absolutely elegant. Dimly lit, huge candelabras, more orchids, just gorgeous. As people started filtering in, I recognized some important and famous Canadians (in addition to the guests of honour, Blue Rodeo): former Ontario premier Bob Rae, the man who made City TV Moses Znaimer, Canadian music legend Murray McLauchlan, and one of my personal heroes, Denise Donlon. She joined MuchMusic in 1985 as a host and producer, moved to Director of Music Programming in 1992 and was Vice President and General Manager from 1997 - 2000. She WAS MuchMusic. Since her departure, it's become crap. After leaving MuchMusic, she was President of Sony Music Canada until 2004. Currently she sits on the Board of Directors for one of Canada's biggest media companies, CHUM Limited. For a long time, I wanted to be Denise Donlon. To me she was the ultimate Canadian woman. Just being in the same room with her was overwhelming. After a couple of glasses of wine, I found the courage to ask for a picture with her and her awesome husband, Murray McLauchlan. She said yes, because she and I were the only people in the room that knew all the words to Blue Rodeo's songs. She was sitting at the next table and obviously saw me enjoying the performance and singing along. (I do get a little enthusiastic at concerts that I enjoy, much to the embarrasment of my friends.)