A Beautiful Night Out : The Royal Occasion at The Royal Conservatory of Music

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Our friend Isabel works at The Royal Conservatory of Music, who host a lovely gala every year, called “The Royal Occasion”, during which three people who’ve made a significant contribution to Canadian music are named Honorary Fellows.

Lucky for us, for the last four years, Isabel has kindly offered us a couple of tickets to the show portion of the evening and the drinks and dessert reception that follow it.

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↑ Nick happened to look back at me just at the right moment. ↑

There is also a dinner preceding the show, for their fundraising supporters. We usually get a quick peek at the dining area as we pass it to go into Koerner Hall, and the decor and tables always look absolutely gorgeous in their candle-lit setting within the glass enclosure that is the galleria area of the hall.

This year, the colour theme was hot pink, black and white.

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In Koerner Hall …

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↑ I had no idea what the colour theme would be this year, but I fit right in with my hot pink nails and vintage mohair wrap. ↑

This year the recipients of the fellowships were iconic singer/songwriter k.d. Lang, concert piano player Jon Kimura Parker, and generous supporter of arts and culture in Canada, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The show combines speeches, the unveiling of the plaques, and performances by the honorees and by some current students and alumnus of the conservatory, who this year included 15 year old violinist Alice Lee, leading an ensemble in Vivaldi’s Spring part of Four Seasons. The music was wonderful, made better by the excellent acoustics inherent in what is thought to be one of the finest concert venues in the world.

I’ve always loved k.d. Lang’s extraordinary singing voice and was really excited for her part. Accompanied by a pianist, she sang Tony Bennett’s What a Wonderful World and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. The links lead to Youtube videos of her singing these same songs, if you’d like to hear how beautifully she does them.

I was informed by an usher who spied my tiny camera, that photos weren’t allowed during the show, and it took all my efforts to refrain from snapping a few sneaky shots to show you, especially as I watched all the bright lights of phones taking pictures, sprinkled throughout the audience. So, I’ll leave you with a descriptive visual instead – the presenters and performers were resplendent in formalwear and pretty gowns, with k.d. wearing a black pant-suit and bare feet.

Leaving the hall after the show, we entered the enchantingly decorated reception area. Strategically placed lamps and flickering candles lit the wide variety of tempting desserts, set out on counters. Gorgeous bouquets of perfect pink flowers decorated the tables, wine was offered, and live New Orleans Style Jazz music was performed by the Red Hot Ramble. The stunning effect was the work of 10tation Event Catering, Frangipane Patisserie, and Emblem Flowers — anyone getting married this summer would do well to consider these talented event creators for their party. It was all so very well done.

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↑ The desserts I tried were as delicious as they were nice to look at, with these exquisite lemon meringue tarts being my favourite. ↑

Our friend Andrea was there too. We actually first met her through Isabel at one of these events four years ago, so it’s our friendiversary this week!

Since we’d been in the balcony for the show, we exited up on the second floor, where we found a nice table away from the thick of the crowd.

Now in hindsight, I regret not having wandered away for a bit to take more photos than I did. I may even have been able to snag a selfie with k.d., like I did with Ron Sexsmith a couple of years ago – seen in this post.

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Midnight rolled around too quickly and it was time to go. I realized I hadn’t asked someone to take a picture of Nick and me together, so we quickly grabbed this one on the way out. It’s badly lit but what the hey.

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That’s the historic part of the building behind us. I wrote about it here when Isabel took me for a tour of the believed-by-some-to-be haunted space.

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↑ Couldn’t resist having a quick word with Ferenc Liszt. ↑

We headed for our chariots (aka, the subway train) home …

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What a wonderful night this was. Thank you to Isabel for inviting us and thank you to The Royal Conservatory of Music for making the whole thing possible. It is something we look forward to every year, for sure!

And thank you kindly for checking out my post. I hope you have a great weekend. It’s a three-day one here and we’re planning to get our outdoor space all set up for the season, with some friends coming over to test it out. We went to Shaw Flowers yesterday to pick up a bunch of flowers, which I look forward to getting into pots.

xo loulou

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