Thursday, May 26, 2005

It was Loud! Bright! Colourful! Over-the-top! Extravagant! And I loved every minute of it!

So i just got back from a shindig down at the Saddledome in honour of a certain special guest in Alberta...Yes, I saw the Queen of England today and went to the farewell/celebration of Calgary and Alberta. And, one can most likely figure what it was like simply by looking at my post's title. But wow, the show itself was amazing. The music was great, as it had elements of a symphony mixed in with a up-beat beat. The dancing was another wow, just the synchronization of it all, and the choreography was just like, wow. Haahaa, oh man, I have an inkling that i am going to be over-using the word Wow in today's post. And thsi is going to be a long post, as i want to remember it for years to come, and i am gonna be printing it off and tucking it away in my scrap-book...

Right, well before everything went down, Dianna and I left work early and trained it to downtown Calgary where we grabbed a quick bite before heading off for 9th ave. That was the street where the Queen's motorcade was to come down along, and there was a lot more people there then I had ever imagined, on the South side of the road the line along the road was sometimes four to five people deep, and on my side it ranged from like a few people to about three or four back. But I managed to get in pretty close to see all the action. So Harry the Horse mascot was out and about trying to warm the crowd up, except he got chastised by the police for playing in the middle of the road. When the horse left the police laughed and joked about Harry getting hit and then being put down. Oh man, hearing that made me giggle. So the police were out in full force, at any given moment i could count at least 25 biking, walking, or riding up and down the street. Oh and the Olympic torch was also lit on top of the Calgary tower, so it seems the city went all out, cuz there were flags along the traffic posts, and flags were being handed out, was pretty cool to see actually, me being a royalist and all...So a few minutes after Dianna and I arrived three cars went screaming down 9th ave, and i realized that it was in fact the Governor General and her husband, so again that was kinda neat to see. Then out of nowhere a helicopter appeared and the roar of motorcycles could be heard, i wish i had a camera with me cuz it was quite the site, there were something like 8 or 9 cops on bikes, and then a few cop cars, then there was The Sedan. Haha, yeah, it was obvious which car had Her Majesty in it as it had a flag on its side and the windows were rolled down. But the moment of seeing the Queen was brief to say the least, and i found it entertaining watching the rest of the motorcade follow, there were a good 27 cars, as that is what it said on my Dad's itinerary (he met her earlier in the day at a private reception)...But i did get to see the Queen and Prince Phillip. And as they came through the crowd broke into an applause which again i thought was really cool. So after the huge entourage motorcade thing left, Dianna and I booked it to the Saddledome for the next big event.

So anyways, the show started off with a local tv personality warming the audience up. Dave Kelly from A-Channel kinda lined up what we were to expect of the show, and gave us indicators to watch for and such. Anyways, Dave began listing off the dignitaries that were attending, and Premier Klein got some booing, Adrienne Clarkson got some cheering, Bronconnier got some cheering, and Paul Martin got a huge booing response when his name was read. Now none of the digniatries were there as it was just a warm-up, but oh man it was funny. The audience got chastised for it and said that we should appear as a unified nation when they broadcast the show live across the country and the world. Anyways, after a while of listening to the Philharmonic and the Calgary Youth Orchestra the dignitaries began to arrive. Paul Martin and his wife sauntered in and were given a warm reception, as was Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson and her husband. Premier Klein and his Wife and the mayor were also all given a welcoming applause. However, everyone was waiting for Her Majesty and His Royal Highness. They did a live feed to her Sedan rolling up and her walking through the 'dome. Then she appeared at the top of the stairs and the 'dome went nuts. Everyone was on their feet clapping and cheering the reigning Monarch of Canada. Then when she reached her seat the opening of God Save the Queen began, and truthfully, it was something else to be singing God Save the Queen in the presence of the actual Queen of England. After that the Gala began. Wow is all i have to say, it was an understated introduction which quickly changed and became an amazing show of light, sound, colour and dance. The Young Canadians were amazing, and the Stampede Show Band was outstanding. I mean, Calgary surprisingly has some world-class talent residing within the city limits. The Stampede Show Band has been rated the Number One Marching Band in the World numerous times over. The Young Canadians easily fill the Grandstand seats when they preform during the stampede, and it is easy to see why. The choreography of the show, the music, just everything was amazing. I was honestly in awe of everything i saw. I had always dreamed of attending a Gala like that, and I never thought I would ever have the chance of seeing one live in my own home town. I mean at one point they had 1,400 preformers on the floor at the same time! The costumes, the props, just everything made it into such a memorable experience. There was not one single dull moment in the show...at the end of it all, the military marched into the stadium and it was so cool to see the Queen Inspecting the Guard, but it was even better when she went over and inspected the veteran guard as well. For that the Queenr eceived a prolonged ovation. And soon after, the Queen was sent off with a rendition of Oh Canada and a reprise of God Save the Queen with a 21 Gun Salut occuring simultaneously. Oh what an afternoon to remember, i just soaked it all in...

Overall though, I have to say that the show was one of the most cool and memorable moments of my life. And that has to say something after everything I have managed to see and do so far in my life. Perhaps one day I will explain just what I have seen and done, from meeting the Pope in Rome, to being a dignitary at a Peace Treaty and meeting Kofi Annan of the United Nations, or the times the family were private guests of the former Governor General of Canada(by that i mean chauffered car, treats served on silver platters, etc). Wow, at the beginning of the Gala, Dave Kelly said that the afternoons festivities were liekly to be something that 50 years from now we will still look back on and say, "Wow, I was there when the Queen came for Alberta's Centennial..." and you know what, he was so completely right. I will never forget the day I payed tribute to Calgary, to Alberta, to Canada, and to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Great Britain, Canada, and the Common-wealth.

Cheers and Ciao all.

God Save the Queen.

5 Comments:

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fucking loyalist...

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Roo said...

Damn Right I am! Haha, oh and you forgot Royalist, and Monarchist in that list of things relating to the monarchy...

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Pixie said...

My favourite part was with the two fans and the blue silk sheet with the slits in it (representing a river) and people emerging. Absolutely beautiful

 
At 10:35 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

..really, wow- I watched the first ten mintues on TV and was beyond embarassed to be an Albertan. couldn't we have just walked her up the red mile and shown her a good time? BBQ maybe?

 
At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You got a point there, my Dad made the same point. But from a theatrical and Show point of view it was amazing. Showcasing Alberta though, well, it just fuelled the stereotype. Meh!

 

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