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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wynter

All hail Stuart McLean

Last night Tim and I had the very good fortune of being dragged along by my lovely newfound friend and co-preschool Mama Sabina and her hubby Graham, to see Stuart McLean live at the Banff Centre.

Now all I knew about Stuart prior to this was that:

– he was a storyteller. What kind of storyteller, I didn’t really know, other than that from what I’d read, his shows encompassed music, comedy and good old-fashioned, well…storytelling.

– he had a radio show that was rather popular. (I later was told that his radio show The Vinyl Cafe – of which this show was pretty much just a live version – attracts over 700,000 listeners every single WEEK.)

And now I know why.

Wow, oh wow. To say I was ‘blown away’ would just be too easy. But I’m tired. So there you have it. I was blown away. Just to see somebody telling stories – with funny parts, to be sure, some of them inspiring tears of laughter, but by no means punchline after punchline – and able to weave their spell over the audience such that they are hanging on the teller’s every word, was an incredible thing to be part of.

And the musicians – guests of his, as would be the case on his radio show no doubt – were incredible to boot. The whole evening just really opened my mind up to what live performance can really be.

Plus I’ve decided that what I really admire – besides his natural charm, relaxed way with a massive crowd and apparent genuine love of live performance – is Stuart’s evident commitment to sharing his profile to benefit up-and-coming artists. I’ve been told that thanks to him giving unknown talents a shot on his shows, tours, and so on, they have gone on to massive things shortly thereafter. Talk about sharing the love around!

On another note, it is my hubby’s b’day today – he had a very suitably spoiled day, capped off with a CHESS BOARD BIRTHDAY CAKE. I’ll post a pic soon. I didn’t even get it out of a magazine but designed it and whipped it up all on my own! (those long-term readers of you out there will appreciate why, given my track record in disastrous b’day cakes, this is a big deal for me). Yes, yes. I know. Landmarks all round.

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