To say that the Winnipeg concert was a smashing success would be an understatement. Besides getting a VERY enthusiastic standing ovation and playing an encore - the near capacity audience at the Pantages theatre just wouldn't let us leave the stage! The event was just so wonderful to do. It was one of the most pleasant concerts Winter Harp has ever put on, and a large part of this is thanks to Janelle's wonderful family who did all the ground work and preparation.
Upon arrival we were treated like rock stars as we were wisked away from the airport in a long stretch limousine that took us directly to the first rate hotel.
The Pantages theatre is a large old theatre similar to the Orpheum, elaborately decorated with gilded plaster and heavy velvet curtains.
The sound and light men at the theatre were first rate professionals of the highest caliber, and the entire show went off without a hitch.
We had a cute as a bug reader named Kendra do a short reading during the ethereal Gaelic Carol number.
The next day Lori and I drove out to visit Janelle's parent's farm.
Even with the blowing snow one very quickly gets a sense of the vastness of the prairies.
Janelle's mom Rachelle cooked us up a hearty lunch which couldn't be beat - a wonderful quiche and for dessert fresh fruit crepes! After lunch we took a tour of the farm. It is truly an impressive operation which offered quite a lot of insight into the components which literally make up our daily bread. It's always fascinating to see the process right from the ground up, and the machinery and equipment required to make food of the quality and low price which we are so fortunate to have is also astonishing.
Huge harvestors as tall as a house, massive tractors, and all the related machines and installations to process and sift grains and seeds and package them. It was really a very interesting and amazing tour, and Lori and I even got to sit in one of the gigantic harvestors which Janelle and her sister drive around in during harvest season. Driving these massively powerful machines is really quite a startling contrast to the delicacy of playing a harp, but the members of Winter Harp lead very interesting and sometimes quite unexpected lives outside of the performance season.
It also was reassuring to know that food which is grown in Canada is safe. It's very, very, safe.
WestJet did their usual fabulous job of getting all our gear back and forth in one piece, and they are always so pleasant to deal with, even when we show up with mountains of oversized flight cases. This is what Winter Harp looks like at the airport:
We are all looking forward to visiting Winnepeg again, it was such a great way to start the Winter Harp season. You can bet we will be back!