The Speech I Would Have Given

The Whistler Excellence Awards dinner was held this week. The event honours excellence in the areas of Service, Innovation and Sustainability, and outstanding leadership in Arts, Business and Community Service. I was surprised and honoured to be a finalist in the category of Whistler Champion of Arts and Culture.

It was lovely to get dressed up (something I don’t get a chance to do living in a ski town), and it was wonderful to share the evening with so many friends. Friends, acquaintances and strangers were very generous and supportive. They made me feel loved and so grateful I live in such an openhearted, loving community.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t win. You may have already picked that up from the title of this blog, but just in case you didn’t I thought I’d warn you.

I tried to thank everyone who came out to support me. The words, ‘thank you’, feeling so inadequate for all the things so many people have done for me. Here’s what I hope I conveyed in the brief words I said in person and what I would have said if I had won.

Wow! Who knew? Thank you so much. I’d like to especially thank Rebecca Wood Barrett who unbeknownst to me colluded with others in the community to nominate me for this incredible award. And to Katherine Fawcett, Sara Leach, Mary MacDonald, Libby McKeever, Sue Oakey, and Nancy Routley, who were her partners in crime. They didn’t breathe a word of it to me until the deed was done. Sometimes I wonder who runs this Vicious Circle group. I see now that I lost control a long time ago. And that’s probably a good thing. Without them, I wouldn’t be here standing before you.

Thank you also to my friends who came out tonight to support me. They are that loud, unruly bunch over at table 20. I’m lucky to have them in my corner. 

I’d like to also thank the man, who is hiding at the same table, hoping I don’t mention him. He’s the one I’m married to. Dave puts up with all my crazy ideas, running for cover anytime I utter the words, “I have an idea”. Still, he’s always by my side when I need him the most. He doesn’t know this, so don’t tell him: I couldn’t do half the things I dream up without his help and support.

In the arts and culture world, and I suppose this is true for any venture you put your soul into, it’s difficult to get noticed. We’re competing against a lot of noise. We artists are not naturally flashy. We do our work, heads down, fingers crossed, hoping for the best. This is definitely true for the other finalists in this category. So at this point, I’d like you to join me in acknowledging the years of hard work done by both Joan Richoz and Stephen Vogler. They have put a great deal of themselves into building a vibrant arts community in Whistler. We would not have the kind of community we love and adore without their tireless efforts.

Thank you again for this very special honour.

My friends and family were disappointed I didn’t win. I was happy to have enjoyed such a special night in the company of those I love and who love me back. Who could ask for anything more? 

In the first picture you see some of the members of my Vicious Circle group. The second picture is of members of my book club. Hamming it up and having fun! 

 Picture of Vicious Circle  book club1


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