Easter weekend - always a good time for gigs and despite the potential of facing a mob of sugared-up kiddie widdies, they've always proved me wrong on the day. This time it was two days at the Calgary Zoo, next to the elephant enclosure. Wisely the stage was not too close. Not that there's any physical danger, of course, but if you have to compete for an audience's attention, a 160-lb magician is no match for a 15-ton troupe of pachyderms, even without microphones.
Then Chateau Lake Louise on Sunday. Yes, it's a bit of a drive but if you have to do a 5-hour commute for work it may as well be on a sunny holiday through the Rockies.
The hotel may be known for its stellar location and panoramic view of the lake and its bowl of surrounding mountains, or its almost-fairy-tale architecture, or simply the fact that it's pretty swish overall, but for me the selling point is that they have a resident Golden Retriever to greet people in the front lobby.
Frankly I suspect she's part of their plan for dealing with disgruntled guests. Complainants are probably told to sit with the dog while they fetch the manager because, let's face it, it's hard to get angry when your hands are full of retriever.