I do love performing at Lougheed House, Calgary's most beautiful and best-maintained grand Victorian house. The Mission Room, so named for its design style, is like a drawing room for post-dinner entertainment and is absolutely perfect for a cosy, sophisticated evening with a Victorian atmosphere. Rather makes you want to gather around a grand piano and sing civilised songs. (Luckily they actually have a Steinway in the room, just in case.)
A couple of weeks ago Lougheed House hosted an evening's food and entertainment for local members of SKAL, an international tourism and tour-operators' professional organisation. Blane Hogue, the executive director of the house, had been given the mandate of providing 'an evening of magic and mystery' for the guests - none of whom had any advance idea of what the night would involve, and he called me in as their surprise entertainer.
And what a group! Forty-odd extroverts seated in the little room, post-dinner and post-wine and obviously in a gregarious and participatory mood. I'd met many of them earlier in the evening during the cocktail hour as I did some close-up strolling magic, and they were definitely in the mood to enjoy themselves. Ah yes, a good time was indeed had by all.
One of them, Julien DeSchutter, kindly emailed me a few photos last night that he'd taken during the evening, which I'm posting here.