Water, Earth & Fire Showcase: Toronto

Trip Start Apr 03, 2008
Trip End Apr 06, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Sunday, April 6, 2008

This was a showcase of elements on a 270 degree open stage - three separate Phoenix performances representing water, earth and fire punctuated the large-scale corporate awards ceremony with an infusion of high-end show impact. Our drumming show elevated the crowd as top Senegalese drummer Mamebirane M'boup fired up his solos with full force. All our pieces were amplified by the very nice effect of 360 degree surround video projection. The entire Canadian crew - the organisers, agency, technicians and even drivers - were impeccably professional and totally friendly, as were all Canadians everywhere we went. There was a very smooth, consistent and well oiled manner in place that made for a really straightforward working environment. Staying in the same hotel as the event we performed at definitely helped.

A lot of Toronto seems to also go underground and I figure the cold winters there may be part of the reason for it. Perhaps that's normal in north America, I'm not sure. Mazes of shopping centers connect all the major buildings from beneath the earth and I was told that a person can walk in a subterranean straight line for about eight miles from the central train station before having to resurface. In our time off we went shopping, got hotdogs and checked out the CN tower, which was the world's tallest free standing structure before being surpassed by the Burj Dubai in 2007. We also walked past the baseball stadium, a building famous for its SkyDome, shortly before a game was due to begin and we were harangued by scalpers hustling to sell tickets while we ate our Canadian hotdogs. It all felt very genuine, and nice for me as I'd never been in north America before.

I have to say that Canadians live up to their passion for ice-hockey. In one restaurant I counted more than twenty-five televisions showing about 15 different games simultaneously. Something else that struck me, at least in the location, was that everything was 'designated' to be something e.g. the signs read 'designated backstage', 'designated catering area' or 'designated pedestrian crossing' instead of simply 'backstage', 'catering area' or 'pedestrian crossing' - there were many signs like this and it struck me (at least) as being uniquely funny...

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