Special Events

specialimg1 Looking good at the big show.
specialimg2 Celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary.

Oh Canada, Eh! -- November 12, 2017

There was over a year of preparation put into this show, celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary. The theatre had to be booked, new songs learned, script and program written, costumes decided upon, props gathered and volunteers enlisted. Then, just one week after returning from International Contest, it was show time!

We arrived at York Woods Library Theatre at 10 a.m., loaded down with props, costumes, raffle baskets and food. While we were setting up the lobby for the ticket table, our raffle baskets and the baked goodies that would be served at the reception after the show, Wendy’s husband and two sons were busy setting up the stage and working on the sound and lights. After warm-ups, we went on stage for some rehearsal time and sound checks, then left it to Wendy’s quartet, Skyfall, and our guest quartet, Yonge Guns, for their rehearsals, while we had lunch and got changed.

In the first half of the show, we wore our most elegant black, with sparkly silver accessories, and sang songs of love, as Nikki recounted to the audience how she was searching for and then found love. Then Bev introduced Skyfall, followed by Yonge Guns, two fabulous quartets, to fill out Act One.

The second half of the show began with a return of Skyfall, and then Yonge Guns. Yonge Guns ended their set with the song “Canadian Girl”, as the Accolades took the stage. The chorus then countered with “Canadian Man”, to start off the Canadian portion of the show. Dressed in red and white – an open red shirt, revealing a white t-shirt underneath emblazoned with a red sequin maple leaf – the Accolades sang a series of songs about Canada and written by Canadians. In the middle of this second act, there was a singing break in which Judy led the Crazy Canuck Challenge – a quiz show with two volunteer contestants pulled from the audience who, with the help of the rest of the audience, answered quiz questions about Canada. We concluded the show with the Canadian version of “This Land Is Your Land”, which we encouraged the audience to join in on, followed by a reception back in the lobby.

A big thank you is due to all of the Accolades who worked so hard to put the show together, and especially to friends and family who volunteered their services, and all those who came out to the show. We had a lot of fun and felt it was a success. As always, though, we hope to make the next one even better!

specialimg3 Exploring Halifax Harbour.
specialimg4 Skyfall lands fourth place medals!

IC&C -- November 2 to November 5, 2017

Some Accolades arrived in Halifax on Wednesday, with the rest joining them the following day. The weather was lovely and mild – thankfully, since the Convention Centre was a good 10 to 15 minute walk from the Delta Halifax Hotel where the chorus was staying, and the most direct route was outside rather than indoors through the mall. The walk was well worth it on Thursday, though, to see Skyfall make the top ten in the quartet semi-finals.

Everyone raved about the restaurants and the food in Halifax during their stay. On Thursday evening, the Accolades had time to experience some of the local fare. One group went to the highly recommended Bluenose Restaurant, where most dined on the famed Halibut Dinner and were not disappointed. And it was made all the better when accompanied by the beer of the east, Alexander Keith’s! Later, back at the Convention Centre, the “Parade of Champions” paid tribute to championship quartets from across the years, and was emceed by the hilarious Anne Bureau, appearing in a boa and evening gown and escorted on and off stage by her “men in black”. Accolades finally fell into bed, after meeting for a short rehearsal at the end of the evening.

On Friday morning, many Accolades ate breakfast in their rooms, but others enjoyed the elaborate breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant, before getting together in a lovely, open room that had been booked for rehearsal time. As the chorus was scheduled to sing last, some took the opportunity to watch a few of the earlier choruses perform, but others spent the extra time resting and having a bite to eat before going on stage. That evening, the whole chorus went out to Salty’s, right on the waterfront. After enjoying the delicious seafood and sharing a huge portion of the native Blueberry Grunt for dessert, the Accolades regaled the restaurant with a few songs, while looking out over the lights of the Halifax Harbour.

Saturday morning was a perfect opportunity to explore Halifax, and many took off on a walking tour that took them through the city to the Halifax Public Gardens, up Citadel Hill for a fabulous view of the harbour, and down to the historic waterfront itself. The afternoon provided more excitement, when Skyfall placed 4th in the quartet finals and received their medals. The weekend concluded with a big Harmony Dinner and the “Showcase of Champions”, featuring all the winning choruses and quartets. Then alarm clocks were set and Accolades tried to snatch a few hours of sleep before catching early morning shuttles back to the airport and home again. But all will be pining for the mild weather, the seafood, and the fun and friendship of that weekend for a while to come!

specialimg5 Wendy shows off her chorus and quartet ribbons and medals at Moonglow!
specialimg6 Toronto Accolades' Flower Power Girls at Moonglow!

AC&C -- May 26 to May 28, 2017

Our first year in Area Five! We loved the location — Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, just a short drive from home, and no border crossings or money exchange. But were we going to feel like outsiders, crashing a family party? We needn’t have worried about that, because everyone was so friendly and welcoming!

A bunch of us lingered over a yummy buffet at the Inn restaurant late Friday afternoon, then attended the quartet contest in the Crystal Ballroom, where our director’s quartet, Skyfall, placed an exciting second. Back at our rooms, we hung door signs and held small nail-painting parties in the hallway, before heading to bed. Everything seemed so leisurely here, all taking place under one roof.

Saturday was chorus contest day — rehearsals in the morning, on stage before 1 p.m., then evaluations from the judges later in the afternoon, after learning that we had come third and qualified for International Competition, in spite of the qualifying mark being raised 3% over last year.

The Saturday evening buffet dinner and Moonglow had a High School Club theme, so the Accolades went as Flower Power Girls from the Sixties. During the evening, Jo Anne was recognized with a certificate for sponsoring a new member to the Accolades, and Normi was honoured with a certificate for her 30 years in Harmony, Inc. The dinner and Moonglow were held in the Trade Centre attached to the Inn, because Area Five’s numbers had almost doubled with the addition of our southern Ontario choruses, so the Inn itself could not accommodate us all. Unfortunately, acoustics for the evening’s proceedings were not good in the Centre, and it was also not an inviting venue to stay in to socialize afterwards. But room parties and singing in the Inn itself were being discouraged. On the positive side, it meant more sleep on Saturday night so that people were wide awake and eager for the Educational Classes being offered on Sunday morning. It was also easier to stay for classes, knowing that the drive home afterwards was a short one.

Next year, Area Five’s AC&C will be held at the Delta Toronto East Hotel at Hwy 401 and Kennedy Road. You can’t get much closer than that! And we won’t be worried about our acceptance into the Area Five family, because we have already been welcomed with open arms and will continue to feel more and more at home with our new family with each passing year.