Like Chuckwagons races are to the Stampede, or the Best Picture award is to the Oscars, last night’s main event, the Banff Distinguished Author Series, is to WordFest. It’s the premier event and this year featured Saskatchewan author Guy Vanderhaeghe and Toronto musician Justin Rutledge.
Now obviously this event was going to be a hard ticket to get, being the premiere event. While I have a pass, which allows me access to every event, it becomes a little more difficult when there are not tickets left. It seems John Law has determined that only a set amount of people are allowed in the theatre at any one time. I understand this, and am happy to wait until the very end to take my place inside to watch the show once it is known there are a couple of open seats.
But last night, there weren’t any last-minute no-shows, there weren’t any extra tickets, and as a result, it was looking like there would not be any…me. Then just as my fate seemed sealed, someone came up with the idea of having me watch in the green room. Down into the bowels of the Banff Centre I went, to take my place on a couch. From there I was able to watch the proceedings on a TV. Naturally this isn’t the same as sitting in the theatre, but it does have a lot to offer.
To begin with, there is wine in the green room. Secondly, there is cheese. So while I was not watching the performance live, I was re-fuelling and rehydrating. Life is full of trade offs, and that was mine for the day. I also had the pleasure of hanging out with some of the artists who were participating in the Poetry Cabaret event that followed, as well as the WordFest House Band.
I’ve always been curious about green rooms. I wonder things like, why are they called green rooms? Then I wonder why they so often aren’t green. I know at CBC radio in Calgary, the green room is actually just a couple of couches off to the side of the studio. It’s really more of a green alcove. Except the walls are off-white. I suppose it’s really an off-white alcove. Of course everybody still calls it the green room.
Here at the Banff Centre, there is an actual room for artists ro relax in before a performance. And, it has green walls to boot! It is truly a green room. And because of my access to wine and cheese, it made some who were not fortunate enough to visit the green room, green with envy. If you have the chance to watch a show from a green room, I suggest you do it. Also, if you are looking for a great place to host a St. Paddy’s Day party, green rooms would probably be a nice fit.
Basically, it was a great event, which I enjoyed from the next room, while drinking wine, eating cheese and getting to know a great group of artists.
Don’t forget to follow the Official WordFest hashtag on twitter, #wordfest2011