On the CLC's Author Cabaret and other fundraising galas

I attend a lot of events where I don't exactly fit into the average age demographic. Kiwanis is of course no exception. And today, I watched a YouTube video that reminded me of this fact (I'm not going to link the video here, but I'm pretty sure that it's not that hard to figure out what I'm referring to in general, as I have many many friends who are more than twice my age). I honestly don't care that I spend time with folks who are either much younger or older than I am, but every so often it really becomes self-evident. Last night was, of course, no exception.

I was attending the third annual Canadian Literature Centre fundraising Gala (and the first one which had a student price to attend — and my pocketbook really really thanks the board of the CLC for this fact, as my finances are much much tighter this year than in the past… darn rules and regulations about being in one's third year of a Masters program, even if my Masters is a three year program!), and it certainly felt like I was one of the youngest folks in the room. I didn't mind of course, as I had some good conversations with some of my profs (people I know from the digital humanities community this time) and an ol' friend with whom I all too rarely stay in touch (partially as she's not on social media).

The food, was as always at the Art Gallery of Alberta, delicious. I really enjoyed the bite-sized desserts as they were neither too sweet nor to large. I also loved the lox (normally I dislike it, but it was so well prepared and balanced out with something sweet and salty), the other appetizers were great too, particularly the cheese in phyllo pastry item. I guess I wasn't completely wowed, but it was a very delicious spread just the same. While I don't drink alcohol in general (and it was darn free-flowing!), I really enjoyed drinking pineapple juice and the service at the venue was great too!

Then there were the readings! Todd Babiak made a great MC! I really loved Marty Chan's story (behind the inspiration for the play: Mom, Dad, I'm Living with a White Girl). Claudine Potvin's story was good too, though I missed a bit because of her voice, I guess. My French is good, but I can't say that it wasn't hard to hear her. Richard Van Camp did indeed bring the sexy (which was great! I have to read some of his work sometime, wow!). Marina Endicott's story excerpt really came alive for me too! And then Lawrence Hill's vignette from a new yet to be published (or finished) book was really neat!

Like any fundraising gala, some of the speeches went on a bit too long (though really, I'd only complain about one, but I'm not saying which!). I also noticed that at least one person on stage (not anyone I already mentioned) needs to work on public speaking skills, as ums, ahs, and other stumbling blocks interfered with appreciation of what was said.

While I don't tend to know many at this event, it's an enjoyable one for an organization I feel very strongly about supporting, and I did have a fine time chatting with folks, listening and eating. Perhaps in 30 years I'll be closer to the average age of the people in the room, but this doesn't mean that I don't appreciate and enjoy attending these types of events, particularly when there's an awesome student rate to attend and listen, eat and enjoy!