Last night, the Marketing Breakthroughs team embarked upon a journey. While the MB team is always going places, both literally and metaphorically, this particular journey was a little different: the destination was a secret.
Only Steve Klein, our intrepid CEO and Creative Director, knew where the evening would lead. Weeks ago, Steve had informed the rest of the MB team that they would be going on an adventure on the 19th of September. And while he wouldn’t share any specifics, our minds ran wild with speculations.
Were we going bowling? Would the night involve a driving range? Were we being led on a scavenger hunt?
Needless to say, we all guessed wrong. What follows is a live blog of last night’s events.
The first part of the night has begun. We’ve closed up the shop to prepare for a party in the office. Our spouses and partners begin streaming in through the front door.
Over the day, Steve has had the office transformed. He’s brought in bartenders and caterers. The kitchen table is decked out with salads and sushis. In the offices, two sleek black tables have been set up. It has all the earmarks of a cocktail party.
The party is in full swing. Jokes are flying across the board room table as we sit in anticipation for whatever might come next. We’ve been told that there will be a bus waiting for us outside the MB headquarters at precisely 6:10. Until then, we’re still in the dark about what is happening tonight, and where we’re going.
Steve smiles and shakes his head in response to all requests for information. He can keep a secret.
We sit in an idling bus, awaiting departure to… we know not where. All of us are in a state of bemusement. By this time, we’ve resigned ourselves to not knowing where we’re going.
We’ve been told that the bus ride will be 20 minutes long, and some of us make suggestions about where that may be, but we really have no idea.
We’ve been travelling for the past ten minutes. We’ve past Robertson Road and the Queensway. Where are we going?
We’ve left the Greenbelt behind us, and we still have no idea where we’re going. Some of us barely know where we are, having never ventured this far in this direction.
We’ve arrived! We’re at the Richmond Fair!
Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in. This is the last place any of us expected to end up tonight, and we could not be more surprised and delighted.
Steve Klein gets up in the front of the bus and begins to speak. He tells us that we’re here to see Natalie MacMaster. For many of us, that’s a name we haven’t heard in a long time. But for others, especially the Cape Bretoners among us, it is a name that is synonymous with the beautiful instrument that is the fiddle.
Steve gives us the briefing: since seating isn’t reserved, we’ll have to mark the territory ahead of time. He’s brought branded MB bags specifically for that purpose. We spring into action.
We’re out and enjoying the fair. One of the main attractions right now is the tractor pull. Some of us are under the impression that this involves a human being pulling a tractor. Not so! Instead, a small tractor, usually manned by a young boy, pulls a plow as far as possible. As the object moves, a weight slides toward the blade of the plow, making it harder to pull. It’s a noisy, entertaining spectacle.
Others try their luck at carnival games, while still others check out the rides. In terms of rides, the fair is equipped with a ferris wheel, a spinner, and a more extreme version of the spinner. Several of us make ourselves a bit sick on the rides, a tradition that no trip to the fair would be complete without.
Some of us are inside the Richmond Arena, checking out the opening act, Chris McCann. She wows us with a selection of Irish-influenced ditties. One particularly entertaining one involved a certain number of nuns in a lavatory… but I digress.
Natalie MacMaster has hit the stage. Tonight she’s playing with her husband, Donnell Leahy. If that last name sounds familiar, it certainly should. The Leahy family is well known for their Eastern Canadian fiddle music. And Donnell Leahy is definitely on his game.
Both the fiddlers play exceptionally, stunning the audience with up-tempo, heart pumping music. At one point, they bring their four children to the front of the stage and we are treated to a Von-Trapp-esque scene, only with more step dancing!
It really is a fantastic show. The house is utterly packed to the brim. And we couldn’t be having more fun.
We’re on the bus and going home. We reminisce about the night and share our experiences.
It is doubtless a MB night to remember.
Check out the Storify story below for a full Twitter experience of the night.