Monday, February 18, 2008

Louis Riel Day

The third Monday in February is a new stat holiday here in Manitoba, and instead of the insipid "Family Day" chosen by Ontario, they've gone with Louis Riel Day. It's a perfect fit for the Festival, and the site is positively hopping - crowds everywhere, and a special ceremony by the Riel snow sculpture on-site.

We're busy with photos again - we make a lot of friends today - and we have the delightful Louane as our volunteer once more. Sadly, we have to close down before the end of the Day as there is only one flight back to Toronto tonight, and the Photographer has to be on it. So at four o'clock we start the tear-down and in half an hour we are ready to go.

This early finish - though disappointing - is a bit of a bonus, as we're all exhausted and looking forward to a nap before our evening event. Once back at the hotel, my Man and I don our bathrobes and swimsuits and head up to the hot tub, which is one floor above our room - on the 21st floor. Twenty minutes in the hot tub and we're relaxed and sleepy. We toddle back down to our room, enjoy a G&T from the minbar, and sleep for an hour.

Our gig tonight is at the King's Head Pub. Run by the delightfully Irish and extremely frenetic Francis (who embraces us when we leave), the King's Head has a huge selection of beer and a great menu with a whole page of curries! (My Man, the Francophone and I have the Lamb Madras, the Butter Chicken, and the Lamb Vindaloo respectively.) The Francophone's sister and husband join us once again, and we all enjoy our delicious food while waiting for the music to start. We were joined by a number of new friends and some old ones - our table was crammed all the way around by the time our meal was over.

Tonight's band is Les Voyous, and their music is a highlight of the festival for me. These musicians could not have been more than twenty-five years old at most - but they were tight, professional and clearly having a rockin' good time up there. The lead guitarist, in particular, is an incredible talent, completely without attitude but clearly enjoying himself. A really great finish to the festival weekend.

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