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Our "Cool" Canadian Leader
Oct 3, 2009 | Views: 302
- Our "Cool" Canadian Leader
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Harper got by with a little help from cellist Yo-Yo Ma taking to the stage just prior to the intermission to sing and play the piano. He performed a classic Beatles tune — With a Little Help from My Friends — accompanied by Ma, one of the greatest classical musicians of our time, and members of the Ottawa band, Herringbone.
Harper’s unexpected number earned him a standing ovation and loud cheers from the black-tie audience of 2,300 people.
At one point during the song, the crowd clapped along and, at times, chuckled aloud, as when Harper sang “What would you do if I sang out of tune,” which he did, and “I need somebody to love.”
Very few people in Southam Hall saw the Prime Minister’s performance coming, with the exception of his wife, who returned for her fourth year as chairwoman.
“I thought he was great,” she said at the VIP reception held during intermission. She admitted it had been a struggle for her to keep the secret to herself.
Others agreed. “I think it was a great move on his part,” commented provincial cabinet minister and Ottawa MPP Jim Watson, while pointing out that Harper was not wearing a black tie but an open-collar shirt. “Touche, Mr. Harper.”
Laureen Harper also made her own appearance on stage, just prior to the concert. She announced that this year’s gala had raised $575,000 for the National Youth and Education Trust, calling it “a shining example of how we can support the artistic development of young people across the country.”
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