Mr 416expat and I began our first Canada Day together in Trafalgar Square (after a full day of work of course – no holiday here in the UK!). By the time we arrived there a huge party was already in motion. Last years event had over 50 000 people and I suspect there were even more this year. We caught performances by Alex Cuba, 2010 Polaris prize winners Karkwa, with Canadian music royalty Blue Rodeo closing the show.
Typically this would be where our evening would end having watched a great concert with some amazing fellow expats however, this year was a bit different. A certain Canadian company had several tickets to the Official Canada Day in Trafalgar Square After Party. Four of these tickets were given to Mr. 416expat this week. Amazing.
The party was held at Home House, a private members club in London. As a sidebar – I think these types of clubs are a bit more common here than in Toronto, but I have no evidence to confirm this. Mr. 416expat and I weren’t entirely sure what to expect from the party. We knew it started at 10:30, was an open bar, and from the look of the Home House website, might be a bit posh/fancy. We did what any good Canadian would do, invited our very best Canadian expat friends and showed up ready for well, just about anything. Did you know that a Roots Handbag (a purse is something else in England) can totally fit a spare pair of heels?
I for one, was kind of blown away by this event. Fellow Canadians in attendance included Justin Hines, who performed earlier in the day, Tanya Kim, who co-hosted the Trafalgar Square event and lost her voice earlier in the day, Mark Tewksbury, and a number of other nifty Canadians. The canapes passed around were delicious, sliders topped with cheese and bbq sauce, scallops served on shells with a spicy slaw, and ice cream with maple donuts.
We ran out of steam at 2am but left our fellow expats dancing away in the “club room” downstairs. This was the first bank sponsored event I’ve ever been to in London. Typically Mr416expat’s bank doesn’t do the whole invite your spouse thing, so it was really neat to experience. I think we both appreciated what was a pretty crazy experience and were very glad to have two excellent expats along with us.