By: Beth Crowell
If it was possible to live out one of my dreams, then Tuesday, December 4, 2012 would be the closest I have ever come. When I first received the confirmation that I won the auction prize of spending the day with Kirstine Stewart, Executive Vice President of CBC Television, English Services from Women Of Influence, I could not believe my luck. I was unsure of what the day would hold, but was excited beyond belief to be able to meet and connect with such a strong woman and role model and somebody I idolized so much..
I live in Fredericton, New Brunswick and flew up to Toronto the night before my exciting day with my cousin Lynn, whom Kirstine was generous enough to let join me on my exciting day. Despite my nervousness, I did manage to get some sleep, and luckily, CBC was only 1 block away from our hotel so walking there the next morning only took 5 minutes. We gave our name to the receptionist and waited for Kirstine’s assistant, Amanda to come down to get us, while looking at pictures of the CBC talent which adorned the walls. Before long Amanda was there with a great smile and warm hugs, and before we knew it, we were on our way up to Kirstine’s office.
We spent the next little while just chatting, and I was able to ask her some questions about her exciting job at CBC, her day to day responsibilities, and about family and life in general.
When we walked into the office, Kirstine was there looking very much the powerful woman she is, and at the same time making us feel like we were old friends. She and two of her staff were friendly and inviting, and during our conversation, I even found out one of them was a fellow New Brunswicker. She invited us into her office to have a sit down chat, which was an honour I’m sure not many get to experience. I took a moment to give her a gift of a few things I brought from home, which she opened right there and thanked me for. We spent the next little while just chatting, and I was able to ask her some questions about her exciting job at CBC, her day to day responsibilities, and about family and life in general. It was a wonderful and inspiring talk and ended much too quickly.
Since she has us booked as VIP guests for the Steven & Chris show, we soon had to head down to their studio. Before we left, I told Kirstine that I was an Ambassador for the City of Fredericton where my business Mayday Fine Print Inc./Swagshop.ca was located, and she graciously allowed me to have my picture with her as I presented her with a DVD of highlights about a place so close to my heart. Then, we were off to Steven and Chris.
Being VIPs has its perks. We were lead into the studio before any of the other guests, and there, sitting on two seats in the front row, were Steven & Chris swag bags filled with gifts for Lynn & I. During the show in between takes, the director came and got us, and we actually got to meet Steven & Chris and get out picture taken with them. As soon as the show was over, Amanda was there to meet us and we were off to the WIFT-T Crystal Awards Gala Luncheon (Women In Film & Television).
It truly gave me so much inspiration and drive to take home to my own life, business and family.
Surreal is the way I can describe that Luncheon in one word. Looking around at our table of ladies, I could not believe I was having lunch with not only the CBC executives like Kirstine and Bridget Hoffer, Marketing & Communications Executive (another lady I idolized), but also the three famous television personalities, Anne-Marie Mediwake, Heather Hiscox and Wendy Mesley. I had just been watching Heather on television that very morning. At first I was understandably star struck, but after a few minutes found them all intelligent, friendly and down to earth women, and had no problems talking with and enjoying their company. It was a lunch I will always remember. The awards were exciting and Jeanne Beker was the host. After the luncheon, I was introduced to Jeanne by Kirstine and she warmly remarked how much she loved the maritimes. All of them allowed me to have pictures taken with them, and these are wonderful momentos I will always have of such an exciting day.
We took a taxi back to CBC and our fun was not over yet. Kirstine had arranged for us to get a private tour of CBC. A lovely young lady walked us around showing us the studios, sets, and we ended the tour in the newsroom where dozens of busy employees sat around researching and writing the news stories. They were actually taping live news while we were there watching. After our tour, it was down to be VIPs at the George Stroumboulopoulos show. How much more excitement can a person take? Before the show, he came over to meet us, shaking our hands, staying for a chat and allowing us to get a few photos. Then once again, we were fortunate enough to have front row seats during his interview with Rita McNeil.
Saying good bye to Kirstine was bitter sweet. I was so excited to have met her, so inspired by her strength, her position, her work ethic while still being a mom and wife. It truly gave me so much inspiration and drive to take home to my own life, business and family. And while I was sad the day was over, I was so happy and humbled to have been given the chance to have such a life changing experience. Thanks Women Of Influence – I can hardly wait until next years auction. Let the bidding begin!
Mayday Fine Print Inc. / Swagshop.ca