Have you ever had a day that you are absolutely certain you will never forget? Maybe it was a day that was greatly anticipated, included special people, or you tried something new? Or maybe all three? Well this unforgettable day actually took place for me just a few days ago.

I wish it was possible to re-live that day! Well, considering time travel hasn’t been decoded yet, at least I can relive it through writing. After a morning of errands and preparations…

Savour The Summer
I got to visit some of the participating businesses in Belleville’s Savour The Summer! Throughout my tour, I had the pleasure of visiting Rustic Cafe & Eatery. On top of sampling their strawberry salsa (which was delicious by the way), they were raffling off tickets to Tyler Shaw Live In Concert while playing Tyler Shaw songs!


Thank you Rustic Cafe & Eatery for supporting the concert!

Arrive at The Empire Theatre for set up

Being at the theatre sparked the butterflies in my stomach to flutter, especially when I put up the dressing room signs for each act. This was really happening. This time last year, I was planning a pool party, a few months ago, I was planning small-scaled fundraising events, and now, I am about to host a concert with a celebrity artist.

Dustin Bird arrives for tech rehearsal with Denis McGrath

The last time I heard Dustin sing live was back when we were both in high school a few years ago. Hearing his tech rehearsal today reminded me of why I invited him to perform in this concert – his unique sound cannot go unheard!


13517657_1085913974825289_153760575606071276_oIreland Academy of Dance’s tech rehearsal
Throughout the tech rehearsal, I could not stop reminiscing on how fantastic these dancers were. Just 7 days ago was my first rehearsal with them. After choreographing their piece last Sunday, with the exception of 13522763_1085901181493235_4203756168489053631_oDana Throop for the Acro section, and Emma Good and Kaitlin Kawam for the Tap section, their next group practice was the 17th. An in-studio dress rehearsal and a few photo and video ops later, these girls had an opening number down pat. And today, after spacing the number on stage, I was more than glad to have the Ireland Academy of Dance opening this show.


Tyler Shaw’s tech rehearsal

13585096_1089974424419244_6890733925220712277_o-2Now this is when everything began to feel extra real. This is really happening – the acts have all arrived and are preparing for the show. During Tyler’s tech rehearsal, I was running around getting the lobby and theatre set up. What was to my surprise was that I saw people lined up outside the door even though the concert didn’t start for a few more hours! It was so amazing to see that others were just as eager as I was.


Lobby doors opened!
Guests started filing in, buying concert and raffle tickets, and beginning to line up for when the lobby doors open. In the meantime, I was upstairs with the performers for a pre-show meet and greet! Take a look at some of the great shots taken.

13559192_1089976591085694_2123284873434397918_o 13575772_1089976794419007_143247758455480172_o13580417_1089976811085672_2880326725399970887_o-2

I couldn’t have been doing what I was doing without the many volunteers who helped out in the lobby. I want to extend my thanks to those who took time out of their day to help this night run so smoothly!


Theatre doors opened!

The performers were all on standby, I was greeting guests, and guests were taking their seats. The whole room was buzzing with excitement! I was so humbled to see a variety of familiar and new faces in the room – thank you to all who attended!


13522933_1086013874815299_2504098697071329686_o-2House lights dimmed, stage lights glistened, music was played, and dancers filled the theatre! There was never a place a dancer wasn’t found – between the aisles and the stage, there was always something happening. The dancer’s danced to the iconic You Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray, showcasing the many genres the Ireland Academy of Dance has to offer. To watch the video of the performance, click here!

Act #2
After introducing myself as a host to the audience, the 13497638_1085902361493117_197638520662598026_o-2next local act came on stage. Dustin Bird with Denis McGrath played a set consisting of covers and original songs, featuring songs from Dustin’s album Gratification. From looking at the faces of the audience, there was no doubt they too were amazed by Dustin’s unique sound. I am so glad to have had these two artists be apart of this special evening!

Time for the headliner!
Intermission ended and the guests started returning to their seats. Welcoming them all back, I spoke a little bit about Free The Children and how the headliner of the evening is very involved with this charity. Seeing everyone at the edge of their seats made me overjoyed to welcome JUNO nominated singer/song-writer Tyler Shaw to the stage!13517667_1089974564419230_7638814943027212694_oFans were cheering all throughout his set – from when he played his original songs to a mashup of covers. Enjoying his concert from the side of the stage, there is no doubt that I believe Tyler is a remarkably talented artist with an incredible future ahead.

13517381_1089977424418944_5669201010511445511_o-2There were many highlights during his set. One was when Tyler personally wished Abigail a happy 13th birthday! This very special moment shared on stage was fortunately caught on video!

Another highlight, one that I am very grateful for, was when Tyler made a shoutout to me during his set saying such encouraging and supportive words – thank you Tyler!


The music was played, the raffle winners were announced ~ congratulations Terri and Connie, and the final words were shared. The final thoughts were long from over though – it’s over, after months of planning, the event came, happened, and now passed. I almost felt empty. Having been so busy leading up to the concert had me feeling misplaced for not needing to stay up until the early morning sending emails or writing documents. It was a bittersweet event.

But the night wasn’t over…MEET AND GREET TIME! I walked out into the lobby to find a very long line of guests anxious to meet Tyler, Dustin and Denis. I even found myself part of the meet and greet from time to time, and to my surprise, I got to sign my first autograph too!



The building was cleared with the exception of myself, my family, and The Empire Theatre staff. The event was truly over – it felt like a dream…a dream I never wanted to end. From the beginning of the journey when I messaged Tyler on Facebook inviting him to be apart of the concert, to the concert happening in real time. I wish I could re-live it all. I’ve learned so much too, between event planning skills to business skills to hosting skills, and more! The best part was that the journey was fun – the process was too enjoyable to feel like work. Hmm..maybe ‘event planner’ is a job of my future?

Last words
Although the night itself is over, it will always be on replay in my head. I want to thank all of the performers for being so amazing at what they do, all of the volunteers for generously donating their time to this event, and everyone who attended the concert and participated in the raffle draw.

I want to extend my thanks to Jason Patterson for being the photographer for this event, The Empire Theatre for the great venue and guidance along the way, and to Mix 97 – Quinte’s Best Variety for being the media sponsors. Mix 97 contributed greatly to promoting the event out to Mix Nation and beyond. On top of actively promoting, they held give aways, and even interviewed Tyler live on the air.


Long post short, on behalf of myself and Free The Children, thank you to everyone who was involved in the truly special event: Tyler Shaw Live In Concert.

Now off to sleep I go, crossing my fingers that the dreams about to occur are replays of June 18th



Miss Teenage South Central Ontario 2016

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Written by: Isabella Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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