Firstly today, I want to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful daughter Victoria. Three years ago today, people were asking why I wasn’t as vocal as I usually am on this important day, and my answer was that I had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl! I can’t believe she is THREE TODAY! Time really does fly!
Next, HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY! I’m proud to be a woman in today’s era. We have rights and privileges that didn’t exist for our mothers and grandmothers. Come to think of it, we didn’t have these same rights today as we did 20 years ago! But we’re not there yet. The purpose of International Women’s Day is to recognize the progress women have made towards gender equality in their communities and workplace, and to champion women’s achievements. It’s a cause that’s very dear to my heart. I, along with some fabulous women, created the Every Woman Foundation, which ran for a decade. We held our signature event, the Every Woman Festival, for seven years and, during that time, we held it in Canada, Australia, and France. In fact, the Every Woman Foundation was voted one of Canada’s top 100 women’s organizations. Although I had to make the very tough decision to put my family and my work first since becoming a mother, I’m proud of the work we achieved. Over ten years we celebrated women, supported women with our programs and raised money for partner organizations. Although I’m now focused on Motherhood,
This year, I’m honoured to celebrate International Women’s Day with a performance at the Women & Wealth Gala in my hometown of Calgary. It’s a rare treat to perform in my own town, where I get to meet so many talented women, and this year’s Women & Wealth Gala has a pretty impressive line up! The emcee is award-winning journalist Aisling Tomei, and also appearing is award-winning entrepreneur Jess Tetu, fabulous TV host Jillian Harris! I’m excited to join this fabulous lineup.
The Women & Wealth Gala (@WomenandWealthGala) started in 2016 and continues to celebrate International Women’s Day annually.
I question the legacy I want to leave for my daughters. I want them to have the confidence to be who they are, love who they are, and be proud. After all, my daughter, Victoria, was born on International Women’s Day!
I love celebrations – and Valentine’s Day is one of my favourites! Love is the most beautiful thing in the world, and I get to celebrate this special day with my loves: my husband and my children. They’re simply my world. While we should say “I love you” to our someone special everyday, Valentine’s Day is the one day where we should appreciate the love in our lives. And, let’s agree, “What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork” – Pearl Bailey.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I performed John Legend’s All of Me, which is also our wedding song, at the @COREShopping Centre (Calgary). Head to my Instagram page – @sophieplaysviolin – and you’ll see my performance along with the candy and heart-themed display at the CORE Shopping Centre. The kids had a blast and my husband adored my rendition of our song
To help me dress for my performance, the fab team (thank you Estella, François, Joanly, and Lisa!) from Calgary’s Simons’ store at the CORE assembled a range of dresses to try from their current collections. The dresses were all so fabulous, but I narrowed it down to three: a short REDValentino cocktail dress, an eye-catching gold Luxxel floor-length gown, and an avant-garde design from Canadian designer Denis Gagnon. Simons has eight private labels and designer brands, and I fell in love with this store! Both my husband and I are wearing Simons clothing in this video!
This one was my absolute favourite, by Denis Gagnon:
I was so thrilled to discover Simons at the CORE. I wish I had discovered them sooner! It’s five levels of fabulous clothing, shoes, accessories, home décor, and everything you need for your bathroom, kitchen, and dining room. They even have their own in-store café, and they produce and sell their own honey (which is made on the roofs of the stores in Laval, Mississauga, and Quebec). It’s delish! One more Simons’ bragging right is their energy efficient store at the Londonderry Mall in Edmonton. Very impressive, make sure you check them out!
You just can’t help but be impressed when you walk in to the Royal Suite at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary. It’s located on the eighth floor and boasts some pretty decent views of Calgary. The Chandelier, private dining room (fit for six) and kitchenette, the Kind bed (which I had to myself), and – my personal favourite – the ensuite made for a pretty fab afternoon with friends and my new assistant, Elli. Elli also comes from Sydney, Australia and has lived in Canada since 2004. Elli will be assisting me to conquer the world… again! Elli earned her communications degree from Athabasca University, and has a strong support background. Welcome to the team, Elli!
The Royal Suite is, of course, named for Queen Elizabeth 11. The Queen stayed in this suite during her visit to Canada in 1990, and if it’s good enough for Queen Elizabeth, then it’ll do for us! If you haven’t done Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Palliser, then it’s definitely a must-try for a special occasion, take friends and family, or even to treat yourself (why not?!). Each friend received her own tier, which included clotted cream, strawberry jam and fresh-baked scones, chocolate-dipped strawberries, pastries, and finger sandwiches (no crusts!). The Fairmont team also prepared my own gluten-free tier so I could enjoy the afternoon. The tea service was amazing, and it’s the little things that make the difference (I think I even saw gold flakes in one of the finger sandwiches). Our server, Kris, made us and the kids feel right at home. The kids watched Frozen 2 and we created some 2020 visions and had some girly chit chat! It was a great way to catch up with friends and watch a lil’ bit of Frozen 2!
I have been LOVING High Tea for years, and in Sydney Australia, the Victoria Room was my favourite… I have to say here in Alberta, Fairmont Palliser does an amazing job! Interesting side note…. High Tea actually originated in the 1700s and was not so glamorous.. it was what we know today as afternoon tea and was called high tea, because it was served for working men, who ate quickly, usually on stools which were high, thus the name high tea! I think it might be my favourite meal of the day! What’s yours? Sophie xo
It’s the FINAL DAY! Day 12 of Santa Sophie’s Christmas Giveaways! You guys are going to love the final giveaway! I launched my collaborative Christmas album with Chantal Dube at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, so it’s only fitting to finish my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways with a fabulous grand prize: a one-night stay in luxury at the Fairmont Royal York!
If you’re fortunate to visit Toronto’s iconic hotel, the Fairmont Royal York, during the holiday season, then you know you’ve arrived somewhere truly special. From the moment you walk in, you see the hotel’s homage to its 90th anniversary: a statement clock appropriately titled the 90th Anniversary Clock. Another nod to the Royal York’s history is its annual tree lighting ceremony. There are over 15,000 lights on the Royal York’s Christmas tree! It’s enough to make Clark Griswold jealous 😊 From the fun festive-themed events to the busy vibe of downtown Toronto to the anticipation of Santa’s visit, the Royal York continues to be one of our family’s favourites. Their fabulous dining experiences and first-class service are honestly second to none.
The luxury, the dining, and the Royal York experience are our final giveaway! If you’ve seen some of the pics of their annual tree-lighting ceremony, you know the Royal York is THE place to be during the holidays in Toronto and any day that ends in “y” 😊
Here’s how you can win a one-night stay at the Fairmont Royal York! Head to my Instagram page – sophieplaysviolin – and answer the day’s contest question. It’s that easy! Happy holidays! Sophie xo
It’s Day ELEVEN of Santa Sophie’s Christmas Giveaways! To win a signed poster from Sophie- which can be any of your favourite of Sophie’s images from Sophie’s website on the photos page, take a photo on your phone of your favourite photo of Sophie, post it in your Instagram story, tagging Sophie (@sophieplaysviolin ) ! That’s it! Good luck!