The Royal Occasion – Music appreciation at its finest


Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I am passionate about the arts and in particular, trying to ensure that the beauty of arts and culture isn’t lost to the emerging generations.

As a child growing up and learning to play the piano, I recall that it was always with a sound of hushed reverence that my teacher would speak about the Royal Conservatory. I imagined it in my mind as some great place where one went to dazzle crowds with the sound of fingers on keys and the magic that was created from those movements.

Royal O-2Naturally, I was honoured to be invited by TELUS to help support their arts and culture initiatives with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) at their annual Royal Occasion celebration. Affectionately known as the Royal O, the signature black tie event brings together some of Toronto’s finest in the arts and business scenes.

I did some reading up on TELUS and how they were taking strides toward assisting the youth of today through the arts and I found that they have done and continue to do so much. For instance, for each table sold at the Royal O, TELUS will send one child to the Learning Through the Arts Technology (LTTA) camp. Also, and perhaps more significantly, TELUS has also assisted RCM fully fund the participation of 33 youth in need from the Youth Empowerment Program for March Break and Summer Media Arts Camps. What better way to ensure that these types of programs are accessible to a wider audience?

Royal OEach year the Royal O celebrates talented Canadians who have made a lasting impression on the music scene. This year, rock and roll icon Randy Bachman, internationally acclaimed soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and legendary music producer Bob Ezrin were inducted as Conservatory Honorary Fellows.

It was a wonderful treat being able to sit in the Great Hall and listen to Bachman as he belted out some of the music he’s best known for. I had to refrain myself from asking everyone for sugar for my tea. Pieczonka also moved the crowd as she graced the stage and serenaded us with her vocal agility.

After the ceremony, guests flooded the floors of the TELUS Centre to enjoy more music, mingling and munchies. It was a beautiful evening and the ambiance of the centre was enchanting. No detail was missed.

From start to finish the evening was a glittering success, but the real winners are the people, old and young alike, who get to enjoy the love and lessons of music.


Toronto based Janelle Watkins is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of theSceneinTO, an arts and culture based website that gives you the goods on everything that is wonderful about the city of Toronto. Ms. Watkins is passionate about the prospect of everyone getting to experience a bit of the good life. She has worked alongside prominent leaders from the fashion, culinary, art and media worlds. You can follower her on Twitter @theSceneinTO.