#EDITORSNOTE: A LOOK BACK AT THE 2010S
As we approach the end of this decade, let’s take a look back at some of our favourite memories from the past ten years! I started out late 2009 as a Blogger and never could imagine all the memories that would be created nor all the opportunities the Website would afford me. Back in 2009, we were standing behind the barricade as a fan and in 2019 we are now one of the City’s red carpet staples whether it be TIFF or a Movie Premiere.
People ask me all the time how I juggle several hats and to that I say that when you truly love what you do, you make the effort to strike that balance in your life. You all made me who I am today and the amazing people (Dave, Amanda, George, Siobhán, Jonathan and Justin) who give their time contributing to the Site, shaped our Brand.
Ten years ago I craved love, loyalty and validation. In many ways today those things still drive me, but for it all I am a little bit wiser, a little more able to stand up for myself, a little more weathered, a little more confident.
I’m grateful, humbled and touched by everyone’s continued support and promise to keep on going as far as I can! A Happy New Year to you. I’m beyond thrilled to see what 2020 will bring us all. Thank you for being there.
Let’s take a walk down this memory lane known as the 2010s!
Being voted Best Blogger by my City at the NOW Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards is something I am so incredibly-grateful for. Sometimes when I look at my Twitter and Facebook and see many old friends who have been there with me all these years, something in my heart tells me I’ve done something right. Thank you all for sticking with me.
So indebted to Hollywood Suite for inviting me to cover the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica. I never, ever could have dreamed I’d be in Hollywood during Awards Season. This was such a gift and I hope something I can experience again in this lifetime! I’m grateful too to Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the Consulate General of Canada who on multiple occasions sent me to Beverly Hills to cover the Canada’s Stars of the Awards Season Gala!
To be able to walk the carpet at a Premiere with my beloved Billy before he had passed is something I look back and smile about to this day. I was so proud of my little guy, people wanting to take pictures with him in his Hawaiian shirt, and us posing together with star Adam Pally as legendary George Pimentel photographed. It was a dream come true being able to sit beside Billy at TIFF Bell Lightbox, him tucked comfortably into his reserved seating as the Movie played. I had worked so hard all these years to get where I had gotten and to be able to have Billy there with me to enjoy that meant so much to me. Thank you, Elevation Pictures for this.
Many of you know about my deep passion for horses and I am so touched to have not one, but two namesake racehorses in A Pic by Mrwill and Mr Will. I’m beyond thrilled at what Mr Will might become with him due to start racing in 2020. A Pic by Mrwill (Princess) gave me so many thrills as a fan favourite always fighting hard on the track to bring home a paycheque in her three-year-old season in 2017. I’ll never forget the day she made it to the Winner’s Circle at Woodbine Racetrack and being moved to tears after it all sunk-in at home. She gave it her all and while that would be her last race, that is something I will take with me forever. Thank you, John Ross and Cathy Wong for a lifetime of memories. Thank you, Emily Fisher for giving her an amazing home now that her racing career is over and still welcoming me to come see her. And thank you Michelle Love for all the effort you put into Mr Will, keeping him sound in his exciting journey of development. Thanks Emily Shields for this post-victory snap.
Lady Gaga without a question is one of the biggest stars to come out of the 2010s. I started the decade being obsessed and I still feel the same as the decade comes to a close. Her outstanding catalog of hits is her gift to us, her performance in A Star is Born has left me shaken to this day. This definitely was the Movie that hit me hardest this past decade. I will admit it took me over a dozen frustrating tries to land the Selfie with her, but that day in November when she came to promote Artpop, it finally happened. A true pinch-me moment. I was able to get another with her sans sunglasses when she was at TIFF for A Star is Born, but the first sip is always the sweetest.
Rihanna is indisputably a megastar. I remember this day where she said “no” to the Selfie, giving me a bit of heartbreak. But then she turned right back around, came over and pressed her face against mine and *snap* went my clunky Canon Point-and-Shoot. Those tears of joy are real in my eyes. It was surreal seeing her and her entourage before a show at then-Molson Amphitheatre wandering-up Peter Street, fighting to keep her skirt down in the wind with several heads turning. Rihanna is a “rihl” presence.
If you asked me ten years ago if I’d wind-up being as big an Ariana Grande fan as I am now, my eyes would’ve shifted “side to side”. But she won me over. Yeah she did. She went from a modest TV star to a global Pop sensation. What a time to be living in the era of Ariana and her endless parade of hits! While I met her just before her Music career took-off in 2013, I did finally see her live on her Sweetener Tour in 2019 and it was outstanding! I’ll never forget her lecturing me for taking a picture of her while she was posing for a photo with another fan. Apparently it was distracting her. A young woman in-charge of her image!
People always ask who the nicest celebrities are whom I’ve ever met and you’d honestly be surprised that often it’s the biggest A-Listers who never disappoint. Angelina still mesmerizes me and she is everything I’d ever hoped for, stopping for what seemed like every fan at the TIFF Premiere of The Breadwinner, which she produced. It is disheartening seeing some celebrities whom are still carving their mark exhibiting “Diva behaviour” and believe me, I’ve seen it. Listen, if Angelina and George can do it, so can you!
While she certainly has taken her time with new Music the latter part of this decade, few have risen as high as Adele. Her 21 and 25 Discs went right after my heart and still provide my soul some comfort to this day. She was the nicest, taking the time to chat with me, admitting she didn’t really have much fun at all in Toronto on a jam-packed whirlwind press visit for 21. She gave me a hug and told me to get home and that I was silly for wasting time waiting for her. I beg to differ. So worth it.
Nicole is one of my favourites of all-time. I remember having to be super-crafty about getting this pic, asking her friend (who took this pic) discreetly if it was okay as she exit a private dinner at TIFF for The Railway Man. Queen Nicole was more than kind about it, letting me give her my heartfelt spiel about what her performances in The Hours and Rabbit Hole meant to me. She seemed genuinely-affected, putting her hand over my shoulder and leaning-in for the snap. Shaken. She’s yet another master of her craft performing at a top level still this decade.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Renée‘s performance in Bridget Jones’s Diary is what sparked my inspiration in starting a Blog. She made it look so fun having something to chronicle her life and I took that, ran with it and made it my own. She was everything I imagined. So gracious, sweet and funny with her Southern accent. Renée defined much of the early 2000s for me and I’m delighted she’s still killing in a decade later!
Before A Star is Born came along and stole top spot, La La Land held the title for a good while this decade as my favourite Film. Emma Stone continues to throw us her best work yet and her performance here absolutely destroyed me. You can see I barely could keep my sh*t together in this pic. She was unreal. Earlier in the day amidst all the chaos I passed her a Plushie (it legit was the cutest, a stuffed puppy in a sweater that read “TIFF“) and when we finally met later in the day she told me she remembered me and told me she appreciated the sweet gesture. So thrilled she’d go on deservedly to win Best Actress at the Oscars a few months after. So excited for her portrayal of Cruella Deville.
The Canadian Chanteuse still is my Queen. Power Ballads might not have stood the test of time, but Céline has. Seeing her on her Courage Tour in Toronto was a dream come true. A master of her craft still performing at the highest level.
The Horse Racing community’s support both north and south of the border has meant so much to me. While I realize the Sport has faced more than its share of challenges this past year, my love always has been the athletes, their stories and their well-being. I don’t believe it took 37 years for it to happen, but we finally saw another American Triple Crown winner crowned in 2015 and it would be American Pharoah. So honoured I got to cover his Haskell Invitational score at Monmouth Park in New Jersey for Woodbine and see him finally in-person. A pure legend whom even the likes of Julia Roberts fan-girled over, insisting on a meet and greet with him. And even more amazing seeing his kids performing on the track now so brilliantly as we reach the end of the decade.
I will forever be my nephew Kenny‘s hero for taking him to eTalk to see and meet Katy Perry. The Pop Queen’s career was just beginning to launch into stratospheric heights with the impending release of now-classic Teenage Dream. I’ll never forget being among the first audience to hear her perform the eventual smash hit. While my first photo didn’t turn-out, I caught-up with her later and she remembered me right away, setting a time to meet her to re-take the photo after dinner and she delivered like Uber Eats before that was even a thing!
He is the King of Toronto and rightfully so. Drake has placed our City on the map internationally whether it be his Music or his ardent support of our Raptors, and we are indebted. I remember back in the day you could catch him wandering the streets of Yorkville with his crew. Those were the days! OMG. Good God, I sound so old.
So Tom Cruise just came to our Advance Screening of The Edge of Tomorrow and surprised us all. No big deal. Have always been a supporter of this ageless superstar and can’t wait for him to light-up our 2020 with Top Gun: Maverick! Thanks, Warner Bros. Canada for an unforgettable night!
Bruno Mars this past decade, has stamped himself an icon in-the-making. Seeing him perform at now-defunct Kool Haus before an intimate audience was a thrill. Such showmanship! He’ll definitely be around for some time.
I’ll never forget Will Ferrell taking the stage at his Premiere for Daddy’s Home asking where I was in the audience! Well I was waiting for him on the Red Carpet as he was a bit behind schedule for his interviews, but he came right over to me after his intro, seemingly-thrilled to meet me finally. What exactly was happening?? And was it really happening??? Something similar happened with Simon Pegg too at a screening of Mission Impossible: Fallout. Thanks, Paramount Pictures Canada for this.
I could go on forever, but these are some of my favourite memories. I could literally write an Anthology! So many more stories to tell.
To a new decade, new thrills, new adventures!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)