Evening with President Clinton"
November 8th, 2001
Roundup Centre, Stampede Park
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
several months of frenzied anticipation, former U.S. President
Bill Clinton arrived in Calgary on November 8th as the
keynote speaker for Calgary Renaissance Corporation’s inaugural
event in the Connecting Calgary Series, featuring a sold-out VIP
Reception and Gala Dinner.
Clinton’s private jet arrived to a welcome party that included
Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier and his family, Calgary Renaissance
president Greg Habstritt, CEO Grant Doyle, and Tamara Woolgar,
coordinator of CRC’s Young Leaders Program.
Also present were long-time Clinton friends Charlene
Prickett and Jim Waugh, along with their daughter Xanna and the
Calgary Renaissance Advance Team Leader, Deb Barkley.
approximately 15 minutes of greeting on the tarmac, President
Clinton’s motorcade then proceeded to the Sheraton Eau Claire
Suites so that President Clinton could change into his
tuxedo. From there, it was on to the elegant La Caille on
the Bow, where 150 VIP guests gathered to meet the former
President and have a souvenir photo taken with him.
Immediately upon his
entrance, the buzz and excitement in the crowd quickly was
silenced as a hush fell over the crowd. The silence
was followed by hearty applause as U.S. Secret Service and RCMP
escorted an unannounced President Clinton into La Caille.
During the course of the next forty five minutes, President
Clinton shook hands and posed for photos while chatting affably
with fans and well-wishers.
the VIP Reception at La Caille, guests were transported to the
Round-Up Centre at Stampede Park where the party was in full swing
for the 1,300 Gala Dinner ticket holders.
Local favourites "The Dino Martinis" provided the
entertainment before and after dinner.
Upon the arrival of the Presidential motorcade, local
adventurer and the evening’s emcee Jamie Clarke introduced the
head table beginning with Premier Ralph Klein, Mayor Dave
Bronconnier, Greg Habstritt and Grant Doyle.
It was a truly electrifying moment as former President
Clinton entered the room and took his place at the head table, as
1,400 Calgarians welcomed him with an extended standing ovation.
Klein opened the evening with a heartfelt welcome to President
Clinton, also offering his condolences on behalf of Albertans for
the events of September 11th.
Following Premier Klein, Mayor Bronconnier then offered his
own sincere welcome to President Clinton, highlighting the fact
that 40,000 Americans call Calgary ‘home’.
Calgary Renaissance President Greg Habstritt, and CEO Grant
Doyle also welcomed President Clinton and thanked all those in
attendance for their support of Calgary Renaissance’s inaugural
event. The American
National Anthem was sung by country music recording artist Jack
Jackson, followed by ‘O Canada’, sung by Nicole Brennan of The
Dino Martinis. Reverend
Jim Wallace said ‘grace’ prior to dinner, which consisted of
an appetizer of smoked gruyere and asiago cheese lattice filled
with portobello mushrooms, lettuce, artichokes and peppers with
cranberry vinaigrette, an entrée of Alberta prime rib with
Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables, and pomegranate mousse
second portion of the program began during dessert, when the two
charities benefiting from the evenings proceeds were introduced.
Guests viewed short video clips from the Canadian
Paraplegic Association and AIDS Awareness Calgary.
Calgary Renaissance Corporation’s Tamara Woolgar took the
stage to discuss the goals of the Young Leaders Program, and to
introduce the winners of the 2001 CRC Scholarships. President
Clinton presented the awards to the four winners who each received
a $1000 scholarship towards their post-secondary education.
The 2001 winners were:
Carolyn Wong, Grade 9, Nickle Junior High, David Shaw,
Grade 10, St. Francis High School, Jamie Moore, Grade 11, William
Aberhart High School, and Aaswath Raman, Grade 12, Western Canada
Following the presentations, Mayor Dave Bronconnier, in a touching
and eloquent introduction, welcomed to the podium our keynote
speaker and honoured guest, the 42nd President of the
United States, William Jefferson Clinton.
Clinton not only lived up to his reputation as a great orator, but
during the course of his 50 minute speech, it was evident that
President Clinton is also an individual who cares deeply about his
country, their relationship with Canada, and about the
responsibility of the wealthy countries of the world to assist in
the healing, growth, security, and success of the global
community. It was a
speech filled with wisdom and insight, comfort and inspiration.
the closing ceremonies, guests were invited to enjoy more mingling
and music at an after-party in an adjacent area of the Round-up
Centre. As President
Clinton left the building, he made sure to work his way down the
rope line to greet and visit with the crowd of admirers.
As the party continued into the wee hours of the morning,
we all felt that we had experienced a truly momentous and
sincere “thank-you” to all who attended Calgary
Renaissance’s “An Evening with Bill Clinton”.
It was a remarkable evening in an extraordinary city!
To view the entire written transcript of President Clinton's
speech, click here.