Artists, Arts, Canadian life, Musicians

Talented People Doing Fabulous Things

I was privileged to sit with two famous and very interesting Canadian musicians at separate, but wonderful, events in late November.

Blog Photo - CPAC Susanne Hou

The first was violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, winner of prestigious international awards and a busy performer. Susanne’s talent has been acclaimed by musician Yehudi Menuhin as “absolutely phenomenal”.

Blog Photo - CPAC Awardee Susanne Hou1

In November, Susanne was one of three outstanding individuals who received the Professional Achievement Award at a gala in Markham, Ontario. (More on this event and awardees later.)

The other performer was Liona Boyd, a critically acclaimed classical guitarist whom you met on my blog earlier. 

Blog Photo - Liona Boyd on right

Blog Photo - Liona Photo from her FB pageLiona has released more than 20 CDs of her music over the years and has been performing across Canada in 2017. 

She was back in Toronto for an author reading and an afternoon tea celebrating her new memoir and CD ( both titled “No Remedy for Love”).

Blog Photo - Liona Book Launch Reception1

The reading was held by the Verity Book Club. The afternoon tea was hosted by two remarkable women, Isabel Bassett (consultant, former government minister and network TV boss) and Nancy Coldham (women’s advocate and founding member of Toronto’s Verity Club) and organized by Marilyn Mirabelli.

Blog Photo - Liona at Afternoon Tea 1

Despite a hectic schedule, Liona was fresh, funny and inspiring.

Blog Photo - Liona Book Luanch Reception2


Back to the gala, now, where my husband and I were pleased to be guests of CPAC (formerly known as the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada).

Blog Photo - CPAC Gala 2017 Dignitaries on Stage

Executive director Andi Shi has invited us to this important event every year, but I was in no shape to attend. This year, I was determined!

Blog Photo - CPAC Gala1

Blog Photo - CPAC MIng gets Award

At our dinner-table was award-winner Dr. Ming Li, a researcher, university professor and co-author of a book on “Kolmogorov Complexity”. He explained his work to us – simply, thank goodness – and told us about the randomness of things like lottery-winning numbers.

Blog Photo - CPAC Gala Ming

Across the table from us were awardee Alissa Wang and her proud parents. 

Blog Photo - CPAC Alissa and Parents

Alissa is a law student and Ph.D candidate with many achievements in her relatively young life. One of them is a research and educational project on Asia’s WW2 history.

Blog Photo - CPAC Gala 2 winners

To our right were violinist Susanne Hou and her friend Frank — delightful dinner-companions. Susanne explained that her international performance schedule is demanding and trips back home have become more and more rare. 

Blog Photo - CPAC Gala with F, S, HG and Me

CPAC is a vibrant non-profit organization based in Toronto, with 30-thousand members across Canada. It helps internationally trained professionals in several areas: recognition of their credentials; cultural integration; career and business advancement in Canada and globally. 

Bravo, awardees. Bravo CPAC!


Photos 6, 8, 10, 11 from CPAC



39 thoughts on “Talented People Doing Fabulous Things”

  1. Cynthia , a very lovely commentary about your wonderful peregrinations and the very wonderful people you meet along the way. I will share your blogpost with Isabel and Liona soon. You are a wonderful friend indeed! And my teachers would NOT be pleased. I have used ‘wonderful’ four times in one para. Oh well ……

    1. It’s a purple world! Thanks, Gallivanta. They really are wonderful achievers and I’m glad to tell my blogging community about them. (Especially musicians – since the only instrument I play is the radio!)

  2. That is awesome. You must have connections my friend. Your published materials inspire me. Would mean the world to me if you came to my blog and shared your thoughts on my new short called The Writers Block. Hope to see you there

    1. It really was, and I was grateful to be there. In my pre-accident years, such events were quite normal and frequent, and I was often the one being honoured. I attend so few these days that each one and each person I spend time with make an impression. I’m happy for their achievements and glad that the spotlight is being shone on them.

    1. It used to be very much a way of life for me pre-accident, Andrea. I won so many awards for my work and got invited to so many big galas that I can hardly believe it now, in these post-accident years. Now, even going out for the evening and sitting with people at dinner is a very rare thing and a big deal for me. And I find it an absolute relief to be there to celebrate and support others when I can. It means I can focus all my attention on others, and that’s a gratifying thing.

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