Alberta visit to be an Oprah Winfrey first
Beacon Staff Reporter
Former talk show host, media producer and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey – arguably the most successful and influential woman in the entertainment business – will be in Canada next month.
The 58-year-old TV icon will make her first appearance in Calgary on Jan. 22 and in Alberta’s provicial capital Edmonton on Jan. 24.
The ‘inspirational evening’ will include personal and professional stories about Oprah’s life and career and will be Winfrey’s second Canadian tour stop.
She visited Toronto in April this year for her Lifeclass series in which she shared various life lessons with her Canadian audience.
Besides her scheduled stops in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, she will begin her whirlwind Canadian tour on Jan. 21 at Rexall Place in front of what will most certainly be a sold-out crowd. Tickets for her shows in Calgary and Vancouver were scooped up within minutes, according to the event’s producer.
“Calgary sold out instantly, and we released a few more tickets in Vancouver,” Andy McCreath of Calgary-based tinePublic Inc. said.
“It is really the chance of a lifetime for people in Edmonton to be able to see her,” said McCreath. “She has touched so many people’s lives.”
Billed as An Evening with Oprah Winfrey, with a lady who is easily one of the most influential and wealthy women in the world, the program is intended to inspire audience members to take control of their own lives to be able to reach their full potential. There will also be a question-and-answer session after her talk.
During her career, Winfrey has interviewed famous personalities of the political and pop culture world.
The closest she came visiting Alberta was in the spring of 2009 when she appeared via a Skype link in front of junior high students at a school in Drayton Valley.
One of the Grade 8 students had appeared on Winfrey’s talk show just days before to talk about the torment he’d suffered at the hands of bullies throughout his school career.
Winfrey told the students during the video conference that “the eyes of the world” were on the school in the aftermath of the student’s appearance on her show.
“Bullying happens in schools all over the world and you are no different than any other school who is dealing with this major problem,” she said. “I am personally asking you to stand up and say, no more.”
The gospel according to Oprah was a daily television staple for 25 years for millions of viewers, most of them women. When she walked away from the show last year, it was still wildly popular, but she was determined to start her own cable network Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Initially, ratings floundered after OWN was launched in January 2011, with its president and CEO all but absent from the small screen. Earlier this year, she introduced programs like Oprah’s Next Chapter, which put her front and centre once again. Ratings improved significantly, again proving her star power.