The food was amazing! (Our wonderful Cuban singers, Caridad Cruz and Cesar Ricardo) wanted to know where all the Cuban cooks were because the food was so authentic — they were astonished to find out my friends and I had done the catering! And they charmed us with their music.)
Local photographer, David Barbour, displayed the most beautiful photographs of Havana — thanks again to the Orange Art Gallery for allowing that to happen. Ingrid and Jim were extremely generous and accommodating hosts.
We had folks show up from legal circles, real estate, the media, politics, other authors, members of Capital Crime Writers, and friends of mine from all different sectors, including a classmate I hadn’t see since the 70s.
Robyn Bresnahan from CBC Radio, Mark Bourrie from Ottawa Magazine, and Wendy Warburton from the Ottawa Citizen all stopped by as did a representative from Mayor Watson’s office with a letter of support. City Councillor Katherine Hobbs was there; even Yasir Naqvi, our Ottawa Centre MPP, stopped by in time to help me cut this incredible 1957 Chevy Cake by Kate Green Cakes. (And for all the photos from the event, click right here.)
(You should have tasted these cupcakes by Sarah J’s Cupcakes; they were to die for. And that Chevy cake? Possibly the most delicious cake I’ve ever eaten.)
Thanks to Beau’s Beer, Domaine Perrault Vinyard, Louis Gaal of Blue Gypsy Wines, Kate Green Cakes, Sarah J Cupakes, David Barbour, The Orange Art Gallery, Sylvia Manning, Norm Bowley Legal, Doug McLarty, Katherine Hobbs, Margaret Forward, Royal LePage Team Realty (Brian Sukkau in particular for bringing a case of wine), Mathieu Nesbitt, and of course, Penguin Canada, for your terrific contributions and support!
I think I named everyone last night who brought food and helped out in other ways (there were over 40 of you who baked, shuttled, decorated, photographed, cleaned, loaded and unloaded, and bartended)! Robyn Bresnahan even stopped at a duty free shop in the airport on her way back from the UK to bring a bottle of rum to the launch! You were all incredible, and thanks to each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
There will be professional photographs uploaded later of the whole party but here are a few of the ones I took of the launch being set up before people arrived.
(We expected 100-120 and had a whole lot more show up than that: we not only ran out of books but also out of wine! Thank God for Louis Gaal and his fruit wines, and all the rum and beer we had on hand.)