Oprah Winfrey graces Edmonton, no cars given to audience

Matthew Coutts
National Affairs Reporter
Daily Brew
Oprah Winfrey appeared before thousands of fans at Rexall Place Monday in her first visit to Edmonton.

There was an angelic hum ringing through the streets of Edmonton on Monday, accompanied by a halo-esque glow visible by astronauts on board the International Space Station.

Birds flocked to the northern Alberta city, risking bitter cold to twitter a song so beautiful that the entire roster of the Edmonton Oilers stopped skating and gazed skyward for several minutes.

Life was good in Edmonton on Monday. A saintly visitor made it so. It was a visit from a god, an inspiring figure who rubs elbows with presidents. A woman who can make Scientologists jump on couches, can make liars and cheats break into tears.

[ Related: Oprah thrills fans during first Edmonton visit ]

It was Oprah, in town for a speaking engagement. And she was everywhere.

You get an Oprah sighting. And you get an Oprah sighting. Everyone gets and Oprah sighting!

It wasn’t just another celebrity coming to town. It was Barack Obama and Lady Gaga combined with Ellen and the Dali Lama. It was a religious experience.

The Edmonton Journal’s review of her event begins like so:

More than one religion first spread through humanity like a grass fire, promising afterlife — a place to escape the various pain and torments of this world. Oprah Winfrey, with an unquestionably pure heart, plays a similar card game of expectation and hope.

The review goes on to be overwhelmingly positive. The show (sold out of course) inspiring. Etc.

That is not to take away from the writer, Fish Griwkowsky. To see Oprah is to experience Oprah. To attack her is to attack humanity. So the narrative goes.

She gets a free pass for Dr. Phil’s moustache. She gets a free pass for unleashing Dr. Oz and his hack advice on the world.

She gets a free pass for her failing television network, OWN, which received a shot in the arm (pun overwhelmingly intended) by her exclusive Lance Armstrong interview. In some way, it is our fault OWN is faltering. We should be watching Oprah 24/7.

Part of her reason for visiting Edmonton was to campaign for OWN, speaking to the media about the ups and downs the network has faced.

Add this to the “downs” category: Her Edmonton hotel didn’t carry the channel.

@crusephoto @owntv yep just landed in Canada . Hotel doesn't carry OWN. Called ahead they said they did. #bummed

— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 21, 2013

When Oprah is bummed, clouds rain teardrops. Chuck Norris’ thumbs lose the will to point upwards. This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

[ Related: Oprah believes disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong can be a 'hero again' ]

Ms. Winfrey will take her talents to Calgary Tuesday night and Vancouver on Thursday. Following her will be the chirping birds, the angelic hum, the halo glow and an overwhelming sense of empowerment and self-affirmation.

Welcome to Canada, Oprah.