Alison Yesilcimen, Kelowna publisher turned entrepreneur, looks at her copy of a simple script and asks me: "Who is going to present the Webster? Who is going to say . . . and the winner is?"
Without flipping a coin, we decide Alison, my co-juror, will read the magical words for our category in front of a lively Hyatt Regency ballroom audience of 1,000. They've come to see who is the best in B.C. journalism for the 24th annual Jack Webster Awards.
I will present the glass hardware.
Webster is a legend in journalism. He died in 1999, but saw what the foundation named in his honour was doing to inspire quality journalism through recognition and professional development.
Today's blog is not about the winners, the compelling speech by Bruce Hutchison lifetime achievement recipient Jim Taylor or the wonderful words by guest CBC broadcaster Adrienne Arsenault (with her mischievous look and green dress on the big Webster screen).
No, this is a pictorial stroll through the awards night with some light commentary along the way. Awards nights are often about the food, the people, and the anticipation.
Yes, chicken was on the menu, but before that we shared a few special refreshments with the Webster Foundation trustees on the hotel's 34th floor.
I shared a few sailing stories with journalist and Gulf Yacht Club member Nick Palmer (left, below) and talked about social media with old friend and Vancouver Sun deputy online managing editor Paul Bucci.
More meal courses were served and people started visiting again. Our table was graced with the presence of Crystal Orchison of the Mission Record and her friend David Hoff, a Webster Foundation trustee.
When it was time to leave we ran into Greg Johnson (centre below) of Pace Group which years ago arranged Harmony Airways fam trips for us to New York City and Maui. He was with a radio buddy and Paula Amos of the Aboriginal Association of BC.
One last embrace was left for Marlyn Graziano, editorial director for Postmedia Community Publishing. She is one of the most upbeat journalism executives we know.
Will you be at the Websters in 2011? Cheers.