I spent the weekend in Vancouver with fellow intern Gavin. On Friday night one of his colleagues from the Fraser Institute was playing in a grunge rock band, which we went to see. I was impressed at the level of musical talent for someone who also works day to day at a think tank.
We woke early on Saturday morning to take the ferry across to Vancouver Island, on the way meeting up with another Australian (Michael) who would travel with us. Victoria is the largest city on Vancouver Island and is also the capital of British Columbia. We visited the Royal BC Museum, the gardens of the provincial legislature and an obligatory pub or two.
The highlight of the trip for me was during a much-needed visit to a café on Sunday morning; I was approached by a woman who had overheard me talking and wanted to compliment me on my ‘beautiful Scottish accent’. That was certainly a first!
Preston Manning generously gave me tickets to the Western Hockey League match between the Calgary Hitmen and the Edmonton Oil Kings on Friday night, which will certainly end my time in Calgary with an authentic Canadian experience.
Preston told me that this match would be rougher than his grandson’s game I attended with him. It will be interesting to watch hockey at a provincial level, especially since it’s so different to many of the sports we would usually see back in Australia.
In the office, we’re on the final drive for recruiting attendees for the Manning Centre Conference next week. Using different software including Nation Builder provides us with a wealth of information about people who’ve attended conferences or events in the past and allows us to contact them with special promotions.
On Tuesday, we had the final planning meeting for the conference, and I’m thoroughly impressed at how much has been achieved since I’ve been in the office, especially when any obstacles were placed in the way.
Friday will be the last day at the Manning Centre and with some sadness concludes my time in Calgary. To celebrate my last day, I will plan to bring a cake to share with the office after my mother’s insistence.
I’m incredibly grateful to Mannkal for sending me to Calgary and to the Manning Centre for hosting me. On Sunday, all Manning interns based in Canada will travel to Ottawa for the Manning Conference and for an enrichment seminar organised by Mannkal for which I’m extremely excited.