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Serena Ryder

25+ Years Of Fandom: A Millennial Retrospective

Sarah Prince Toy Story Buzz Lightyear and Woody

As I get ready to go to Disney World, I’ve been thinking about my path to becoming a professional fangirl. I’ve gone to the most meet and greets in Disney theme parks, so I have no doubt that’s where my interest in posing with famous characters and people came from. It goes back for so many years that my first meet and greets were not captured on a digital camera. After all, it was the early 90s!

I’ve also spent more than a year talking to super fans of Kim Kardashian and more recently, Taylor Swift, daily. This made me want to reflect on my personal history of relationships with pop culture icons. Let’s go back, shall we?


Before I built a personal brand as the girl in the red jeans, I loved all things purple. Between the clothes, videos and stuffed animals, I basically collected Barney products. 

In middle school, I took on a new Barney project: re-selling new VHS tapes. I bought them at a phenomenal bargain price and sold them on sites likes Amazon and eBay. It was a challenging time to do this because VHS tapes were being phased out. I’m not sure how much $$$ I made, but it was a good way to learn about e-commerce.

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Bell Let’s Talk

Photo Source: Bell

Photo Source: Bell

Bell Let’s Talk Day is one of my favourite corporate success stories. The charitable initiative, which is run by one of Canada’s top telecommunications companies, aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. That’s a campaign that I can stand behind year after year.

Bell has enlisted celebrity spokespeople, such as Howie Mandel and Serena Ryder, to spread the word and use their influence for a good cause. Based on a global response in previous years, I anticipate many more famous people will participate on the day of the event.

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Concert Review: KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall

TIFF might be over, but Toronto remains a star-studded destination. On Friday night, Avicii, Sarah Silverman and Serena Ryder all had events I would’ve loved to attend, but thanks to Nokia & Live Nation, I saw KT Tunstall. Twitter for the win, once again!

Tunstall kicked off her North American tour at the Danforth Music Hall and it was obvious that she was a little bit rusty. The apologetic singer repeatedly said “sorry” so many times that it became a running joke and the audience started counting. The Danforth Music Hall is a small enough venue that each time a fan shouted something at her, everyone could hear. This lighthearted banter created a laidback vibe that made the evening more enjoyable.

KT Tunstall

It was fun to hear Suddenly I See, Funnyman and Black Horse and the Cherry Tree live, but I wish she played more of her early hits. Instead, Tunstall focused on playing newer material. At some point between performing songs from her latest record Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon, Tunstall said she liked writing tracks in Arizona because “it’s the perfect place to meditate.” This album marks a transition in her career because after making upbeat pop-rock songs, she became interested in darker subject matter, including death.

Overall, I thought the sound quality was good, but the concert was short and there wasn’t anything too memorable. Though I’m grateful for having amazing seats in Row F, KT Tunstall’s performance didn’t top my first experience at the Danforth Music Hall when Sam Roberts rocked the house in 2008.

24 Hours, 3 Bands, 2 Cities

Molson Amphitheatre hosted an amazing concert with the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty on Thursday night. The Goo Goo Dolls were up first and played many of their big hits, including Slide and Black Balloon, but the crowd didn’t stand up until they started singing Iris.

Goo Goo Dolls

Although it was disappointing that the two bands were never on stage together, they were both incredible. The Goo Goo Dolls’s music is more rock-heavy, whereas Matchbox Twenty’s set list was more mellow. Going to the nearly sold out concert was the perfect way to satisfy my nostalgia for the 90s and the crowd of 15,000 fans seemed to agree.

Matchbox Twenty

Typically that would’ve been enough live music to keep me happy for a few months, but then I went to another concert Friday night in Montreal. Just in time for Canada Day, Feist opened the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

TD was a prominent sponsor, which made sense considering their large presence seen at the Molson Amphitheatre on Thursday night, where they gave out neon green wristbands printed with a #TDmusic hashtag.

Feist took the stage a few hours after my VIA Rail train arrived, so it was very good timing. (Have I mentioned that taking the train is the best way to travel?) I’m not a huge Feist fan, but I’m always down for a good free concert, not to mention the opportunity to support Canadian musicians.

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