An Evening with Oprah
Copps Coliseum 101 York Boulevard

This may take the cake as the most surreal moment I’ve had yet – being in the same room as Oprah as she walks on stage and announces, in her iconic boom, “HAM-IL-TOOOOOON!!”

Something I never dreamed I would witness.


I’ve been a fan of Oprah’s, like so many, for years. I became an even bigger fan with the launch of her network OWN in 2011. My mom and I started watching “Lifeclass” on OWN and got so much out of it. We were so grateful to be introduced to the works of people like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and Iyanla Vanzant.

Another fantastic show on the network is “Master Class” – I remember early on, they aired a two-part episode featuring Oprah, herself, where she shared personal life stories and lessons. Many of these she shared on this tour, “An Evening With Oprah.” It was incredible to hear her words in person. She shared the very few photos she has of herself growing up, and moved through her early days, to her first television job, her role in The Colour Purple, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and all the way to the present. She shared the incredible trials she has faced throughout life and what she learned through them.


Oprah walked (danced, rather!) onstage to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” It was so crazy to hear her address Hamilton. Speaking of her life, she talked of the thread that brought her all the way from her hometown Mississippi to Hamilton. It was a cold and rainy day, and she joked that she thought it would be springtime in Hamilton. She also declared us to be the “best dressed Canadian city,” adding that this audience seemed to dress up just a little more for her show.


I have never witnessed one person captivate and engage an audience for so long. She is a brilliant speaker – no prompter or lines to read, no pauses. The talk flowed so well and the pacing of it was perfect. It didn’t feel like it went by too quickly and I was able to really absorb everything she said. You felt so energized and inspired by the end, and so many moments triggered responses from the audience – those “Ah ha!” moments.

Another element that may have come as a surprise to some was how funny she is. Oprah’s humour was also an important part of her presentation. So many moments had the audience in stitches. It’s the down-to-earth quality that makes her so relatable. I felt like I knew her, like I was listening to a friend.


After the talk, George Stroumboulopoulos joined Oprah for a Q&A session. George was the moderator for the Q&A during Oprah’s tour, and an interesting fact that came up was that he officially broke the record for the most times anyone has ever interviewed Oprah (a record previously held by Barbara Walters!). Oprah also responded to George that she loves Canada and that Canadians are the nicest people, adding that she should be crowned an “unofficial Cannuck”!

This will forever be a memorable event I’ve had so far in my local travels, and also in my life. Check out a couple clips in my video below!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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