By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
I had the chance to mix and mingle with local off-duty firemen on Thursday night at the 2010 Greater Victoria Firefighter Calendar launch party charity event.
The cocktail party was held at the Bard and Banker – a space that used to be this massive year-round Christmas store on Government Street. Now it’s a pub with a floor-length bar and elaborate staircases bridging two open-concept floors. There’s even a balcony that doubles as a stage for live bands and such. Not a Christmas ornament in sight anymore.
It was a girls’ night out and we had a blast. What a great way to vent a little steam from the ups and downs of everyday life. We got there super early to get good seats and that was smart planning because we had a bird’s eye view of everything and first glance of the firefighters from the 2010 calendar as they entered the room. It was like being at a fashion show and sitting right on the catwalk. Speaking of cats, yes, the cougars were out, but we behaved ourselves :> more or less.
We each got our own copy of the calendar and a free drink ticket included in the steep-but-worth-it ticket price. I was drinking non-alcoholic mojitos because I was the designated driver.
There were so many handsome men in the room, it was hard to know where to look next. While we were waiting for the firefighters to be introduced one by one and month by month, some other firefighters from past and future calendars served us appetizers of pepperoni and bacon pizza, fish-and-chips-style halibut (I so wanted to say out loud, that I came here for the halibut, but I kept that oldie to myself) and oysters on the half shell – which I was not interested in sampling at all.
I could not however resist getting my picture taken with the oysters and Firefighter Troy who made the evening a lot more fun for us in general. Isn’t Troy the best name for a firefighter? Straight out of central casting… I love a man in uniform. Troy was Mr. January, 2009.
Once the firefighters were introduced, they came around to each table to sign their page on the calendar. It was a good icebreaker. They always asked if we wanted the note to be on the spicy side – the pun possibilities are endless – but I always asked for mild. My friends, on the other hand, always insisted on a little heat.
It was fun to see the calendar photos side by side with the real men. Some were very recognizable and others weren’t and some were way hotter in person than you would expect.
My favourite out of all of the 2010 firefighters was Vince. Notice he wrote, “Happy Birthday.” The first three people who can tell me in a comment which month he signed, will get a free recipe emailed to them from my book, How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party, the Homespunspa way, perfect for your next girls’ night with your friends.
If you want to get your own copy of Victoria, British Columbia’s 2010 Firefighter calendar, please copy and paste this link in your browser and click on “Where to buy:” http://www.greatervictoriafirefighters.com/calendar.htm.
I didn’t come home till after midnight, well past my bedtime, but it was worth it. Thanks to all of the firefighters for all of your hard work. We appreciate it.