An Evening with Oprah in Vancouver leaves 16,000 people inspired, hopeful, and ready to take on the world

There were no cars, no trips, no swag — no, "everybody, look under your seats," but no one seemed to mind. Instead, the largely female audience of 16,000 came away from Vancouver's Rogers Arena “An Evening with Oprah,” with gifts of inspiration — feeling overjoyed and full of gratitude with the offering.

After an endearing and personal introduction (peppered with sentiments like “the Oprah I know" and "my girl”) from long-time boyfriend Stedman Graham, Oprah graced the stage in a floor-length, pastel pink belted gown, and in true Oprah fashion released a booming, “Vancouver, I loooove yoooou!”

The sold-out crowd reciprocated its admiration with a standing ovation, eardrum-piercing cheers, and hearty applause — clearly we loved her back. The stage was set for an Oprah love-fest.

Speaking in front of large audiences, for her, is comfortable, she told the crowd. However, she admitted to feeling anxious: "I'm nervous to speak to Vancouverites; I feel like you are already living your best lives." This admission came on the heels of a nod to our clean city and lush garden rooftops.

Oprah's Message

“I am so happy you are here. Why are you all here? That is the ultimate question. I’ll tell you why I am here. I am here because I have such a glorious life. I want to share with you a little bit of how that happens and my hope is that — with no singing or dancing — you will leave here with just a little morsel, a level of consciousness that allows you to be better, to live better, and to love better in your life because that's the ultimate question for all of us: 'Why are we here?'"

That was the message, delivered over two hours with warmth, conviction, (often humour) and the genuine feel-good Oprah vibe she so effortlessly disseminates.

Through a montage of slides, Oprah, like a new-age prophet for the people, dispensed motivational wisdom on how to live your best life.


The legendary Oprah Winfrey was larger than life at Rogers Arena (Image: Tracey Rayson)

The second part of the evening began when CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos sat down with Oprah (sans her high heels). “You all know George, right?”

When Stroumboulopoulos asked Oprah about her struggles with her OWN network, she replied with a laugh, “I was delusional.” The presence of an OWN banner in the audience led Oprah to joke with those hoisting and waving their sign, “I swear — if I had some cars I’d give 'em to you right now.”

The evening's mood pinballed back-and-forth, from serious undertones to flat-out laughter to joyous singing. When the audience learned of Oprah’s soon-to-be 59th birthday, the stadium reverberated with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. Genuinely appreciative, she said, “That’s never happened before!”

She spoke with truth and conviction, and almost sermon-like “what she knows for sure” models of enlightenment that have steered the course of her life, all delivered with great enthusiasm. Her empowering message came via catchphrases, quotes, and Oprah-isms.

Some of the Best Oprah-isms from Her Vancouver Show

There were “hallelur” moments, aha moments, and uplifting philosophy. And these are just a few of my favourite things:

  • “Focus on intention.”
  • “Harness your power.”
  • "Everyday you get to paint on the canvas that is your life — keep defining, and building, and evolving you.”
  • "Everything is happening to grow you to what you're supposed to be."
  • "When you lose your job . . . it's just life moving you in a different direction."
  • "The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you are."
  • "Gratitude changes your energy field; Don't take anything for granted."
  • “To be here on earth, so that you can live, to thrive and contribute, and first of all serve yourself, our consciousness, our humanity and to serve each other; Each person enters the world called.”
  • “Everything you try to do to somebody else is already done to you; For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.”
  • “There is no such thing as failure.”
  • "I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn't been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn't have been lucky."
  • “Change your narrative.”
  • “You deny yourself and your own spirit when you try to lower your age.”
  • “When people show you who they are — believe them the first time.”
  • “The universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers. And a whisper in your life usually feels like 'hmm, that's odd.' Or, 'hmm, that doesn't make any sense.' Or, 'hmm, is that right?'”