Saturday, May 21, 2011

DA CAPO -- Stairwell Caroller History -- "Christmas Holly" CBC special with Holly Larocque 1988

Back in 1988, we were part of a CBC Christmas Special starring Ottawa's own Holly Larocque. Holly was grace personified and the whole choir (all eight of us) couldn't get over her powerful  Julie Andrews-quality voice.

We spent eight hours standing, and singing, on a staircase at the Wilson House at Meech Lake, (where the Meech Lake Accord was signed) and further hours at Bayshore shopping center.The whole cast and crew were so professional -- they made the whole process fun and it went smooth as silk. Pete even got to arrange a special intro to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" for us to sing with Holly.

The funniest moments I remember were...
-- hair and makeup for the whole cast in the most famous home on Meech lake.Very odd indeed!
-- the crew outside throwing fake snow past the window -- since we had to film in September
-- Holly's dog Marlowe walking off set at the WRONG times (to visit with Paul)
-- Holly "driving" her car to the mall to go "Christmas shopping" (actually being towed) -- like me, she did not have her licence yet! (Since then, she got hers and challenged me -- so I finally took the wheel -- now we both love to drive.)

Me in the middle on the Society page of the Citizen
From the second we met, Holly thought it was a hoot that we shared a "Christmas" name and we kept in touch ever since. I still look forward to her hand-made (by her) Xmas cards. In fact, in 2004, Holly requested my help as 'Charlie' at The Silver Screen Gala she hosted for the May Court club of Ottawa. It was a blast :)

Here is her own online scrapbook with some rare clippings and photos.

Do you remember the Christmas special -- or were you on it too? We'd love to hear from you!

PS I'll say Hi to Holly for you:)


  1. Hi Holly;

    It is always a treat to hear from you and I follow the Stairwell bulletins closely. I am so honoured and touched that you would include me in your recent blog. I am delighted that your memories of our joint television outing are so fond and I thank you so much for the lovely comments you made. I will always remember that experience happily as well. Dear Marlowe! He certainly called the shots on when he was taking a break or pausing for a snack ... little wonder as the staff had supplied him with a plate of roast beef in the dining room!!

    1. Hi Holly
      yes, Dear Marlowe -- he was the star wasn't he?

  2. Holly, I grew up watching and loving Under the Umbrella Tree as a kid. I understand that the show went off the air sometime in the 1990s but it does not say anywhere on the web how old you are. Any reason why? I am just curious. I did hear your father died in 2010 and am so sorry for that, but I wonder about your age. I am Carmen Houssney from Dearborn, Michigan.

    1. Hi Carmen
      Thanks for the comment. Did you try the link with Holly's name above. it goes to her Big Band website and perhaps your questions could be answered there. I can pass on your well wishes to Holly too.
      Sincerely, Holly Massie


You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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