Tennis has always been a sport that I have admired. From its rich history to its ultra-prep status, it is something that I’ve always wanted to be more involved with. Last summer, a few friends and I decided to teach ourselves how to play the sport as a way to get outside and learn something new. While we’re certainly no Federer or Nadal, regular weekend practices have finally got us to a point where we can at least have a few good rallies and not totally embarrass ourselves. Consistency is key, my friends!
Continuing with the tradition, it’s that time of the year again where Canada’s premiere tennis competition, Rogers Cup, draws near. With Milos Raonic’s advancement to the Wimbledon finals recently (the first time a Canadian male to ever play for a Grand Slam title), tennis is very much a part of the Canadian dialogue this summer, along with all the great activities and celebrations surrounding the sport.
A few weeks ago, I was invited by the National Bank of Canada on a 24-hour trip to Montreal to celebrate tennis and the upcoming Rogers Cup. Together, with a really great group of friends from Toronto, we joined in on an exclusive private party alongside some of Montreal’s top creative talent, including an art collaboration by pénélope et chloë and Etienne Dufresne and DJ Ryan Hemsworth. The National Bank of Canada has long been a big supporter of tennis for the past ten years, both as a title sponsor and through their On The Ball program, which recovers tennis balls and utilizes them in classrooms as chair slippers to minimize noise and encourage concentration. This year, they held a party, aptly titled “ALT COURT”, that celebrated the art of the sport via various art installations and performances. The experience was meant to highlight the dichotomy between the various elements that make up tennis and their contrasting opposites. Where you have silence and decorum on the courts, we had DJs and freedom at ALT COURT. Where there are uniforms and strict guidelines in tennis, we had freedom of expression.
Kudos to the team for a stellar event and fantastic way to kick off the Rogers Cup. Thanks for having me!
Photos by Sarah Mongeau-Birkett, Sid Lee and Karel Chladek