Photo: Janet Trost Photography Baddeck, February 2009
Earlier this month, Loreena shared a conversation with astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station. He was in space. She was on earth – in her home station, Stratford. It was an afternoon video conference on April 8 where they discussed a variety of topics. Col. Hadfield later posted comments on Twitter and Facebook.
The two first met back in 2009 in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, during the 100th anniversary celebration for the Comonwealth’s first airplane flight, which took place in Baddeck in 1909. “It was there that I discovered Col. Hadfield is very interested in music and is also a singer and musician himself,” says Loreena. “That was the first time we met and we talked a great deal about music.” Later that day Loreena, Col. Hadfield and his brother Dave, and several others sat around a fire, casually playing music together.
Loreena’s interest in aviation and space – and her connection with astronauts – has continued to expand over the years, something that has brought her great pleasure. Loreena discovered Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette brought along one of her CDs to listen to in space and several astronauts were in the audience during her 1998 performance in Houston, Texas.
When Loreena was appointed in 2006 to the position of Honorary Colonel of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based in Winnipeg, Canada, that connection “blossomed.”
“I’m constantly surprised and fascinated by people who excel in one field but have such passionate interests in other things – like music,” says Loreena. “My life has been enriched by meeting people like Col. Hadfield. It’s been a great honour.”
Follow Cmdr. Hadfield on Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield and on facebook.com/AstronautChrisHadfield