Oprah brings Lifeclass to Toronto
Oprah Winfrey was welcomed in downtown Toronto today by hundreds of fans, some of whom began queuing at dawn to take part in the American media mogul's touring Lifeclass roadshow.
Winfrey fans began arriving at 4 a.m. ET and hail from across Canada, including devotees from as far as Revelstoke, B.C., and Churchill, Man., according to the CBC's Genevieve Tomney.
The Lifeclass series, recorded for broadcast on Winfrey's OWN network, includes the former talk show queen sharing life lessons.
She is joined by inspirational figures such as motivational speaker Tony Robbins, spiritual advisers Deepak Chopra and Bishop T.D. Jakes, and self-help author Iyanla Vanzant.
Highlights from the day's events are slated to air on OWN Canada on Monday night.
Winfrey's Toronto sessions mark the first time that she has broadcast a show from Canada, despite a long career in television.
The queue for the 4 p.m. afternoon show began before the morning session at 9 a.m. even started.
"This has been on my bucket list for years and years to see Oprah and be in the audience," Julie Hryniewicz, a motivational speaker, corporate trainer and author from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who was first in line, told The Canadian Press.
"She really is a mentor in a lot of ways. I've followed her career for a number of years because she's very empowering and inspiring to me [in] that she continues to achieve new goals and reach more people. And her platform is so large that it's absolutely a goal of mine to follow in her footsteps."
Organizers initially scheduled just one afternoon session, but after it sold out in mere minutes, a morning edition was also added and also sold out promptly.
Since ending her landmark daytime talk show in 2011, Winfrey has been struggling to boost ratings for her specialty channel OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, which was forced to slash one-fifth of its staff and restructure its operations in recent weeks.
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The talk show legend told CBC's Genevieve Tomney that she didn't foresee all of the challenges that would come with running her own network.
"The most surprising challenge for me has been to fully embody what it takes to run a network. It means you got to have your butt there every day and be engaged in everything because there are so many other elements other than the programming of it," Oprah said during a brief interview on Monday.
With files from The Canadian Press and a report from the CBC’s Genevieve Tomney