Virtual Red Carpet Show Returns

Collage of 2021 O'Brien Awards Red Carpet host Kelly Spencer


The Virtual 2021 O’Brien Awards Gala presented by Standardbred Canada on Sunday, February 6 will kick off with the always popular, always entertaining Red Carpet Show, proudly sponsored by Grand River Raceway. Kelly Spencer of True Nature Communications, the harness racing community’s own Joan Rivers, is back to host for the fifth consecutive year.

The 2021 Red Carpet Show will be streamed live on and SC’s Facebook page, starting at 5:30 p.m. (EST) on February 6 and will feature a variety of special guests including many of this year’s finalists.

The Red Carpet Show has always been a great warm-up to an entertaining and exciting evening of celebrating our Canadian champions. We took a look back at some of our favourite moments and interviews from past editions of The Red Carpet Show and invite you to watch this video compiled and edited by SC’s Rachel Oenema.

Standardbred Canada also talked to Kelly Spencer to get her thoughts on hosting The Red Carpet.

Kelly, when you think of the 'The Red Carpet' in general, what Red Carpet host comes to mind, and why?
Joan Rivers, of course — she’s the OG! I wouldn’t always watch the awards ceremony but I never missed a Red Carpet show that preceded it. Her comedic brand wasn’t for everyone but you couldn’t knock her energy. She ‘brought it’ every time.

What was your funniest Red Carpet moment?
Trying to wrap-up the show with Freddy MacDonald (father of Mark, James, Anthony, Curtis, et al) was certainly funny (and impossible). I think we were about 60 mins over our allotted time before I was able to boot him off the carpet. There are some moments that are funny upon reflection that were mildly horrifying at the time, but that’s the nature of live TV. (Saving those for my memoir.)

Best dressed male and female on the Red Carpet?
Kelly Hoerdt breaks his own record with last year’s gunslingin’ get-up (replacing his custom-made Philadelphia Eagles tux).

There are a lot of gorgeous gowns but my fave is Chantal Mitchell’s outfit at the 2019 awards. She totally evoked that classic Hollywood vibe.

What do you like the most about hosting the Red Carpet?
We’re fortunate to have an event of the O’Brien Award’s stature and magnitude to celebrate the industry’s highest achievements. It’s an honour to be involved and provide another opportunity to contribute to that mandate.

What will you miss the most about the Red Carpet not being in person?
In short, everything. The virtual show is a good workaround and Curtis (Cujo Entertainment) does a great job producing it. But at the end of the day I think we all want to be in a room together for these big moments.

If you could have any celebrity to interview on the Red Carpet, who would you pick and why?
I’ve been binge listening to Conan O’Brien’s podcast (Conan Needs A Friend) and in the latest episode he interviewed Zach Galifianakis (my fave). Either one would be fine!

The 2021 Virtual O’Brien Awards Gala takes place on Sunday, February 6, 2022 and will be available for viewing on from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (EST). Keep up to date on the event details by following the O’Brien Facebook Event Page.