Eight Life Lessons from a Canadian Icon

This blog starts with a confession:



The Snowbirds are a team of Canadian Forces members who leave us gasping and in awe with their precision, aerial demonstrations. Thirty-eight years of service. Thirty-eight years of inspiring.

A few weeks ago I attended an Ottawa Chamber of Commerce breakfast.. The speaker was Michael Potter of Vintage Wings of Canada. He spoke about several Canadian historical aviators that I was dismayed not to have heard of or their accomplishments.

Seated around the room were several attendees in flight suits. They were introduced as supporting Mr. Potter in his quest to tell the country about our great aviation history and service. One of them was Lieutenant Colonel Maryse Carmichael, Commanding Officer of the Snowbirds. There was a Snowbird in the room!

At the end of the breakfast I approached Lieutenant Colonel Carmichael and mentioned I would like to blog about her and the Snowbirds. I geekily asked for a picture. She graciously agreed.

The next day my husband and I attended the Vintage Wings Air Show. At the end of the day the Snowbirds performed. Here are eight life lessons we can take from this dedicated team:

Always be ready to go.

Snowbirds parked on the ramp.

Nurture a trustworthy support team.

More of the team prior to take-off.

Be strong enough to say No.

The nine Tutor CT-114s taxied out to the runway and one returned. A mechanical problem. The crowd was waiting.

Always have a Plan B.

The eight waited until the ninth pilot (there isn’t a backup pilot) joined them in the backup jet. If that one hadn’t been able to go then the team would have performed a modified program with eight members.

First impressions are memorable.

Here they come!


And closer!

Practice is worth the effort. Practice makes it awe-inspiring.

Think they’ve done this before?

Acknowledge your supporters.

The fans cheer for the Snowbirds and the Snowbirds wave and appreciate the support.


The sky is the limit.


About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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4 Responses to Eight Life Lessons from a Canadian Icon

  1. karenhickman says:

    How exciting, Suzanne. I love that one of the pilots is female. Great lessons or all of us to think about.

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