Justin Trudeau became the first prime minister in a decade to crack jokes at the Press Gallery dinner — but it was his wife who ran away with his part of the show.
The annual event is a good-natured mingling of journalists who cover Parliament, and politicians and government officials. Self-effacing speeches by party leaders are usually the highlight of the evening. And the Trudeaus went beyond all expectations on Saturday night.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife joke around at the press gallery dinner on Saturday. (Photo: Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
After a few jokes, the prime minister brought Sophie Gregoire Trudeau to the stage at the Canadian Museum of History: "I want to ask you to join me to welcome the mother of my oh-so-convenient and effective props, my children."
The prime minister than asked, "What are you wearing tonight, Sophie? We all want to know."
"Oh thank you so much for asking," Gregoire Trudeau gushed in jest, and then listed the Canadian designers she was wearing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the annual Press Gallery Dinner on Saturday night. (Photo: Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
"When I thought of the opportunity that I was going to have here on stage in front of all of you tonight, I thought, it's the best chance I have to express myself in song. And you were so kind to me the last time I sang," she said, referring to the public scrutiny after she burst into song at a news conference in January.
"In order to do this, I need a pianist, a cellist, a violinist, because I need a team. I need to feel supported," Gregoire Trudeau declared to laughter.
That reference was to the backlash she faced after saying she needed more staff to handle the flood of requests for her to speak at public events and support various charities and organizations.
Then she broke out into a blues number. (Watch the segment above.)
— Richard Madan (@RichardMadan) June 5, 2016
"Forget about his selfies," sang Gregoire Trudeau, as her husband provided musical accompaniment. "It's all about me!"
And that wasn't all.
Gregoire Trudeau, who is a yoga instructor, then manoeuvred into a difficult pose — a nod to a viral photo of the prime minister mastering a similar position.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches his wife in a yoga pose on stage at the Press Gallery dinner. (Photo: Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
"You should be doing more of this, then you'd be hitting less people, right?" she said to her husband, fresh off Elbowgate.
"And this is really good for anger management. Tom, you wanna try it?" Gregoire Trudeau said to NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who has a reputation for having quite a temper.
The Trudeaus ended the segment by re-creating a pose from their photo shoot with Vogue magazine:
(Photo: Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
Well, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau just killed it at #gala150. That was smart, brave and hilarious.
— Mackenzie Scrimshaw (@MkScrimshaw) June 5, 2016
The event, referred to some insiders as "nerd prom," also celebrated the press gallery's 150th anniversary.
Stephen Harper gave memorable roasts at the dinner during his time as Opposition leader but he stopped appearing at the functions when he became prime minister.
Here is Trudeau's full address at the dinner:
Gov.-Gen. David Johnston raises his glass in a toast to the 150th anniversary of the parliamentary press gallery at the group's annual dinner at the Canadian Museum of History on Saturday, June 4, 2016 in Gatineau, Que.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair concludes his speech with a mic drop.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose gestures during her speech.
Kevin Vickers, Canadian ambassador to Ireland and former sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, speaks at the dinner.
Justin Trudeau is the first prime minister to crack jokes at the annual press gallery dinner in a decade.
He brought his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, on stage for his segment.
Gregoire Trudeau, who is a yoga instructor, manoeuvres into a difficult pose to illustrate how politicians can use yoga to relax.
The Trudeaus concluded their segment by re-creating the pose from a Vogue magazine shoot.
The Trudeaus as seen backstage by the prime minister's principal secretary, Gerald Butts.
La Presse reporter Joel-Denis Bellavance receives the Charles Lynch Award at the event.
Bloc Quebecois leader Rheal Fortin speaks during the press gallery event.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair gleefully dropped F-bombs during his speech.