Artist-in-residence for the National Ballet of Canada, Rex Harrington is all smiles these days. His partner, dental consultant Robert (Bob) Hope, has proposed. With their wedding set for the summer of 2011 and Rex returning to the stage in this month’s National Ballet production of Onegin, the couple discuss why their six-year-long relationship continues to leave them feeling light on their feet.
How they met
Bob started “stalking” me by sending cards and gifts through Seta Nigoghossian, the National Ballet’s long-time receptionist, whom I lovingly refer to as Mamma Seta. She suggested that this was the way to “get” to me.
The first date
Rex agreed to meet me after I sent him a card that said, “In an age where romance and chivalry is dead, if I’ve managed to put a smile on your face, can we meet up?”
We went to Byzantium on Church Street for dinner then back to Bob’s place. I didn’t leave for three days! It was love at first sight.
There has been an endless number of romantic dinners and trips. Once Bob kidnapped me from work and took me horseback riding in the country, then to Stratford for dinner, and the restaurant played our song. Once I woke up to the strains of Edith Piaf throughout the house and was treated to a French bistro–style breakfast and then later to dinner at a French restaurant.
On a fateful Sunday this past March, I told Rex to get ready for brunch, and when he opened the closet door to grab his shoes, there were packed bags and Paris guide books waiting for him. We spent a week in Paris and then a week in a villa in the South of France. When we got to the villa, I opened a bottle of wine and sat him down and said, “Let’s play a game.” I opened an envelope filled with some Scrabble tiles and said, “Figure it out!”
Right away, he saw that the tiles spelt out “me,” “marry” and “you.” I pulled out a Cartier box. He melted and said, “Yes!”
Their lives now
Our lives are very rich. We’re both kids at heart, we don’t take things so seriously and are homebodies. We love our house, even more after being out of it for over a year due to a fire last year. We like to watch movies and cuddle in our new media room and look out at our gardens.
Our shared goals are to retire young and travel the world!
Tell us about your home.
We have totally renovated our house since we bought it, due to the fire. The house looks like Giselle’s cottage [from the ballet Giselle]. The area has a very eclectic mix of people, and it’s wonderful to have a park just across the street where we often walk our dog.
Secret success as a couple
The secret to our success as a couple is that we are best friends. I still melt when he smiles, and I know, no matter what, we will always look out for the other.
Plans for Pride?
Every Pride we have BBQ brunch at our friends' place on their rooftop patio. They live on Jarvis and we watch the parade from there during the day and afterwards, we walk around Church Street and hang out.