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The 14th annual National Arts Centre Gala – An Intimate Evening with Diana Krall -- held on Saturday October 2 -- was a great success both artistically and financially. The event had been sold out for months, and the audience was thrilled to hear the announcement from Gala Honorary Chair Laureen Harper that the event had raised a net amount of $552,484. The entire amount goes to the National Arts Centre’s National Youth and Education Trust, which invests in young Canadians through the performing arts.
Special thanks to Canadian jazz superstar Diana Krall and her trio -- Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst (bass), and Karriem Riggins (drums) – who held the capacity crowd enthralled. Many thanks also to the talented people who made the 14th NAC Gala so memorable: conductor Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, who donate their services for this fundraising event; poet Nathanaël Larochette; and teenaged violinists Kerson Leong and Chad Hoopes. Both Kerson and Chad have participated in the Young Artists Program of the NAC Summer Music Institute, which is funded directly by the National Youth and Education Trust. The full NAC Orchestra was enhanced for this occasion by five young musicians who are members of the NAC’s Institute for Orchestral Studies. They are Jean-Hee Lee and Nicholas Pappone (violin), Clayton Leung (viola), Viviane Gosselin (cello), and Michael Cox (double bass).
The NAC Gala was presented by Sun Life Financial. Other sponsors for the NAC Gala include Major Sponsor A&E Television Networks, and Event Sponsors TELUS Communications Company, TD Bank Financial Group, EnCana, Emond Harnden LLP, and Quebecor Inc. Event Partners were The Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit.
Early evening red carpet arrivals kept the media throng busy, and spotted at the pre-concert reception were many Ottawa A-listers, including The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway; Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism; Robert D. Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Jim Prentice, Minister of Environment; John Baird, Government House Leader; Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien and mayoral candidate Jim Watson, as well as senators, ambassadors, and other members of the political and media elite.
A full house of 2200 people enjoyed the concert, and various intermission and post-intermission receptions, while 700 guests, supporters, and dignitaries enjoyed a sumptuous post-concert meal devised by NAC Executive Chef Michael Blackie. In a tradition unique to the NAC Gala, the meal was served on the magically transformed stage of Southam Hall and included a starter of Red Balinese stained “yellow tail” tuna flank, pickled celery and watermelon-long bean-chickpea-micro green-frisse salad, and gingered yuzu blam, and entrées of cherry wood smoked rib eye of elk with sunflower and black sesame crackling and Alaskan king crab with brown butter-tobiko hollandaise. Dessert was dark and stormy baba, crushed meringue coupe-jackfruit tingle, and dark chocolate marshmallow disguise.
Grateful thanks go to the hard-working NAC Gala Committee, Honorary Chair Laureen Harper and Chair Janet Yale. Committee members are Adrian Burns, Philip Cartwright, Susannah Dalfen, Carol Devenny, Patrick Kennedy, Kenneth Loeb, Linda MacKenzie, Barry McLoughlin, Keltie Mierins, Jim Orban, Laura Peck, Alan Riccardi, Jennifer Rideout, Harvey A. Slack, David Stewart-Patterson, Andrew Tremayne, Arnie Vered, and Marilyn Wilson.
The NAC Gala is an annual fundraiser that helps ensure the future of the performing arts in Canada. As a vibrant hub for performance, creation, and learning, the National Arts Centre is dedicated to developing the artistic leaders of tomorrow. Proceeds raised help the NAC provide vital programming that encourages creativity and instills a life-long love of the performing arts in young people across Canada. The NAC Gala has raised more than $6.6 million over the past 13 years to support the National Youth and Education Trust. Established by the NAC Foundation in 2001, the Trust is the primary resource for youth and education funding at the NAC. Supporters of the Trust help the National Arts Centre provide a wide range of artistic and educational programming that nurtures and develops the creativity of young people in the National Capital Region and across the country.
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