Party Pics: Snaps from the Power of Music and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Gala

Orchestral manoeuvres help raise more than $800,000 for the VSO.

 Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s The Power Music of Gala (March 14)

The Met Gala met The Power of Music. Vancouver’s iconic Orpheum was transformed into the city’s most fashionable party benefiting the VSO and VSO School of Music.

CEO Angela Elster moved the VSO’s signature soiree from the Vancouver Convention Centre to the Orpheum – a first for the venerable event – and enlisted Geena Jackson, pictured, Coleen Christie and yours truly to host.

Symphony Gala chairs Bruce Munro Wright and Kerrie Sayer returned fronting the fashionable new format to raise funds for the Juno and Grammy award-winning VSO and VSO School of Music.

Committee members Joy Jennissen and Jill Killeen dressed to impress in bold, off the shoulder, full-length gowns and jewels by Canadian designer Alan Anderson.

It was a formal date night for Meagan Prokopanko and Cameron Conn. Prokopanko wore Staud while Conn sported a classic tuxedo for the night of fine food and sweet music.

Accompanied by his wife Christie, recently minted VSO chair David Garofalo, CEO of Gold Realty Corp, was delighted with the more than $800,000 raised, up $100,000 from the previous year.

RBC Regional President Martin Thibodeau with his wife Caroline was awarded VSO’s Gold Baton not for his high rank in banking circles but for his community service to many worthy organizations across Canada.

Victor McCallef and Clifton Murray of the Tenors also picked up a Gold Baton Award for uniting people through the universal language of music.

Sixteen-year-old Da-Wei Chan from the VSO School of Music performed with the 80-member Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Nessa Van Bergen and Joanne Mandet of Bon Vivant Catering provided the decadent food offerings for the 600 guests in attendance.

The biggest hit of the evening was the 300 custom built ‘Sweetheart Tables’ constructed by the IRL Group that sat atop the Orpheum theatre seats.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation’s Bridge to S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Gala (March 17)

A perennial fixture on the Chinese social calendar, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation’s Bridge to S.U.C.C.E.S.S. raised a healthy $550,000 to benefit programs and social services for newcomers, youth, seniors and families unaided by government funding.

SU.C.C.E.S.S. CEO Queenie Choo and Board Chair Doug Purdie welcomed 700 guests to the formal fundraiser held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.

CHMB radio’s Jacqueline Au and OMNI TV’s Karen So emceed the 47th staging of the annual dinner and concert.

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Janet Austin and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix were among the many dignitaries and vote-getting politicos in attendance.

Gala committee member Stephanie Li was all smiles when a dinner with Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim fetched $12,000 in the live auction.

Richard and Grace Wong of the Chinese Canadian Museum would be one of the biggest spenders of the evening, dropping $21,000 on a pair of Air Canada Business Class tickets.

Hong Kong musical artist Miranda Lee headlined the night’s gala festivities led by S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation Chair Jason Lam. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $22 million for the province’s largest, non-profit, multicultural social service agency.

Sponsor James Kitamura, BMO Regional President, Personal Banking, and Christine Wu, Regional Coordinator, Sponsorships and Donations showed their love for S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Long-time benefactors Grace and Stephen Kwok made the scene to support the non-profit’s continuing efforts to serve some 77,000 clients annually; newcomers from 150 countries settle across Canada.