Under the honorary co-chairmanship of Mr. Stéphan Crétier, Founder, President and CEO of GardaWorld, and of Mr. Luc Ouellet, Managing Director, Investment Banking of TD Securities, the third annual edition of the ‘Grande Soirée Foundation Vimy’ was a great success on Tuesday, June 17 in Montreal, at the beautiful Redpath Hall of McGill University.
In the presence of several hundred personalities from the business world, the military milieu, and the educational, arts and cultural community, the event raised more than $150,000, a record for this charity event in Montreal. The Vimy Foundation is an important pan-Canadian charitable organization that also organizes similar benefit activities annually in Ottawa and Toronto.
The June 17 event in Montreal included an official entry of the guests of honor on the red carpet, a dinner reception in Redpath Hall with By George catering, speeches and presentations, as well as a stage show.
Mr. Crétier and Mr. Ouellet were able to interact with the following special guests during the evening:
• Mr. Marcel Aubut, Partner, and Vice Chairman of the Board, BCF Business Law, and
• President of the Canadian Olympic Committee
• Mrs. Margaret Somerville, Founding Director, McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, and Trustee of The Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation
• Mr. David Houghton, President of the Vimy Foundation and Vice-President, RBC
• Dominion Securities
• Mr. Christopher P. Manfredi, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, McGill University
• M. Chris Shannon, Headmaster, Lower Canada College, and President of the Organizing
• Committee of the event
• Mrs. Lise Powell, wife of the Founder of the Vimy Foundation, the late Andrew Powell
• LCol Bruce D. Bolton, Executive Director, Macdonald Stewart Foundation
• Mr. Jonathan Birks, President, Nontarakay Consulting
• Ms. Anne Grace, Curator, Modern Art, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
• Mr. Claude Thibault, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum
• Mr. Christopher Sweeney, Chair of the Vimy 2017 Committee, and Member of the Board of the Vimy Foundation
The ‘Grande Soirée Fondation Vimy’ 2014 was presented to aid the Vimy Foundation's fundraising and awareness efforts by garnering support for its important youth education programs. These programs reach close to 18,000 Canadian youth across the country and benefit 200 exceptional high school students annually. One of these programs is the Vimy Pilgrimage Award which recognizes exemplary young Canadians for their distinguished service, positive contributions, notable deeds, bravery, and leadership.
Through this annual fundraising event, the Vimy Foundation aims to further develop these programs and to allow a greater number of high school students to participate. As the Vimy Foundation strives to preserve and promote the Canadian legacy of World War One, funds raised will also go towards commemoration projects for the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy ridge. The victory in April 1917 symbolizes an event in history which was the first major moment when Canada identified itself as a nation and was recognized internationally.
As the centennial anniversary of Vimy Ridge approaches, the foundation will play a leading role in building a state-of-the-art Education Centre to be unveiled on April 9, 2017 on grounds adjacent to the Vimy Memorial in France. The Government of Canada has committed $5 million to the project, and the Vimy Foundation aims to raise an additional $10–15 million.