KPMG throws big party in stunning new O'Born Room at National Arts Centre

Reception draws 350 guests, celebrates theme of 'service' to businesses and broader community

It should be called the Ooh! Born Room, so dazzling is the National Arts Centre's new event space named after Janice and Earle O’Born, the philanthropic couple from Toronto who donated $1.5 million to the performing arts centre last year.

The impressive venue, with its soaring windows and expansive views of some of Ottawa’s most iconic buildings, was where professional services firm KPMG chose to host a big party Tuesday for more than 350 clients, staff, alumni, retired partners and friends of the firm.

Best of all — from the perspective of this camera-toting social columnist — everyone wore name tags that specified their business or organization

KPMG
Jane Brydges, president and owner of Brydges and Associates, at a reception hosted by KPMG in the new O'Born Room of the newly renovated National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
KPMG
Charles-Antoine Rozon, a KPMG Enterprise partner and former Forty Under 40 recipient, was among the hundreds of guests to attend a reception hosted by KPMG in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
KPMG
From left, retired KPMG partner Wayne Brownlee with Mario Paron, the firm's regional managing partner for Eastern Canada, and Grant McDonald, managing partner in Ottawa. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The O’Borns, who are KPMG clients, were forced to make a late arrival after their train got delayed that day. Janice is chair of the NAC Foundation board while Earle is founder and chairman of the Printing House Ltd.

On hand to welcome guests was KPMG’s Ottawa managing partner Grant McDonald, who’s also chair of the NAC Foundation Finance Committee. KPMG Canada’s CEO and senior partner, Elio Luongo, was seen mingling in the crowd, as was regional managing partner Mario Paron.

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From left, Grant McDonald, managing partner of KPMG, with NAV Canada CEO Neil Wilson and KPMG Canada CEO Elio Luongo. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Larry Kelly, law partner at Kelly Santini, with Susan St. Amand, founder and president of Sirius Financial Services, and KPMG partner Robert Shaver, who's been with the firm for 41 years. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Paris Jefferson and Liberal MP Andrew Leslie, seen with Jayne Watson at the KPMG Celebration held in the O'Born Room of the newly renovated National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Gregory Sanders, head of the tax law group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall, with Stephen Assaly, owner of Richmond Heights Apartments, and KPMG partner Patrick Coady at a reception hosted by KPMG in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The reception celebrated the contributions made over the years by those people associated with KPMG.

“Tonight, our theme is really about service," McDonald told OBJ.social. "Really everything we do, whether it’s in the business community or philanthropic community, is all about service.”

Guests included Mayor Jim Watson, who called KPMG a “great community partner”; Coun. Allan Hubley, who’s chair of the city’s audit committee; and Orléans MP Andrew Leslie, parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister on Canada-U.S. relations. 

Also spotted were Adrian Burns, chair of the National Arts Centre board, Invest Ottawa CEO Michael Tremblay, Algonquin College president Cheryl Jensen, NAC Foundation CEO Jayne Watson, NAV Canada CEO Neil Wilson, as well as foreign diplomats. Former U.S. ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, who happened to be in town, dropped in a little later.

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From left, British High Commissioner Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque with Grant McDonald and Cheryl Jensen at a reception hosted by KPMG in the beautiful new O'Born Room of the renovated National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
KPMG
From left, KPMG manager Heruka Kumararatne with tech veteran Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Analytics, and Susan St. Amand at a reception hosted by KPMG  in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
KPMG
From left, Adrian Burns with Elio Luongo, German Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser and Greg Kane, counsel at Dentons, at a reception hosted by KPMG in the scenic new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Peter Melanson, director of federal sales for Microsoft, with Invest Ottawa CEO Michael Tremblay at a reception hosted by KPMG  in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Romina Malhotra with British High Commissioner Susan le Jeune d'Allegeershecque and Bill Malhotra, founder and president of Claridge Homes, at a reception hosted by KPMG  in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Grant McDonald with Dennis Laurin, owner of the Laurin Group, at a reception hosted by KPMG  in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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NAV Canada vice president Donna Mathieu with Steve Hudson, CFO and vice-president of business management at Arnprior Aerospace Inc., at a reception hosted by KPMG  in the new O'Born Room of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca