Condo developer Sam Mizrahi hosts reception for NAC Gala donors

Soirée features performance from National Arts Centre Orchestra musicians

Mizrahi Developments’ stunning presentation gallery proved itself more than just a pretty face Tuesday by serving as a party venue to thank supporters of the recent National Arts Centre Gala.

Toronto developer Sam Mizrahi and his charming wife, Micki, who’s from Ottawa, hosted some 70 guests at 1451 Wellington. That’s the future site of Mizrahi’s luxury 12-storey boutique condominium, located between two thriving residential hotspots, Westboro and Wellington West.

“I just want to box this up and put it in my backyard,” joked NAC Foundation CEO Jayne Watson of the presentation gallery, which showcases the high-end finishes and elegant interiors of the future condo building.

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NAC Gala Donor Reception

The catered reception featured a trio of musicians playing Beethoven (Variations on La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni) against a backdrop of windows that offered a view of the busy urban life beyond.

NAC Gala Donor Reception

Watson expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Peter Herrndorf, highly respected president and CEO of the National Arts Centre. The excitement surrounding the NAC Gala, which raised $750,000 and featured a breathtaking performance from k.d. lang, was followed by some really bummer news: Herrndorf’s announcement he would be stepping down in 2018. Among Herrndorf’s accomplishments at the NAC has been his creation of its foundation.

“This man has done so much to put Ottawa, the National Arts Centre and Canadian culture on the world stage,” said Watson. “We can never say thank you enough.”

NAC Gala Donor Reception

Funds raised at the Sept. 16 gala will help with education programs for young artists and audiences, both in Ottawa and across Canada, through the National Youth and Education Trust.

Bringing the arts into the lives of young people offers tremendous spin-off benefits. Through the arts, young people learn how to communicate and empathize with one another, and develop interpersonal skills, NAC Orchestra music director Alexander Shelley told the room.

NAC Gala Donor Reception

In the crowd were Ottawa philanthropist Gary Zed, who chaired the gala organizing committee for the past three years; entrepreneur, philanthropist and corporate director Thomas d’Aquino; Liza Mrak, co-owner of the Mark Motors of Ottawa’s Audi and Porsche car dealership; Dennis Laurin, owner of the Laurin Group; and Elizabeth Vered, accompanied by daughter Ariel.

All the way in from Winnipeg were the gala’s honourary patrons, Bonnie and John Buhler.

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