It seems like summer got another persuasive and personal invite to attend this year's Lumière Gala because the weather was once again perfect for the annual charity event held in support of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Some 650-plus guests arrived to the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday for a fun night of food, drinks and prizes, capped off with a fantastic fireworks show synchronized to music. The evening also showcased the 20,000 square feet of modern new space, including the Newbridge Ballroom recently added to the Kanata hotel.
Hotel owner and high-tech legend Terry Matthews was not in attendance this year but general manager Nyle Kelly officially welcomed everyone to the gala. Admittedly, trying to capture and hold the attention of Lumière partygoers is never an easy task, especially when there are seemingly more important things to discuss, like the Erik Karlsson trade.
Attendees included Paul Chiarelli, president and COO of Matthews' Ottawa-based Wesley Clover International global investment management firm and holding company, and Mark Noonan, managing partner of Deloitte, which was one of the big sponsors.
Arriving straight from a flight back from England was Bruce Linton. He's the co-founder and co-CEO of Canopy Growth and co-chairman of Martello Technologies Group, which has been dominating business news since it began trading Wednesday.
Linton is a loyal attendee of the Lumière Gala. So is Kent Browne of sponsor Royal LePage Team Realty. He broke his six-year streak of being the highest bidder on the popular golfing trip to Brookstreet’s sister property, The Celtic Manor in Wales. He was outbid, at $6,200. Browne didn’t leave empty-handed, though. He bought, for $7,000, the 14-day Caribbean cruise that was auctioned off by ‘Stuntman’ Stu Schwartz, who is also a cancer survivor.
Lumière was launched in 2003 to celebrate the grand opening of Brookstreet. In honour of the gala's 15th anniversary, executive chef Clifford Lyness and his team of 30 presented the top 15 dishes from over the years, even tweaking some of the older recipes to keep up with current culinary trends. They spent about a week prepping for the big night. It was hectic, particularly since the hotel's banquet bookings are way up this year as a result of its new event space.
Guests were seen hopping from food station to food station, sampling from a selection that included grilled flank, pulled shank, Bay of Fundy lobster, shrimp and scallop, duck confit, cedar planked halibut, spit-roasted hog, fresh salads made with Ontario peaches and roasted beets, and more.
The evening raised roughly $100,000, net, for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. The funds are being used to support the clinical trials and cancer research happening in Ottawa. They’ll also go toward the cancer coaching program that the foundation offers right across the region, the foundation’s director of philanthropy, John Ouellette, told the room.
Other live auction items sold off that night included a six-course chef’s table for 10 at Brookstreet’s Perspectives Restaurant. It was valued at $1,600 and went for $2,000.
The opportunity to ride in a fighter jet, Top Gun-style, brought in $1,800 for the cause.
Rising Sun Charters donated a couple of celebrity fishing trips. One highest bidder paid $700 to do some casting with Alex Mateas from the Redblacks while a second fishing trip with Senators player Mark Borowiecki raised $1,000. It was bought by Ottawa businessman, philanthropist and hockey fan Dan Greenberg, who bid in absentia via Ouellette.
To date, Lumière has raised more than $1.25 million for the cancer foundation and other charities.