Heart & Crown gets into St. Paddy's Day mood with annual Irish Canadian Luncheon for Bruyère

Organizers take steps to maintain safe and healthy environment amid escalating coronavirus concerns
Editor's Note

OBJ.Social is supported by the generous patronage of Mark MotorsBruyère FoundationMarilyn Wilson Dream Properties, the National Arts Centre and Sparks Dental. Read their stories here.

You can’t keep the Irish down, that much was clear at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon hosted Friday, March 13 by the Heart & Crown in the ByWard Market.

Sure, the current coronavirus scare resulted in some no-show ticket-holders, but the turnout was larger than expected, with at least 100 or so attendees. The festive event featured an open bar, as well as live music from Neil Emberg and fabulous performances from the SFH Irish Dance Studio.

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Ashley MacLeod on fiddle and Neil Emberg on guitar and vocals at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market in support of the Bruyère Foundation in Ottawa and the Boys and Girls Club in Omagh, Ireland. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The popular luncheon is held each year in the days leading up to St. Patrick's Day. It raises through sponsorship and tickets about $20,000, to be shared between two causes: the Bruyère Foundation in Ottawa and another charity, back on the Emerald Isle. This year, it was the Boys and Girls Club in Larry Bradley’s hometown of Omagh in Northern Ireland.

Bradley started his Irish pubs in Ottawa with fellow Irishman Pat Kelly, with whom he also owns Bradley-Kelly Construction. Bradley’s grown children, Michael, Kristen and Shauna, are very involved with running the Heart & Crown.

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Larry Bradley, co-owner of the Heart & Crown Irish Pubs, at its annual Irish Canadian Luncheon held in support of the Bruyère Foundation in Ottawa and the Boys and Girls Club located in his hometown of Omagh in Northern Ireland. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Shauna Bradley, Kristen Bradley and Michael Bradley, with the Heart & Crown Irish Pubs, at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon held Friday, March 13, 2020. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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Dancers with the SFH (Sue Fay Healy) Irish Dance Studio wowed the crowd at this year's Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Staff took extra precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment. “We have some amazing food, some amazing drinks and some amazing hand sanitizer for you all,” joshed Heart & Crown employee and emcee Rodger Ryan as he welcomed guests to the shindig.

Seriously, the hand sanitizer was the first thing you saw as you walked through the entrance, followed by co-owner Shauna Bradley greeting new arrivals. The food was dished out this year, instead of the usual self-serve style, to further reduce the chance of spreading illness.

Attendees included Bruyère Foundation president Peggy Taillon, as well as its dedicated board chair, commercial real estate lawyer Danny Fernandes, and fellow foundation board member, Mark White, vice president of leasing for Colonnade BridgePort.

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From left, Ottawa lawyer Danny Fernandes, board chair of the Bruyère Foundation, with its president, Peggy Taillon, and Mark White, who's also on the board of the Bruyère Foundation, at the Heart & Crown's annual Irish Canadian Luncheon that benefits Bruyère. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Elizabeth Logue with Cape Breton-native and Ottawa veterinarian Dr. Denene Clifford and Sheila O'Gorman at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips

World Rugby Hall of Famer Al Charron was there. So were McMillan LLP partner Patrick Murray, a director with the Ireland Fund of Canada; fun-loving Ottawa Riverkeeper Elizabeth Logue, Emond Harnden co-founding partner Jacques Emond, and Scott Whitteker and Matt Whitteker. The brothers are co-founders of the Fight for the Cure charity boxing night, whose title sponsor is the Heart & Crown. 

Also seen were John Bethune, vice-president of the Ottawa branch of BFL Canada commercial insurance brokerage and consulting services firm; Sysco Canada executive vice president Kammal Tannis; and Bobby Kerr, who used to chair the luncheon.

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From left, Larry Bradley, co-owner of the Heart & Crown Irish Pubs, with rugby legend Al Charron, who works for Rugby Canada, at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon held at the Heart & Crown. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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 From left, McMillan LLP business and real estate lawyer Patrick Murray, a director with the Ireland Fund of Canada, with associate Lisa Page, partner Darcy Ammerman and James Grant, president and CEO of Canadian Bitcoins, at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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From left, Jacques Emond and George Rontiris, from Emond Harnden LLP, at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Scott Whitteker with Michael Bradley, a 2018 Fight for the Cure boxing champ, and Matt Whitteker, at the annual Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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From left, Richard Adshead, VP of finance and chief financial officer at sponsor Sysco Canada, with Lee-Ann Watson, key account representative, and Kammal Tannis, executive vice president at Sysco Canada, at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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From left, John Bethune, vice-president of Ottawa branch of BFL Canada insurance, with colleague and vice president Lawrence McMullan, and Nathan Monson, director of business development for SmartCell Communications, at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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Bobby Kerr, who used to chair the Irish Canadian Luncheon, and Ann Freel, sales manager at Cartier Place Suite Hotel, at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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From left, Anick Sabourin, director of communication and philanthropy for the Bruyère Foundation, with Chris Ciaffaglione, VP of sales for Velocity Media, and Claira Calderone, director of events and community engagement for the Bruyère Foundation, at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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Mealshare community leader Katie Hession, who can count the Heart & Crown among the restaurant supporters of the social enterprise, with her husband, Guy Georgeson, and their two kids: Charlie, seven, and Maeve, five, at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Shauna asked everyone to raise their glass in a toast to the late Julie Donnelly, who worked at the Heart & Crown for 20 years before passing away from ovarian cancer in 2017.

Donnelly spent her final days at Bruyère, in a room that her Heart & Crown family has since dedicated in her memory. Shauna told everyone how she values Bruyère more than ever, now that she’s seen its work, first hand.

“They took such great care of her,” said Shauna. “We miss her very much, and we really appreciate what Bruyère has done for us over the years.”

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Shauna Bradley, co-owner of the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market, had guests raise their glass to the late Julie Donnelly at the Irish Canadian Luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market. Photo by Caroline Phillips 

Along with palliative and end-of-life care, Bruyère Continuing Care provides complex continuing care, rehabilitation, care of the elderly, long-term care and family medicine care. As well, it has a research arm that focuses on improving the care of aging Canadians. Bruyère is one of the largest health care centres of its kind in Canada.

Taillon reminded the room about the historical link between the Irish community and her organization’s founder. Élisabeth Bruyère, with her fellow Catholic nuns, cared for the sick Irish immigrants during the typhus outbreak in 1847.

“The reason I think that this becomes even more important these days is given what we’re going through as a country, and certainly as a world,” said Taillon.

She thanked attendees for their support and encouraged them to continue being compassionate Canadians. “Take care of each other and keep each other safe."

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From left, Heart & Crown's Larry Bradley, Michele Bradley, and Shauna, Kristen and Michael Bradley, at the Irish Canadian charity luncheon, held at the Heart & Crown Irish Pub in the ByWard Market on Friday, March 13, 2020. Photo by Caroline Phillips 

— caroline@obj.ca