A roaring good time: Lumière Gala at Brookstreet Hotel raises $120K for Queensway Carleton Hospital

Kanata hotel pulls out all stops in hosting charity gala with Wesley Clover Foundation

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Lumière got its start as a magnificent bash created by legendary tech entrepreneur Terry Matthews to celebrate the 2003 grand opening of his Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. We’re happy to tell you that, 20 years later, it hasn’t lost that playful spirit or wondrous magic that made it such a great party to begin with.

The gala returned last night for its first time since 2019, with RBC Royal Bank as presenting sponsor. The evening netted more than $120,000 for this year’s beneficiary, the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. It also featured a Roaring Twenties theme in honour of the 20th anniversary.

There were signs Lumière was going to be unique and different long before reaching the hotel lobby. A pair of antique cars parked right outside the hotel surely tipped people off. 

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A smooth ride up the escalator brought everyone to a ballroom filled with glamorous guests in sparkly dresses, suspenders and feathered accessories. Velvet-voiced vocalist Rebecca Noelle and her jazz ensemble performed throughout the night while a quartet of dancers dazzled and charmed the crowd with their intricate footwork, precise rhythm and tireless energy. Capping off the evening was a fireworks display.

Brookstreet held the event in partnership with Wesley Clover Foundation. It’s the philanthropic arm of Matthews’ Ottawa-based investment management and holding company, Wesley Clover International. 

The hotel, resort and conference centre is located in the heart of the Kanata North tech hub, the largest of its kind in Canada.

 

The 20th anniversary of the Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, featured a Roaring 20s theme. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Back by popular demand was the fireworks display at the 20th anniversary of the Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The 20th anniversary of the Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, featured a Roaring 20s theme. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The 20th anniversary of the Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, featured a Roaring 20s theme. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The Lumière Charity Gala has raised more than $1.5 million for local charities over the years. “It’s great that it’s back,” Matthews told guests at a pre-gala reception held for top sponsors. 

He spoke alongside Nyle Kelly, general manager of Brookstreet Hotel and of its golf club, The Marshes, telling him: “It’s also great to know that we’re working together to plan a 28-floor tower and, in the future, that’s where we’ll be holding this event.”

Matthews imagined hosting Lumière on the top floor of their eventual high-rise apartment building, with its giant swimming pool, large restaurant and views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills. “Wouldn’t that be just wonderful?” continued Matthews. “I can definitely picture it.”

For Kelly, the Lumière Charity Gala represents two decades of hospitality excellence. He joined Brookstreet in 2003, when the hotel first opened, and worked his way up to GM.

“Our team really thrives in preparing this event,” Kelly told OBJ.social. “We hang our hat on this one. It defines us as a business, as an organization, as a hospitality provider.”

Brookstreet’s culinary team was able to show off its talents that night. There were 11 yummy food stations in total (including dessert), with each one offering wine, spirits and beer pairings. 

Kelly credited Carole Saad, who’s the cat’s pajamas of the Ottawa event planning business, with the gala’s “beyond spectacular” details. Partygoers could try their luck at the casino tables, learn their future with a tarot card reading, and take part in a private whiskey tasting (it was held off to the side, in a room that felt like a hidden speakeasy bar).

The old Charlie Chaplin films playing on a large screen were also a nice touch.

From left, Accora Village senior vice president Peter Bennett and his colleagues, Ryan Tracey, Michelle Cosh, Sharon Ravnas and Kris Skirlo participated in the Whiskey Haven private tasting experience at the Roaring 20s-themed Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Attendees could participate in tarot card readings at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Veronica Farmer, vice president of marketing for Wesley Clover, with her husband, Ian Spicer, at the Roaring 20s-themed Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Ryan Watson from Raising the Bid brought his unparalleled energy to the gala, serving as emcee and live auctioneer. A trip for four to Matthews’ five-star Celtic Manor and world-class golf courses in Wales sold for $7,000. Other items included a dinner for 10 at the Indian high commissioner’s residence, Ottawa Senators suite packages and a two-night stay at a five-star hotel, The Pierre, in New York City.

Nobody was more “thrilled and proud” to be part of the night than QCH Foundation president and CEO Shannon Gorman.

“The Queensway Carleton Hospital is not the biggest hospital by far but we punch well above our weight,” said Gorman of the more than 500,000 people that the hospital serves annually.

Attendees included QCH president and CEO Dr. Andrew Falconer and the chair of the hospital board, Atul Aggarwal, president and CEO of Marcan Pharmaceuticals. Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe was seen in conversation with Matthews  while arriving to the gala with Kanata North Coun. Cathy Curry.

Spotted from the QCH Foundation board were vice chair Janet Yale; past chair Ronald Richardson, a corporate director with Calian Group; and Chad Schella, associate vice president of government relations at CIBC.

RBC regional president Marjolaine Hudon was double-booked that night but was able to attend the private sponsors’ reception with Matthews earlier. Brief remarks were later given during the formal program by Ray Rashed, director of banking for RBC’s tech banking and innovation arm, RBCx.

From sponsor Brazeau Seller Law were law partners Ron Prehogan and Harold Feder. Also seen were Paul Chiarelli, president and COO of Wesley Clover International. Senior vice president Peter Bennett was there with his team from Accora Village, which is a rental community privately owned and operated by businessman Dan Greenberg‘s Ferguslea Properties Ltd.  

Queensway Carleton Hospital board chair Atul Aggarwal and his wife, Richa, with Rachel de Kemp and her husband, Dr. Andrew Falconer, president and CEO of QCH, at the Lumière Charity Gala held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Carole Saad, owner of Chic + Swell Event Designers and LouLou Lounge furniture rental, with Nyle Kelly, general manager of Brookstreet Hotel and The Marshes Golf Club, at the hotel’s Lumière Charity Gala in support of Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Harold Feder, law partner at Brazeau Law, with his wife, Nancy Walkington, and Ron Prehogan, law partner at Brazeau Seller Law, with his wife, Avalee Prehogan, at the Lumière Charity Gala held at the Brookstreet Hotel in support of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Ray Rashed, director of banking at RBCx, and Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation president and CEO Shannon Gorman with their bidding paddles for the live auction at the Lumière Charity Gala held at the Brookstreet Hotel. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Emcee and live auctioneer Ryan Watson from Raising the Bid gets ready to hammer down his gavel during the live auction held to raise funds for Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation donor Debbie O’Brien at the Lumière Charity Gala with her son, Michael O’Brien, and his wife, Olivia, who’s expecting their first child. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Bruce Linton, founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth, with his wife, Heather Linton, and Bruce Raganold, director of business development for Welch LLP, and his wife, Giselle Bergeron-Raganold, at the Roaring 20s-themed Lumière Charity Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Andy Sparks, a real estate broker with Royal LePage, and his wife, Karen Sparks, executive director of Wesley Clover Parks and former Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation board member, with Emily Richardson and Ronald Richardson, past board chair at QCH Foundation, at the Lumière Charity Gala. Photo by Lindsay Germano/Lindsay Germano Creative Co. 
From left, Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation board vice chair Janet Yale with the foundation’s inaugural board chair, Barbara Farber, president of Leikin Group, at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of the west-end hospital. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The 20th anniversary of the Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, featured a Roaring 20s theme. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Kanata North Coun. Cathy Curry, Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and Terry Matthews, owner of Brookstreet Hotel and founder and chairman of Wesley Clover International, at the  Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation board member Chad Schella, associate vice president of government relations at CIBC, with his wife, Catherine Clark, president of Catherine Clark Communications, at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of QCH. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Paul Chiarelli, president and COO of Wesley Clover International, with his wife Lisa Chiarelli at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of Queensway Carleton Hospital. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Amanda Gordon, chief of staff at the Kanata North Business Association, with Nataja Black from the Bahamas High Commission, at the Roaring 20s-themed Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Singer Rebecca Noelle gave a sensational performance at this year’s Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Larry Elliot, regional managing partner of Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), with BLG partner Kim Dullet and her husband, Ottawa gastroenterologist Dr. Harry Dhaliwal at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of Queensway Carleton Hospital. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Cal Kirkpatrick, president of Colonnade Development, with Steve McEwen, managing director of CMLS Financial, and Alan Whitten, founding partner at Huntington Properties, at the Lumière Charity Gala held at Brookstreet Hotel in support of Queensway Carleton Hospital. Photo by Caroline Phillips
From left, Shannon Lambert and Jean Spicer pose alongside a vintage Auburn, an American automobile produced from 1900 to 1937, at the Roaring 20s-themed Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. Photo by Caroline Phillips
The 20th anniversary of the Lumière Charity Gala, held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, featured a Roaring 20s theme. Photo by Caroline Phillips

caroline@obj.ca

 

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