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ODS’s 7th Annual President’s Gala brings Ottawa dentists together for collegial and celebratory dinner

Ottawa Dental Society prepares for busy 2020 year celebrating 125th anniversary

Just as one might expect, there were a lot of perfectly straight, white smiles at the Ottawa Dental Society’s 7th Annual President’s Gala held at the Shaw Centre on Saturday night.

The evening saw some 343 guests take the escalators up to the 4th floor Trillium Ballroom, where an evening of fine food, live entertainment and charming company awaited. The dinner was emceed by popular television personality Leanne Cusack, from CTV Ottawa.

On hand were Dr. Micaela Fitzgerald, president of the Ottawa Dental Society, and her organizing committee: Dr. Jaideep Lal from Fallingbrook Dental Centre, Dr. John Odai from Capital Endodontics, Dr. Wendy Low, Dr. Tanya Bracanovich from Sparks Dental Clinic, and Dr. Daniel Hwang from Westboro Station Dental.

The evening was all about celebrating the Ottawa Dental Society and promoting collegiality among its nearly 600 members.  The presenting sponsor was Henry Schein, the largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental and medical practitioners. It was represented that night by branch manager Kevin Miller.


The gala is only open to the ODS members, along with their friends and family, and business sponsors.

“We host these events so that our members can socialize and form a nice network,” explained Dr. Fitzgerald, who’s been a dentist in Ottawa for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Dr. John Fitzgerald, run their downtown practice, Fitzgerald Dentistry, on Metcalfe Street.

Each year, the society donates the proceeds from the evening to a charity, usually one with an emphasis on supporting dental initiatives. This year, it chose the free dental services offered at The Ottawa Mission’s Dymon Health Clinic for individuals facing homelessness. One of the ODS’s members, Dr. Tom Harle, established the volunteer-driven and award-winning dental clinic in 2007.

The raffle draw organized for the gala featured the grand prize of a seven-night trip for two to Europe, worth $6,000.

Next year is a big one for the dental society. It’s preparing to host a series of events to celebrate its 125th anniversary.


Throughout the evening, artists from the Montreal-based Cirque Carpe Diem amazed everyone with their fearless abilities to balance and bend. 

As Dr. Fitzgerald and her husband prepared to pose for a photo during the cocktail hour, the artists not only photobombed them but recruited the husband for their act. Cirque Carpe Diem’s Karin Arseneault got herself hoisted onto John Fitzgerald’s shoulders, where she stood — strong and steady. 


Spotted from the business community were: Sylvie Forget-Swim and Tim Snelling from Palladium Insurance; Harold Feder from Brazeau Seller Law; Colleen Dunlop from Emond Harnden LLP; and Cheryl Hooghiem, Ottawa branch manager of Sinclair Dental Clinic.

There were live demonstrations at the dinner, organized by boutique PR agency Blackbook Lifestyle, including from renowned pastry chef Christian Faure. He created masterpieces from sugar (which, really, is what helps keep dentists in business, isn’t it?). Attractive models with gorgeous floral headwear added glamour to the evening while artist Robbie Larivière created a painting from scratch.

As well, DJ iLon played cool music. wasn’t there for long enough to see whether he got the dentists doing the popular Floss dance, out on the dance floor, later in the evening.