The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra held its 21st Annual Symphony Lovers' Ball held on Thursday, February 3rd, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and thanks to the generosity of its guests, donors, sponsors and auction contributors, the Ball raised over $528,000 to benefit the VSO this season.
This year's theme, beautifully interpreted by Upright Decor, transported guests into an opulent room that was a vision of Mogul India, complete with sumptuous fabrics in teal and fuchsia, golden accents, plush carpets and cushions and even an elephant – made of ice! Sounds of a sitar and tabla duo greeted guests as they entered the party and sipped champagne while perusing the silent auction.
As the doors to the ballroom opened people were directed to their tables and the Master of Ceremonies, Christopher Gaze, Vancouver's very own Bard, welcomed guests and asked them to settle in for an exciting performance, which was kicked off with a rousing chorus of O Canada in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the 2010 winter Olympics.
Then, in keeping with the theme, the Dhol Nation Academy drummers and Bhangra dancers from Surrey India Arts Club took to the dance floor with a traditional folk dance performed at special celebrations such as this. Maestro Bramwell Tovey then took up the baton and lead the VSO in a short performance of works inspired by the Far East before the 420 guests began their Indian inspired meal including cumin crusted seared tuna, vindaloo spiced rack of lamb and a velvety rose milk pudding garnished with rose petals.
The sold-out event featured a remarkable silent and live auctions. The spirited bidding in the live auction was guided by consummate professional Barry Scott of Maynards Fine Art & Antiques. Raffle sponsor Tiffany & Co. who provided a beautiful pair of "Fleur" drop earrings created with over three carats of exceptional rose cut and brilliant cut diamonds.
The evening was held under the Distinguished Patronage of Phillip Chicola, Consul General of the United States of America, and Mrs. Victoria Chicola. Also in attendance were the Honourable Stockwell Day, Honourable John Yap, Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, Honourable Colin Hansen, Councillor Suzanne Anton, Honorary Consul General to Paraguay, Dr. Peter Chung and Honorary Consul General to Tunisia, Mr. Lyall Knott.
The Symphony Lovers' Ball is organized by an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers.
This year's committee was led by Chair Liz Gordon, Vice-Chair Nancy Margitan and included Mary Ann Clark; Rob Ferguson; Annabel Hawksworth, Andrea Jacob; Nezhat Khosrowshahi, Nazmeen Lalji, Susan Mendelson, Maria Menten; Karin Smith, Kathy Trager, Colin Upright and Kathy Winton.
This funds raised at the annual Symphony Lovers' Balls support the VSO's presentation of 150 concerts annually featuring over 60 celebrated guest artists attended by more than 250,000 people in 13 venues throughout the Lower Mainland. It also contributes to the VSO's education programs that reach more than 50,000 children each year.
Since its inception in 1991, the Symphony Lovers' Ball has netted over $6 million in support of the Vancouver Symphony's many projects and continuing operations.
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