Style and substance converged at the ninth AccolAIDS fundraising gala and awards ceremony held last night (April 18) at the Vancouver Convention Centre. A mix of laughter and tears marked the evening as community heroes were celebrated to recognize those who have been toiling away and contributing efforts to the B.C. AIDS movement.
Speeches, by both presenters and recipients, ranged from the humourous to the poignant.
David Eby playing guitar and singing a song about how Ms. Micheal Vonn "kicks ass for you and me" when it comes to privacy issue. Later, three members of the Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program sang a women's warrior song dedicated to women living with HIV.
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Bramwell Tovey hosted the evening and entertained the sold-out crowd with comic wit and even a performance on the piano. The James Forrest Trio provided a jazz backdrop as attendees wined and dined, and perused silent auction items.
Later, the ever-entertaining Fred Lee held a live auction, which included hundreds of dollars in donations to help HIV–positive individuals attend the BCPWA Retreat Program.
The Printing House, winner of the philanthropy award, has donated for almost a decade approximately $10,000 worth of printing services to BCPWA (for AccolAIDS and AIDS Walk of Life).
The tally for funds raised by the end of the evening was estimated to be over $94,000.
The gala will become a bi-annual event, and thus, the next event will be held in 2012.
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the awards.
Innovative Programs & Service Delivery
Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program
Health Promotion & Harm Reduction
Dr. Silvia Guillemi, clinical coordinator of the John Ruedy Immunodeficiency Clinic at St. Paul's Hospital
Micheal Vonn, policy director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (tie)
Jennifer Evin Jones, head of advocacy department at BCPWA (tie)
Dr. Richard Harrigan, director of the B.C. Centre of Excellence research laboratory
The Printing House
Lifetime Achievement Award
Irene Goldstone (tie)
Diana Johansen (tie)
Kevin Brown PWA Hero Award
Monique Desroches, co-chair of the Positive Women's Network board of directors