On September 14, I attended the Scotiabank Passions gala in support of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation as a media guest. For its 11th year, the popular fundraising event featuring over 20 Vancouver restaurants as well as live and silent auctions moved to a new venue: the Imperial Vancouver (319 Main Street).
Previously, Passions had been held at the Dr. Peter Centre in the West End. Event organizers noted that the new venue not only provided a larger space for the gala and its growing number of guests, but also prevented disruption of services—including daily health programs, therapies, and meals—provided at the centre.
This year, the event raised over $125,000 for the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, a Vancouver-based non-profit that provides comfort care and resources for people living with HIV/AIDS. All proceeds from Passions are donated, and the event has raised more than $1.1 million since its inception.
Over three-quarters of the restaurants were returning participants from last year. These included Beaucoup Bakery, Cibo Trattoria, CinCin Restaurant + Bar, Coast, Espana, Forage, Glowbal, Joe Fortes, Maenam, MARKET by Jean-Georges, Miku, Minami, The Observatory, Provence, Savoury Chef Foods, Tojo’s, and West.
New to this year’s event were Bella Gelateria, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, The Fat Badger, and Raw Bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
Each restaurant is tasked with preparing a small dish or bite. This year’s offerings included sushi, charcuterie, ravioli, duck confit, and desserts, such as macarons, kouign amann, and even gelato.
To pair with all of the dishes, two of Vancouver’s top bartenders—Danielle Tatarin from the Keefer and Lauren Mote from Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar—created cocktails featuring Victoria Gin and Bittered Sling bitters. There was also beer from R&B Brewing Co., and wines from New Zealand Winegrowers.
This year, Passions was emceed by Global BC Morning News anchor Sophie Lui and The Beat 94.5FM morning show host Jonny Staub. Local media personality Fred Lee stepped in to host the live auction. Passions was founded by Vancouver-based food stylist, and food and travel writer Nathan Fong.
Photos from Passions 2014 below.