Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Charity Gala lures celebrities in support of the Canadian Cancer Society

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      Comedian Jay Leno has been there. So has singer CeeLo Green. And this year, bluesman Colin James will be the headliner at the 8th Annual Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Charity Gala, which has raised more than $500,000 over the years.

      This year’s event, which takes place on June 15 at Brian Jessel BMW (2311 Boundary Road), will be a benefit for the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition to the performance by James, sultry Canadian rhythm and blues singer Rosette will make an appearance along with DJ Kemo. Rosette recorded “Fire” with Sunloverz and “Amnesia” with Ian Carey, Timbaland, and Brasco.

      “We’re hoping to fundraise $100,000 this year,” Brian Jessel BMW marketing manager Sharon Tsang told the Straight by phone.

      The red-carpet affair will be hosted by radio celeb Kid Carson of SONiC 104.9 FM and Tammy Moyer of News1130 AM. According to Tsang, Miss World Canada Camille Munro, as well as the chair and CEO of the pageant, Ike Lalji, will also be in attendance, along with The Real Housewives of Vancouver reality-TV star Mary Zilba and pop-music star Elise Estrada.

      “This year, we’re going toward edgy elegance, a black-and-gold feel,” Tsang commented. “Last year was more green because of CeeLo Green.”

      Jessel’s goal is to attract 1,000 people willing to pay $200 per head to attend the event. That includes live-concert access, valet parking, beverages, and appetizers. There are 15 food establishments participating, among them Frederico’s Supper Club, Hart House Restaurant, Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar, Provence Mediterranean Grill, Raincity Grill, Nu, C Restaurant, and Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.

      In addition, various beverage companies have also sponsored the event. “We have a wine and martini bar,” Tsang noted. “So guests will have fun just mingling, reviewing the silent-auction items. And we have a live auction.”

      That’s not all. There’s also a dessert auction of some of Vancouver’s finest bakery goods.

      In the past, the Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Charity Gala has raised money for Arts Umbrella, Vancouver General Hospital, the B.C. Cancer Foundation, and other causes. Tsang said that many families with connections to the company have been affected by cancer, which is why this is front and centre at this year’s event.

      “The dress code is Vancouver elegant,” she said. “We’re flexible. People have fun dressing up to come out. They look forward to it every year.”

      The event also attracts shutterbugs from the media, as well as some entertainment reporters. “I know that Erin Cebula from Entertainment Tonight Canada and Global [TV] is coming out,” Tsang revealed.