TOAST TO THE COAST GUESTS RAISE A GLASS AND OVER $100,000 FOR AQUATIC CONSERVATION
Vancouver, B.C. — A glittering crowd of more than 500, not counting the starfish and jellies, gathered at the Vancouver Aquarium on October 18 to celebrate aquatic conservation in style. The annual fundraising event, Toast to the Coast, presented by CIBC, raised over $100,000 funds that directly support the Aquarium’s important conservation, research and education programs.
Guests feasted on appetizers prepared by more than a dozen Ocean Wise™ restaurants and sampled wines from 12 of the province’s best wineries at the lively event, always a hit with the city’s young professionals.
“I look forward to this incredible fundraising event every year,” says Susan Archibald, Vancouver Aquarium senior vice president of external relations. “Not only does it raise crucial funds for the Aquarium’s conservation efforts, it also brings together an incredibly passionate group of individuals and businesses. From the top-tier wineries and our Ocean Wise partners who generously participate in the event, to the individual guests who provide the spirit and energy of Toast to the Coast, everyone here cares deeply about the health of our oceans and shares in our commitment to conservation.”
Guests indulged in sumptuous Ocean Wise canapés from such illustrious restaurants as TUC Craft Kitchen, Tableau Bar Bistro, The August Jack and Sonora Room Restaurant at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. Wine service was equally enthusiastic as guests were treated with pours from Quail’s Gate Winery, Tinhorn Creek and Fort Berens Estate Winery, among others. As always, guests got up close with the Aquarium’s astonishing array of sea creatures, wandering the galleries in search of old and new favourites among its 50,000 denizens of the deep, of which many are most active at night.
The evening’s silent auction alone raised $22,635, with a three-night stay and dolphin encounter at the Mirage in Las Vegas netting the highest price. Guests bid avidly on experiences such as overnight stays at the Fairmont’s Pacific Rim and Waterfront hotels, tickets to a BC Lions game and, from local company Growoya, three oyas, which are terracotta vessels that conserve water and hydrate your garden – an Earth-friendly offering most suitable to this conscientious crowd.
“We are grateful to the generous individuals and organizations who donate to our auction,” says Archibald. “Thanks to them, we’ve become known for extraordinary auction items, like the fantastically high-tech Smith Optics Goggles up for bid this year. The auction is an important aspect of Toast to the Coast’s fundraising success.”
The Vancouver Trolley Company provided guests with a safe ride between Waterfront Station and Vancouver Aquarium after the festivities. A warm thank you goes to Toast to the Coast presenting sponsor CIBC and major sponsors Dentons, New Chapter, SCA and Status Electrical. Additional thanks are shared with media sponsors CTV and Vancouver Magazine.
About Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org