After months of hard work and the tremendous dedication of staff and volunteers, the big night finally arrived on Saturday, November 8, 2008! We are happy to report that our inaugural fundraising Gala was a great success; we raised almost $95,000 and made many new friends!

The night began at the entrance to our reception with guests enjoying a very special treat of chestnut faux fois gras cream, ginger lemon gelée and celery salt caramel dust followed by a test tube ‘shooter’ of spiced apple drink with floating apple bits and fruit caviar. This set the tone for a night filled with delectable gourmet foods and wine and spectacular entertainment.

Guests from the business, patient, and medical sectors enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres, while mingling and perusing the attractive silent auction displays. Magician and entertainer extraordinaire, Rod Boss, worked the crowd performing mind-boggling feats and drawing laughter, astonishment, and surprise with his slights of hand. (Thanks to a very generous donor.) As one of Canada’s most entertaining magicians, he kept true to our elements theme, with his flaming wallet and disappearing drinks. Anyone still missing a watch should contact our office….

Dinner was in the Four Seasons’ elegant and sumptuous Park Ballroom, where, as guests took their seats, the evening’s entertainment promptly began and stayed to the minute-by-minute schedule, thanks to skilful handling by theFireworks Marketing Group. Vancouver’s Michelle McDermott, from CityTV, introduced renowned chefs and chocolatiersDominique and Cindy Duby who wowed the crowd with three live demonstrations of their extraordinary culinary skills. Not to be outdone, the hotel executive chef, Raphael Gonzalez, prepared a meal of gastronomic delight. The remainder of the exceptional dinner included courses based on the elements of water, earth, fire, and air using familiar foods in unique ways.

GI Society Medical Advisory Council chairperson, Dr. James Gray, provided context for the evening by highlighting our long history as a registered charity and recognizing the leaders and visionaries who contributed to bringing us from a small BC organization to a national Society serving patients from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Our Board president, Anar Popatia, with her characteristic grace, thanked our guests and sponsors and executive director, Gail Attara, drew laughs from the ballroom and talked about our new initiatives.

The live auction and bidding frenzy, voluntarily conducted by Brad Scott of Maynards Auctioneers, saw guests vying to outbid each other on fine art, sports memorabilia, and one-of-kind experiences! We thank all the kind individuals and businesses who supported the event with donated auction items.

As the popular local band, Faith and Desire, took to the stage, guests were ready to hit the dance floor and boogie the night away to a mix of modern and classic dance favourites.

We were delighted to allow CBC television to film our event for a documentary they subsequently produced called,Food of the Future, which first aired in early 2009.

The following sponsors were pivotal to our success and we thank them for their generous contributions: Abbott Laboratories Canada, Action Marketing, AstraZeneca Canada, Fireworks Marketing Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Nycomed Canada, Pfizer Canada, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, and Schering-Plough Canada.

Our ‘Volunteer of the Event’ award goes to Doug Ford, whose unsurpassed donation of time and infinite patience with the strenuous demands of the office in his roles as the Volunteer Auction Committee Chairperson and as Board Advisor extraordinaire are absolutely priceless.

We offer a big and hearty thank you to all our guests for their participation toward our valuable mission and to all the staff and the many, many wonderful volunteers who helped to make this successful event possible. See you all – and some new friends – next year for another entertaining fundraiser!


2008 Event Details

Let Dominique and Cindy Duby, pastry chefs extraordinaire, and the Four Seasons’ executive chef, Rafael Gonzalez, take you on an unforgettable culinary journey through the four elements of water, earth, fire, and air. Fill your mouth with wild, robust, and spicy flavours, cool it with velvety fluids, savour earthy and nourishing comfort foods, and delight in airy elegance.

Come bid on an assortment of weekend getaways, gift baskets, family packages, style and beauty products, artwork, and more at our silent and live auctions. Mix and mingle during this culinary adventure while pleasuring in the ambience of a versatile live band.


About the live culinary demonstrations

Dominique and Cindy Duby, hailed as ‘giants of the pastry world’, will dazzle your taste buds with their unique and exciting approach to food, which blends art, science, and psychology to construct novel taste and texture sensations. This inventive duo are food artists and authors who have won numerous gold and silver medals at world culinary competitions as well as ‘best book in the world’ awards. They are also the chefs and owners of DC DUBY Wild Sweets, an internationally critically acclaimed Chocolate Virtual Boutique. The Dubys are regularly featured by leading media as among the best and most innovative chocolatiers in North America. Observe them in action during live demonstrations of their unique techniques then taste these exclusive creations and exquisite chocolates. Check out their creations at www.dcduby.com.



Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
791 Georgia Street West
Vancouver, BC


Date & Time

November 8, 2008
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Dinner


Individual Ticket Price

$275 including a $110 tax receipt