13th annual Toast to the Coast gala takes advantage of July’s beauty

Vancouver, B.C. – Toast to the Coast, the annual fundraising gala for Ocean Wise®, has raised $1.2 million for ocean conservation initiatives over its 13-year history at the Vancouver Aquarium®. It’s an important, unforgettable evening, where ocean lovers mix and mingle over delicious food and drinks in the company of the fascinating aquatic creatures they are determined to help protect.

This year, the gala takes place on July 12, allowing the Aquarium to offer the pleasurable option of cocktails outside in the balmy Ocean Courtyard and twilight shared with frisky sea otters in their outdoor habitats.

“Toast to the Coast is an incredible fundraising event where we raise a glass in an effort to celebrate healthy oceans,” said Lasse Gustavsson, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. “We invite guests to join us at this can’t-miss event, which takes place in Vancouver’s most spectacular venue.”

As always, guests will find themselves among fellow wine, beer and cocktail enthusiasts, gourmets and other bon vivants at this chic – and crucial — cocktail reception. Guests will relish food prepared by some of B.C.’s best chefs and drinks in plentiful supply as they catch up with colleagues and friends, take part in a raffle and a silent auction, meet some of the Aquarium’s best-loved residents, including the Steller sea lions and the sea otters, and wind down the night dancing up a rainstorm at the after-party with DJ NAT.

The opportunity to connect with ocean creatures in an adult environment is one of the attractions of this 19+ event. Another highlight is learning about ocean conservation efforts and the opportunities they present in a world newly attuned to the problem of ocean pollution.

Along with the happy guests, there will be all kinds of exceptional sustainable food circulating through the galleries. Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell has created a dish in partnership with Berezan Shrimp Company. Expect other delectable treats from such revered kitchens and Ocean Wise seafood supporters as Fanny Bay Oysters, Hapa Izakaya, Black and Blue, Arc at the Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver Club, Minami, Nomad, Market by Jean Georges at Shangri-La Hotel, Diva at the Metropolitan, Pacific Yacht Charters, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Hart House, Uno Gelato and Urban Fare.

The gala’s beverage partners include such outstanding regional producers as Whistler Brewing Company, Postmark Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Red Racer Craft Beer, Vancouver Island Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company; Lonetree Cider and Windfall Cider; Arterra Wines, Blasted Church Vineyards, Oliver Osoyoos Winery, and Calliope Wines; Peacock & Martin Imports; Georgian Bay Spirit Co., Wayward Distillation House,  Pyur, Queensborough Twist, Walter Caesar and Salt Spring Coffee.

Toast to the Coast’s silent auction always offers a tantalizing array of coveted adventures, clothing items, luxurious getaways, arts, culture and sports opportunities, and irresistible bait for foodies.

This year’s auction items include a stay for six in a three-bedroom luxury villa in Merida, Mexico, a hot springs/kayak adventure in Tofino from Ocean Outfitters, and luxury men’s and women’s bathing suits, made by OCIN out of 100 per cent recycled polyesters from recycled nylon and plastic bottles saved from the landfill. Among the other treats up for bidding are a luxurious pamper package of skin care products from the Seaweed Bath Co., a spa package for two at Whistler’s Scandinave spa and a photo shoot for a pet-owner and his or her pet from Vancouver Pet Photography.

Guests will also be able to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a pair of tickets anywhere that the Aquarium’s official airline partner, Air Canada (or Air Canada Rouge), flies. Other prizes up for grabs include beautiful jewellery to keep the successful bidder sparkling all summer and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Vancouver Aquarium for four people.

“Above all, this gala is a wonderful time. It also introduces many guests to both creatures they’ve never met before and innovative ideas about ocean conservation,” said Gustavsson. “We must keep this discussion going as, among other things, we move into the second year of our Plastic Wise campaign, which asks businesses to re-think their business models with the ocean top of mind.”

Travelling to and from the Aquarium for Toast to the Coast remains part of the fun. The Vancouver Trolley Company will run its vintage-looking trolleys every 15 minutes between Waterfront Station and Vancouver Aquarium, starting at 6:30 p.m., with the last trolley leaving the Aquarium at 12:30 a.m.

Tickets may be purchased individually ($150) or as a package for 10 ($1,400) and should be purchased soon to avoid disappointment, since this event sells out quickly. Visit Ocean.org/toasttothecoast for full event details and to purchase tickets.

Toast to the Coast would not be possible without the support of Ocean Wise sponsors and supporters: Delta Land Development, Pedersen’s Rentals & Sales, Waste Control Services, Parkland Fuel, RGF Integrated Wealth Management, Air Canada, Bell Media, Colour Time Printing & Digital Imaging, Easy Park, Innovation Lighting, Multigraphics, Phoenix Tent Rentals and AV Strategies.

Proceeds from Toast to the Coast directly support Ocean Wise’s many conservation programs, including Ocean Wise Seafood, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Plastic Wise, and Coastal Ocean Research Institute, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium and its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

Ocean Wise®
Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. www.ocean.org

Vancouver Aquarium®
Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, is one of the world’s leading accredited aquariums, dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org

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Editors:
Images are available upon request.

Social Media: @VanAqua | #VanAqua

Media contact: Deana Lancaster │Ocean Wise |  604 659 3752  | deana.lancaster@ocean.org


Media Contact

Helena McShane
Vancouver Aquarium
Helena.McShane@ocean.org