VANCOUVER, B.C. – The conversation will be anything but dry at the 10th anniversary of the city’s most fascinating wine tasting on October 14, 2016. At Toast to the Coast, presented by CIBC, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s annual fundraising gala, you’re encouraged to explore the immersive galleries while getting to know some of the province’s top chefs and wineries.
What makes this annual gala unique is the incredible direct action programs it supports. You can feel good about contributing to aquatic conservation, research and education efforts, including the marine science centre’s hugely popular national sustainable seafood program, Ocean Wise®.
Meanwhile, you can trade a few barks with the resident sea lions, give your compliments to perpetually elegant African penguins who come dressed in their own tuxedo-like evening wear, and take fashion inspiration from the colourful birds in the Graham Amazon Gallery. There couldn’t be a more engrossing environment than Toast to the Coast in which to sample some of B.C.’s best wines and dive into Ocean Wise canapés from Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs. And this terrific party is 10 years strong – that’s something to toast in itself.
The Aquarium’s studies of aquatic life and its ocean research helps enhance environmental conservation around the world. You’ll probably want to say hello to Chester, for instance, and hear his life story – he’s a young false killer whale who’s also an ambassador for rescued and rehabilitated animals. Take the outdoor walkway to the sea otter pools for a glimpse of mischief-makers Elfin and Tanu, rescued as babies. Try to take a peek under the shell of Schoona, a sea turtle who was suffering cold shock when residents of the Prince Rupert area spotted her struggling. The many rescue stories are remarkable.
Toast to the Coast guests always enjoy pours from some of the B.C. wine industry’s biggest stars. This year, they include Burrowing Owl, Hillside Winery, Monster Vineyard, Poplar Grove Winery, Peacock and Martin Imports, Serendipity Winery and Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. Beer lovers won’t be left out, with brews supplied by Bomber Brewing, Dead Frog Brewery, Red Truck Beer Company and Parkside Brewing. Guests are also in for a treat with cocktails mixed by all-natural Walter Caesar.
Ocean Wise restaurants tantalize revellers’ palates with their most memorable small bites. This year, the lineup for the VIP segment of the event includes Boulevard, Fisherman’s Market, Shangri-La Hotel and the Vancouver Aquarium with its new Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell, with wines supplied by Constellation Brands. The main event will feature lip-smacking appetizers from Cin Cin, e.b.o. Restaurant & Lounge, Fisherman’s Market, Hapa Izakaya, Minami, Miradoro, Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Sonora Room, Tableau, YEW Seafood + Bar and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Repeat guests always look forward to the silent auction, another stimulus to conversation. And be sure to get in on this year’s raffle as the grand prize is two tickets to anywhere that Air Canada or Air Rouge fly in North America or Mexico.
As the night progresses, so does the enjoyment. Dancing begins at 9:30 p.m. with lively tunes supplied by Side One Band. This event tends to attract young business professionals, food and wine enthusiasts and conservation-minded groups who appreciate the vital work the Aquarium leads, well beyond providing families with an engaging day out, though who doesn’t appreciate connecting with 50,000 fascinating aquatic creatures. A fun-filled evening with peers that helps finance that work is just about as good as it gets.
Please note that this is a 19-plus event. Individual tickets are $150 or you may purchase a social package of 10 tickets for $1,450. To avoid disappointment, purchase your tickets today at www.vanaqua.org/tttc.
Those wanting to make the evening last as long as possible may purchase VIP tickets, which is $1,500 for eight guests and starts off the evening with a private reception with Ocean Wise executive chef Ned Bell from 6-7:30 p.m.
Getting to the Aquarium for Toast to the Coast is 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 7:30 p.m., with the last trolley leaving the Aquarium at 12:45 a.m.
Special thanks are shared with our sponsors who make the evening possible. Presenting sponsor CIBC, major sponsor SCA, official vehicle sponsor The BMW Store, official raffle sponsors Air Canada and Air Rouge, and media sponsor Vancouver magazine.
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org.