Vancouver, B.C. – On Friday, Oct. 19, almost 600 ocean lovers and bon vivants gathered at Vancouver Aquarium® and raised an impressive $162,000 for Ocean Wise® and its ocean conservation initiatives at the 12th annual Toast to the Coast fundraising event, presented by CIBC. Conversation and laughter filled the air as guests indulged in a culinary journey through the Aquarium’s galleries and raised their glass to our oceans.
“Toast to the Coast is an incredible event that brings together people of all different backgrounds with one shared goal – to ensure our oceans are healthy and thriving for many years to come,” said Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. “We are so grateful and humbled to receive such an upswell of support for our ocean conservation initiatives and are inspired by the nearly 600 guests, 80 businesses and 33 restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries who all came together for an unforgettable evening.”
VIP guests started their evening with canapés from Diva at the Metropolitan and The Oakwood as well as wine from Clos du Soleil, cider from Lone Tree and cocktails from the KPMG gin stand while acoustic musings of Jeff Bryant filled the air and majestic stilt walkers towered above.
During the main event, guests enjoyed savoury nibbles and sultry sweets from British Columbia’s top chefs, all dedicated champions of the Ocean Wise seafood program. Sixteen Ocean Wise seafood partner restaurants tempted guest’s taste buds with their delectable creations, including the Ocean Wise culinary team lead by executive chef Ned Bell as well as ARC Restaurant, Fanny Bay Oysters, Hapa Izakaya, Market by Jean Georges, Minami, Notch 8, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Pacific Yacht Charters, The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Sonora Room, Uno Gelato, and Urban Fare. The tasty bites were accompanied by signature wines, brews, and spirits from a selection of the province’s most notable beverage makers, including Arterra, Blasted Church, Calliope Wines, Georgian Bay Spirit Co., Ocean Blu, Parkside Brewery, Peacock and Martin, Postmark Brewing, Resurrection Spirits, Salt Spring Coffee, Stag’s Hollow, Stanley Park Brewing, Walter Caesar, and Whistler Brewing.
Throughout the evening, guests connected with ocean creatures and conservation challenges as they toured Vortex, world-renowned artist Douglas Coupland’s art installation that illustrates the ocean plastic pollution crisis in a relevant, contemplative and transformative way. They also visited the Aquarium’s newest exhibit – Research Outpost – home to charismatic walruses Lakina and Balzak and a window into the long-standing pinniped research programs based at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Guests tried their luck at the raffle by entering to win a grand prize of two tickets to anywhere Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge flies and engaged in friendly competition over an impressive lineup of silent auction items, including a one-week stay for six in Mexico, rounds with Vancouver Aquarium’s head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena, dinner for four at Market by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-La Hotel, and a bespoke suit from Indochino.
DJ Sherry from Girl on Wax kept the music pumping and the dance floor bumping late into the night.
Toast to the Coast would not possible without the support of Ocean Wise sponsors: CIBC, Open Road Auto Group, SCA North America, Delta Group, raffle sponsors Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, Sysco as well as local drink and food purveyors, event partners, and media sponsor Vancouver Magazine.
A sincere thank you goes to guests and volunteers who make Toast to the Coast an unforgettable experience year after year. Toast to the Coast proceeds directly support Ocean Wise’s many conservation programs. Explore our oceans at ocean.org.
Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. ocean.org
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