Last night’s sixth annual iconic Night at the Aquarium gala fundraiser raised a remarkable $316,433 for the Vancouver Aquarium. As a self-sustaining, non-profit organization, 100% of the event’s proceeds go towards the Aquarium’s conservation, research, and education programs.
The dazzle of champagne, wine, caviar, and Ocean Wise tasting plates entertained last night’s 500 guests as they celebrated a warm, early summer evening. Supporting the Aquarium’s direct action programs such as Ocean Wise, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre or AquaVan presented by B.C. Hydro (which brought the Aquarium on wheels to over 40 communities in 2011), help to protect the world’s oceans and surrounding habitats.
[Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts: Pan-Asian desserts]
“It was a great night, truly a celebration of the Aquarium and our efforts to conserve aquatic life. We are thankful for the generosity shown by both our guests and our community partners,” said Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium. “The support of the community makes it possible for us to further our research work, create new education programs, captivating new galleries, and engage more people in our mission.”
Curious Oyster Catering served delicious Colville Bay Oysters (from PEI) on the half shell. An assortment of wines from around the world, all from sustainable and organic wineries, accompanied the artistically-presented delicacies.
Amongst familiar faces and celebrities were other notable guests: over 50,000 wonderful sea creatures who live at the Aquarium, and the newly-arrived African penguins who showed up in none other than their own version of black-tie.
[Daniel Le Chocolate Belge assortment]
An animated atmosphere of celebration was present all night, particularly with the live and silent auctions. Guests showed their competitive spirits – and generous inclinations – in bidding for dream items such as the exclusive vacation package from Sonora Resort, aptly named Journey of the Salmon: From the Stream to the Plate.
Here’s a video that I put together of some of the evening’s highlights.