The fourth annual Life Without Limits Gala was held on Thursday, March 15th 2018 at our beautiful new location — the Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver.
A majority of our proceeds from the Gala went towards the Tanabe Bursary, an educational fund awarded to students living with cerebral palsy to assist them with the costs of their post-secondary education.
This video was generously curated for us by Paul Weston, a former Tanabe Bursary recipient and co-owner of the Film & Photography company Anxious Pineapple!
The theme for the evening was “Learn Without Limits”, and all of our incredible guest speakers certainly delivered. Our event was opened by emcee Geoff Hastings, an anchor from GlobalBC, as well as a territorial acknowledgement from Stephen Lytton, president of the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS). Later, Stephen explained the significance of an event like ours:
It’s about reconciling with yourself first, and then the nation. Everybody here is a part of that important, collaborative process.—Stephen Lytton, President of BCANDS
The Importance of Education
Our night began with inspiring and profound speeches by Cindy Frostad and Janet Mee, two individuals who recognize and advocate the importance of post-secondary education for students with disabilities and the impacts it can have on their future employment prospects. They both addressed the topic of inclusion:
Our survival depends on difference… Inclusion is a concept that is simple and complex at the same time. —Cindy Frostad, Resource parent and educator
Being inclusive means shifting our practices, and our capacity to think, learn, and behave as individuals and a community. —Janet Mee, Director of Access & Diversity at University of British Columbia
Then, a delicious catered dinner was served, as our guests were welcome to peruse the display of silent auction items and buy tickets for the wine raffle.
In the second half of the night, we heard from people whose lives have been transformed by education and our Tanabe Bursary, named after dedicated disability advocate Yoshi Tanabe. First up, Dallas Bennett from Dalhousie University joined us by video. They are conducting their post-secondary research to find out whether “CP is more than just a brain injury”, which could be a pivotal focus of medical study in years to come.
Nathan Bragg, an alumnus of Carleton University, highlighted how being in university is more than just the education – it is also about fitting in with your peers, and being involved in campus activities. Said Nathan, “I looked at my education as an overall holistic experience, & tried to get out of my comfort zone. I truly believe education helps to break barriers for student with disabilities.”
Finally, multi-media artist Marco Dixon (attending Capilano University right here in BC) expressed how his education is helping fulfill his dreams: “I’m happy always to do something creative…. I am grateful that my university is helping me get to where I want to be, as a film maker.” Later in the evening, Marco shared one of his early short films, which captured his experience as a person living with cerebral palsy and seizures.
Highlights of the Gala
- This year marked the first ever time we’ve put on a wine raffle — three lucky winners got to take home 2 cases (24 bottles), a case (12 bottles), and a magnum of wine!
- Our silent auction was also an immense success, thanks to all our donors who generously contributed a wide array of items for everyone.
- Last but not least, our returning auctioneer David C. Jones brought his incredibly infectious enthusiasm to our live auction once more. He delivered the big-ticket items of the night, such as 2 pairs of WestJet tickets to any destination in the world!
We’re excited to announce that we’ve raised over $76,000 in total this year, surpassing last year’s Gala by $18,000!
The CPABC extends grateful thanks to the 152 guests (a 12% increase from last year!), our very generous sponsors and silent auction donors, as well as all the staff and volunteers for making the fourth Life Without Limits Gala a tremendous success. Thank you as well to Gail Stephan and Randall Epp for their amazing photos!A warm thank you to all of our sponsors – Birth Injury Lawyers Alliance, Jutland Capital Management, GlobalBC, The Printing House, and RJC Engineers.
If you attended the 2018 Life Without Limits Gala, please fill out this post-event survey to help us improve our future events! (Survey closes March 30, 2018)