Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The Walrus Gala, Toronto

Thrown each January in the Fermenting Cellar of Toronto’s Distillery District, the Walrus Gala, serves as the Walrus Foundation’s most important annual fundraiser. The money raised by the evening, which this year topped $450,000, directly supports the independent fact-based journalism for which the Walrus is known. This year’s sold-out gathering on Jan. 22 (a rather impressive feat given the mid-winter date) served as the last under the direction of Shelley Ambrose, the foundation’s beloved executive director and publisher of the magazine, who will step down in June.

Leaders from politics and business, the arts, philanthropy and beyond were all out for the gala. Dotting tables throughout the space were devoted Walrus supporters, chief among them, Hugh MacKinnon, chairman and CEO of the law firm Bennett Jones, which has sponsored the gathering since its inception more than a decade ago. MacKinnon took to the stage mid-meal to underscore – in a rather amusing and roundabout way – the importance of the work that the Walrus does and how it benefits his fellow barristers and solicitors. “Sponsor Canadian journalists who love to muck about public policy issues” he said. “Encourage them to advocate for change – any change. Then encourage them to advocate for their ideas in the magazine, hoping to generate political action.” Then, he added, nature will inevitably run its course, culminating in what he called “the magical product of it all: litigation!”

Later on, the Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism was given by Slaight’s wife, Emmanuelle Gattuso, to Corey Mintz, in recognition of his story titled The History of Food in Canada is the History of Colonialism, which appeared in the April, 2019 edition of the magazine and outlined the country’s destruction of Indigenous food systems.

Story continues below advertisement

Across from me at dinner was the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario; on her right was the artist Charles Pachter, who contributed a work titled Handmaid of Honour to the silent auction. The portrait’s subject, Margaret Atwood, was seated to her left and at the table too, was Julia Johnston and photographer Ed Burtynsky, who also contributed to the evening’s auction and has lent his spectacular snaps to past Walrus covers. To my right was Jessica Johnson, executive editor and creative director of The Walrus, and former National Arts Centre CEO Peter Herrndorf, and his wife, Eva Czigler. Also out: philanthropically minded couples including Ira Gluskin and Maxine Granovsky-Gluskin, Gretchen and Donald Ross, Valerie and Andy Pringle and Janelle and Pierre Lassonde; Helen Burstyn, chair of The Walrus Foundation board of directors and her daughter, Amy; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Pierre Lassonde.

Nolan Bryant/The Globe and Mail

Helen Burstyn.

Nolan Bryant/The Globe and Mail

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Shelley Ambrose.

Nolan Bryant/The Globe and Mail

Valerie Pringle.

Nolan Bryant/The Globe and Mail

Hugh MacKinnon.

Nolan Bryant/The Globe and Mail

Visit tgam.ca/newsletters to sign up for the weekly Style newsletter, your guide to fashion, design, entertaining, shopping and living well. And follow us on Instagram @globestyle.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies