Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Young Philanthropists’ Circle
“Ten years of volunteer work in support of contemporary art is cause for celebration!” That was Jo-Anne Hudon Duchesne, director general of the MMFA Foundation, at a recent gathering in Montreal’s much loved museum, which marked a decade of the Young Philanthropists’ Circle.
Young patron circles, made up of the usually under-40 set, have popped up at just about every major cultural institution, serving as key engines to engage the next generation of support for the arts. Few, though, have integrated and engaged quite like the MMFA. The results of their efforts serve as proof: Collectively this community of some 1,500 people has raised more than $1-million for the museum over the course of a decade, they’ve sponsored 26 contemporary exhibitions at the MMFA and they’ve supported the acquisition of 14 contemporary works for the permanent collection.
On top of all these impressive accomplishments, these groups are brilliant and inspiring additions to the scene at large. Commonplace at many black-tie galas, once dessert has hit the table, is a desire to beeline for the coat-check. In contrast, I can recall at many swish MMFA black-tie galas, swift departures are quickly thwarted by YPC members populating dance floors and grand halls, adding the kind of energy and youth that helps keep the celebration going.
To mark the 10-year anniversary, past and present members gathered inside the museum in the space carved out for the Nicolas Party: L’heure mauve exhibition. It was a last look at the show and a toast to the group’s achievements. Among the young out to celebrate: Philippe Archambault, who chairs the YPC; entrepreneur and CEO at piknix Thanh Jutras; reality TV stars Ines Lalouad and Stevens Dorcelus; and sommelier Nicolas Pérez.
Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon’s 18th annual A Night to Dream Gala
Thousands of families from across B.C. and Yukon travel to Vancouver annually for life-saving medical treatment for their children. Since 1983, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon has offered a home away from home for those who need it most. In 2021 and in the midst of a global pandemic, some 118 families stayed an average 21 nights at the recently built 73-bedroom house, near BC Children’s Hospital. The restaurant chain, for which the organization is named (there are 379 chapters globally), supports 25 to 30 per cent of the annual operating budget. The remainder is raised through corporate sponsorship and fundraisers, including sold-out galas like A Night To Dream, an annual event which has raised more than $5-million since its inception.
Presented by B.C.-based development company Beedie, the black-tie event, held at the Westin Bayshore, kicked off with cocktails, followed by dinner and an auction. Throughout the evening, families were on hand to share their stories, among them the Stephens from Warfield, B.C., who, while their infant son underwent cancer treatment, made Ronald McDonald House their home. Among those out helping to raise funds, which topped the $600,000 mark, were the organizations board chair Linda Lemke; gala co-chairs Laura Patrick and Gemma Bishop; Kingswood Capital Corp. VP Gary Segal; and of course, Richard Pass, CEO of Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon.