Fred UnLEEshed: May 30, 2016

PAIN KILLER: Arthritis Research Canada was created in 2000 to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. With facilities in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, the young organization has already earned international attention as a leading arthritis research institution helping to advance the understanding and knowledge of some 100 forms of arthritis. More than four million Canadians live with arthritis — 600,000 in B.C. Dr. John Esdaile, an internationally-respected rheumatologist and creator of ARC, along with Naz Panahi, fronted the fourth ARThritis Soirée. It’s the organization’s flagship fundraiser and held at the Vancouver Club. The cocktail party once again attracted the city’s most prominent business and community leaders, scientists, healthcare professionals, and donors to the evening of fundraising and fencing — this year’s chosen art form. The night of philanthropy and sport netted $285,000 for arthritis research.

BIG LIFT: Rumana Monzur survived one of the most terrible experiences imaginable: being blinded in a brutal domestic assault because she wanted to pursue a post-secondary education. Despite the traumatic experience, Monzur found incredible strength and overcame adversity by returning to UBC to not only complete her master’s degree, but to embark on one of the biggest challenges of her life, a law career. Now an articled summer student, and in her third year of law, Monzur was the keynote at Big Sister’s Spring Luncheon, staged at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. Monzur’s story of triumph from adversity lifted spirits and paddles, with a reported $60,000 raised to support mentoring programs and help young girls reach their fullest potential.

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INDIAN LOVE STORY: For 10 days every July, Indian Summer Festival presents provocative multi-disciplinary events in Vancouver featuring some of the finest artists and visionaries from Canada, South Asia and beyond. The brainchild of Sirish Rao, and his wife, Laura Byspalko, the little-festival-that-could is now celebrating its sixth year. Expecting their first child come festival time, the couple, along with festival director Mandeep Dhaliwal, hosted a program unveiling for major patrons at the offices of Lawson Lundell. Attendees learned of this year’s theme — Border Crossings — and the star-studded lineup. Notable names scheduled to participate include Sufi music sensation Rajasthan Josh, filmmaker Deepa Mehta and journalist Sandip Roy. Also on tap will be a major retrospective of Bharti Kher at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The festival will once again commence with Vikram Vij, and top chefs pushing culinary borders at the opening gala July 7.

Hear Fred Mondays 8:20am on CBC Radio’s The Early Edition AM690 and 88.1FM;Email:; Twitter: @FredAboutTown

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