YEAR END: Before we ring in 2013, here's my annual list of Vancouver's top fetes and most memorable occasions.
GALA OF THE YEAR: With a couple of $1 million donations, chairs Jane Hungerford and Myriam Glotman's Inspiration Gala raised a monumental $3.5 million for pancreatic cancer research at the B.C. Cancer Agency. Well-heeled guests gathered at the Fairmont Pacific Rim for the jaw-dropping black-tie hootenanny. A $1-million gift from the Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation kicked things off. Later another $1 million from the Ritchie family brought elated guests to their feet.
EVENT OF THE YEAR: The Social Concierge's Tyson Villeneuve and Jordan Kallman fronted the coolest, most memorable party of the year. They convinced 1,200 folks to dress in white and schlep their own meals, linen, tables and chairs to Jack Poole Plaza for Vancouver's inaugural Diner en blanc. Part flash mob, part pop-up party, a secret-supper event that originated in Paris 25 years ago, it was by far the largest - and most fun - outdoor dinner party assembled.
PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR: Billionaire Chip Wilson and his wife Shannon donated $1.5 million to the Vancouver Biennale to keep Yu Minjun's A-Maze-ing Laughter sculpture in Vancouver. The gift was a donation to the city and citizens of Vancouver. The couple also donated $8 million to fund a new $36-million school of design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond.
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