50th Anniversary Royal Gala


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 Janice O'Born, Earle O'Born, HRH The Countess of Wessex, HRH the Earl of Wessex, Sharon Johnston, His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, The Honourable David C. Onley, Ruth Ann Onley, The Honourable Hilary Weston, Galen Weston   His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex
Photography credits: Tom Sandler 

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Canada, a black tie Gala evening was held November 1st. The event was held in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and The Countess of Wessex, who are both active supporters of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Canada. Their Royal Highnesses were joined by Honourary Gala Patron The Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, and Honourary Gala Vice Patron The Lieutentant Governor David C. Onley and Mrs. Ruth Ann Onley.  The event was presided over by Honourary Chairs Mr. Galen and The Hon. Hilary M. Weston with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charter for Business Board of Governors, along with Gala Chair Janice M. O’Born.
 
The evening was enjoyed thoroughly by all who attended. Thanks to several months of tireless effort and planning by Janice O’Born and her team of volunteers and staff, the Royal Gala was an amazing celebration of The Award programme’s accomplishments of the last 50 years. We congratulate Janice and are indebted to her work and dedication for the resounding success of this event. 

Recently restored to its 1930s Art Deco splendor, the historical Carlu centre was a befitting location for such a Royal evening of celebration. Guests were treated to a cocktail reception, multi-course dinner, and dessert reception during their evening. The event emcees were Erin Maitland and Kiwayne Jones, who are both Award holders. Erin has completed her Silver Award and is now working towards her Gold. Kiwayne is a Gold Award holder and has just recently been elected to the National Board of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. They are both superior stewards of the principles of The Award and spoke about their diverse and rewarding experiences while completing their programme. 

The Royal Gala event also included a number of musical guests. Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo, also a Gold Award holder, provided piano entertainment during the reception. He is a talented and philanthropic Toronto musician whose Foundation exposes students to music and encourages development of performance and lyrical skills.  Guests were escorted into dinner from the reception by the Pipes & Drums of The Toronto Scottish Regiment, and during dinner heard performances from The Band of The Governor General’s Horse Guards. A Drum Blessing was delivered by the drummers of the Morningstar River First Nation. In addition, guests were treated to the premiere viewing of the new promotional video for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which will soon be aired across the country. 

His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, offered supporting remarks to Gala attendees. His enthusiasm for The Award has been reflected throughout his tenure as The Governor General of Canada and the National Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, gave a keynote address expressing his congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of The Award in Canada, his admiration for the inspiring efforts of those working towards their Award each year, and for the continued and generous support of The Award’s patrons and donors.

Janice O’Born opened the evening with her remarks of gratitude to Gala attendees and sponsors, and Hartley Richardson, Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Charter for Business, offered remarks and proposed a loyal toast which concluded the dinner. Closing remarks for the evening were provided by Jim Kershaw, National President of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Senior Vice-President of TD Bank Group, who were the lead event sponsor of the Royal Gala evening.

The funds raised by this event will directed towards the Charter for Business, which is the primary fundraising body established to support The Award
across Canada. With continued support, we look forward to continuing The Award for another 50 years. Thank you to our Gala Patrons, Chair, Honourary Chairs, donors and sponsors, The Printing House for their production of beautiful programs and menus, the staff of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and the many volunteers who helped make this event possible.  

For more about this Gala event and other amazing accomplishments during our 50th Anniversary celebrations, look for our special insert in The Globe and Mail Report on Business section this coming December 3rd.

Click here to view the full program from the Gala (PDF link).

 

 

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 Their Royal Highnesses The Earl of Wessex and The Countess of Wessex  

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 The Band of The Governor General's Horse Guards, under the direction of Lieutenant P.J. Van Auken CD.  Janice and Earle O'Born

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 The Duke of Edinburgh's Award National President, Jim Kershaw, Vice-President TD Bank Group  Event Emcees Kiwayne Jones and Erin Maitland 

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 His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, offered supporting remarks to Gala attendees.  His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, Mrs. Ruth Ann Onley, Honourary Gala Vice Patron The Lieutentant Governor David C. Onley, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex.

 
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 Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo, musician and Gold Award holder.   Gala volunteers (from Left to Right), Lindsay Stovel (Manitoba Division Executive Director), Jeff Needham (Senior Field Officer, Ontario Division), Julia Wong (Gold Award holder), Sarah Rotenberg (Silver Award holder), Myuri Manogaran (Gold Award achiever), Andrew Ratcliff (National office staff), Caroline Chan (Gold Award holder), Al-Kareem Khimji (International Committee Youth Representative, Gold Award holder), Glenna Harris (National Office staff, Gold Award holder), Julie Crawford (National Office staff). (Not pictured: Pamela Chan, Gold Award holder)