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Photo courtesy of the City of Ottawa.

The inaugural Mayor’s Gala encouraged us to Fall for the Arts

By Jenny C. Liu on October 20, 2016

The first ever Mayor’s Gala took place last Saturday, October 15, in the historic Horticultural Building at Lansdowne Park. The event’s theme was Fall for the Arts, and was elegantly presented with colourful lights, delicious local food, and artistic sounds and sights.

The Mayor’s Gala will be an event that the City of Ottawa hosts once every two years, with the goal of fundraising for a different local initiative each time. At this inaugural Mayor’s Gala, the focus was on celebrating the achievements, talents, and vibrancy of current and upcoming artists in Ottawa. The event raised $75,000 so far for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project. This project seeks to elevate and create a hub for Ottawa’s art scene, and provide more spaces and opportunities for the city’s artists.

Mayor Jim Watson welcomes guests to the Gala:

Photo courtesy of the City of Ottawa.

Photo courtesy of the City of Ottawa.

The headliner for the evening was Ms. Angela Hewitt who is an Ottawa native and “one of the world’s leading pianists and recipient of numerous awards and honorary distinctions. The event also featured many artistic performances that demonstrated the tremendous talent and diversity of Ottawa’s art community.

Performances featured the Ottawa Dance Directive, Aboriginal Experiences Dance Troupe and Bear Nation Singers and Dancers, Fresh Meat, the Yips, and Swing.

Photo courtesy of the City of Ottawa.

Photo courtesy of the City of Ottawa.

In addition, the Mayor’s Gala also showcased the city’s culinary arts. The Gala’s guests enjoyed deliciously unique cocktails such as an apple cider bellini and (my personal favourite) an autumn chai martini, both from Top Shelf Distillers. Canapes served for the guests to enjoy during cocktail hour included fresh oysters (Whalesbone) and barbequed eggplant crostini (Thyme & Again). The full dinner featured the culinary creativity of some of Ottawa’s best restaurants, including Beckta, Wellington Gastro Pub and Atelier, plus premium products from Nat’s Bread Company, Seed to Sausage, the Vine Agency, Cave Spring Cellars, and the Happy Goat Coffee Company.

Photo by Jenny C. Liu.

My favourite dish was the duck breast, duck confit fritter, duck pate and seasonal vegetables. Though the dessert platter with three (yes, three!) cakes per guest came a very close second.

The beautiful event was a successful celebration of Ottawa’s dazzling artistic talents, and was a terrific set up for future Mayor’s Galas to highlight other worthwhile initiatives that makes our city unique.