As we humans get older, we begin to consider our legacies. We start to think about who and what we will be leaving behind, and whether we are doing all that we can to help make the world a better place.
Chef Kurt Waldele is one man whose legacy remains. His passion for both food and animal welfare continue to live on and positively impact the world in many ways. As the renowned executive chef at the National Arts Centre for over 30 years, he helped put the spotlight on Canadian cuisine at a time when the trendy focus was traditional French cuisine. Many of the talented chefs you have tasted delectable dishes from here in Ottawa were likely either mentored directly by Waldele or by association.
His passion for both food and animal welfare continue to live on and positively impact the world in many ways.
Years ago, Waldele and his wife Dr. Suzanne Beauchemin, both long-time animal advocates and supporters of the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS), began hosting elaborate, late summer garden parties at their Cumberland home. The parties took place over a span of nine years and collectively raised more than $750,000 for the OHS and Ottawa’s animals. When Waldele sadly passed in 2009 after a battle with cancer, many surely wondered what would happen to this fantastic event and the help it provided to animals in need.
Enter the OHS Garden Party—an annual event the OHS holds to carry on Waldele’s tradition and honour his memory and legacy. Last year’s event, held at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, featured food and drink from a variety of Ottawa staples and raised a total of $92,075. That money went on to support the nearly 10,000 animals the OHS cares for every year and specifically helped important services like the Mobile Spay & Neuter Service, Humane Education, OHS Seminars, Brightening Lives Program, and more. Bruce Roney, executive director of the OHS, says “The Garden Party is an exceptional event that has raised many thousands of dollars to help Ottawa’s animals. It is a testament to Ottawa’s excellent chefs and restaurants who give freely of their time and talent.”
The Garden Party is an exceptional event that has raised many thousands of dollars to help Ottawa’s animals. It is a testament to Ottawa’s excellent chefs and restaurants who give freely of their time and talent.—Bruce Roney, executive director of the OHS
This year’s event takes place May 15, again at the Horticulture Building, and will feature samplings from DiVino Wine Studio, Brookstreet Hotel, and The Wellington Gastropub, amongst a host of other culinary masterminds. Guests can indulge in handcrafted cocktails courtesy of Top Shelf Distillers, enjoy craft beer from Beyond the Pale and Flora Hall Brewing, or simply sip from the selection of fine wine courtesy of Philippe Dandurand Wines while they bid on items in both the Silent and Live Auctions, as well as mingle with human and animals alike.
Oh, did I not mention? Yes, there will also be animals at the event! So, not only will there be enough food and beverage to satiate your appetites (all included in the cost of your ticket, by the way), but there will also be animals. In fact, part of the evening’s program is the Parade of Animals: a delight that attendees look forward to every year. This parade showcases animals who have been previously adopted from the OHS and are now living in their forever homes and will also introduce some of the volunteer animals in the Brightening Lives program.
Remember how I was saying we all aspire to leave something great behind when we move on? Maybe attending the OHS Garden Party, or simply donating to the OHS, could be part of your something. If you want to help the OHS but are unable to attend the OHS Garden Party, please visit the Humane Society’s website to learn more about the other ways you can help.
The Ottawa Humane Society’s Garden Party will take place on May 15, 2019 from 6-9pm at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park (1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa). Tickets are $125 ($75 will be given back as a tax receipt). Buy your tickets online.
Accessibility: The event is on the ground floor and all entrances and exists are entirely accessible. Underground parking is available on a first come, first served basis, and valet is offered for any guests who drive up to the main entrance. Guests can also be dropped off at the front entrance if no parking is required. Along with the main restrooms, there are two standalone restrooms that are fully accessible.