On 13 May, proud members of the Canadian community in the UK and their guests gathered at the High Commissioner’s Official Residence to salute Canadian musicians living or working in the UK and, most importantly, to support other Canadians living in need in this country – the mission of the Maple Leaf Trust.

Following a delightful performance by cellist, Christian Elliott, a 2008 Canadian Centennial Scholarship winner (funded by the Maple Leaf Trust), guests were treated to the melodic voices of the 1607 Ensemble. During their brief presentation, they sang two pieces by Clement Ishmael, a Canadian composer of great acclaim, most notably for his compositions performed on Broadway and in West End. We were delighted to have Clement as our special guest that evening. A very special note of thanks to MLT Trustee and Event Vice Chair, Fawn White who organized the musical portion of the evening and to Karen and John Murphy of Ernest and Young for underwriting this very special facet of the evening.

After a lovely dinner with excellent Ontario wines so kindly donated by Clare Barnett of the Ontario International Marketing Centre, our High Commissioner donned his Habs jersey to begin the centrepiece of the evening: the live auction. This year, the variety of items was exceptional including a highly prized photo by Canadian musician and award winning photographer, Bryan Adams, highly coveted tickets to the upcoming premiere of Sex and City 2, a lovely scarf by Canadian designer (and another Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund scholarship winner), Erdem, tickets to Diana Krall to mention but a few. Prizes were arranged by Canadian community members including CWC members Fawn White, Kate Brundage, Donna Thomson and Lynne Flanagan Thank you ladies!

Besides our very generous bidders with us that evening, I want to thank the team who worked on the online auction. Canadian Affair’s Kathryn Munro and Anette Rayner together with CWC member, Barbara Richards organized our second online auction that concluded the previous evening. Besides travel, online prizes included VIP tickets to the recent Michael Buble and Metric concerts.

(Both winners have reported truly amazing evenings!) Barbara not only liaised with Canadian Affair but also designed and produced all of communication materials for this event. My sincerest thanks to Barbara for all her work.

With the exceedingly generous support of our High Commissioner, our fundraising dinner was a huge success – raising record proceeds of in excess of £20,000.