The Organ Project Gala, March 29, 2018

By: Sorin Sim
Photography by: Sorin Sim & Shahryar Rafiei

The 2018 Project Organ Gala was a huge success with unbelievable entertainment, inspiring speakers and great friends made for a memorable evening. Helping end the wait for organ transplants, the hashtag #endthewait is helping bring awareness to this great cause and save lives. The Organ Project was founded in 2016 by Eugene Melnyk, (the Owner and Chairman of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club). The Organ Project is a not for profit organization which focused on ending the organ transplant waiting list. The good people at the Organ Project are committed to changing the current environment so that, in the near future, nobody in Canada will die while waiting for an organ transplant.

Fresh off their induction to the Canadian Hall of Fame at the 2018 Junos and just before they embark on their upcoming ‘Fake Nudes’ world tour, the Barenaked Ladies performed a private concert at our 2018 gala. Guests sang and danced along to 30 years’ worth of Juno-award winning hit songs and enjoying the undeniable chemistry and fun banter between band members Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, and Tyler Stewart.

Gala guests were riveted by the unmistakably beautiful voice of Juno Award-winning Canadian singer songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. A member of the Order of Canada, Chantal has been busy raising three children and collaborating with superstars like Drake, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Kendrick Lamar and Pink. Back in the spotlight with her recent album “Hard Sail”, Chantal channels her collaborative experiences into her own songs.

But the real stars of the night were the recipients of various organ donations and their donors. Brock Chessell had been diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer before he received a new liver, and 10-year-old America’s Got Talent singer and kidney transplant survivor Angelika Hale both wowed the crowd with their stories.

Some of the Live Auction Items Sold included:

1) Three Knights in Vegas – Travel with the team from Ottawa on the Ottawa Senators plane to Las Vegas for an exciting three night excursion. This once-in-a-lifetime trip includes dinner with the GM, coach and players and a Vegas Knights game at T mobile arena, plus much, much more.

Donated by: The Ottawa Senators, Eugene Melnyk, and MGM Resorts

2) Visit the Emerald Isle – Two guests will fly Air Canada International Business Class from Toronto to Dublin Ireland where they will enjoy five nights at the five (5) star Shelbourne Hotel. See the local sites and enjoy complementary access to exclusive local golf courses.

Donated by: Air Canada, Marriott International,

3) The Happy Canuck – Two guests will fly Air Canada Business Class from Toronto to Vancouver where they will be treated to a VIP experience at a Vancouver Canucks game against one of the original six NHL teams. Stay two nights at the new Parq Vancouver, either at the JW Marriott or the Douglas, a boutique hotel.

Donated by: Air Canada, Parq Vancouver and the Vancouver Canucks Hockey Club

4) Ultimate Toronto Sports Fan – Two exceptional tickets to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs, four tickets to the Raptors, and a complete suite for 16 at the Toronto Blue Jays, catering included. Top it off with four tickets to the 159th running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack on June 30th and you have an ultimate Toronto sports package.

Donated by: Molson Coor’s, Aramark, and Woodbine Entertainment

5) Montreal Road Trip – The perfect trip for the die-hard Habs fan. Two will fly Toronto to Montreal and stay at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Montreal. During your stay, take in a Canadians game in a private suite that accommodates 12, catering and hostess included. Meet Geoff Molson, Marc Bergevin and a Montreal Canadiens Alumni.

Donated by: Geoff Molson and the Montreal Canadiens, Air Canada, Ritz-Carlton Montreal and Siren Communications

6) Goodbye Norma Jean – Elton John caps off 50 years of award winning songs and performances with his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Enjoy Sir Elton on Friday September 28, 2018 from the best seats of any complex in North America as you and three (3) friends watch him from the owner’s suite at the Canadian Tire Centre. Includes four (4) flights from Toronto to Ottawa and 2 rooms at the nearby Brookstreet Hotel.

Donated by: Eugene Melnyk, The Brookstreet Hotel, Air Canada

We would like to thank Natalie Gardner for the invite to Organ Project Gala and for the opportunity to take part int his great cause.