BY STAFF REPORTER
The reception lobby was inundated with artists displaying various forms of art. A media wall with a red carpet held interviews from various media. Tuxedos and ball gowns dotted the Crystal Banquet Event Venue in Markham where Markham Arts Council (MAC) held a successful Fundraising Gala, raising thousands of dollars that will go towards supporting diverse arts and cultural programs in the City.
The sold out event was glitzy and glamourous and began with a reception and a red carpet walk by Mayor Frank Scarpitti, City Councillors, MAC Board members and models. Dressed by Silver Tulip in colourful and dressy gowns, the red carpet was a fashionable walk up the ramp and on to the stage at the themed Gala – AN AFFAIR WITH THE ARTS AT THE OSCARS – held on November 4 in Markham.
“Thanks to all the artists, businesses, sponsors and community stakeholders who participated and supported this fundraising initiative,” said Gala co-chair Deepti Aurora, who has in the past raised funds for CNIB, AWIC, Lions Club and The Scarborough Hospital. “The funds raised will go a long way in facilitating the diverse and creative contributions made to the arts and empowering the community with arts. The participation and generosity of donors and sponsors has been tremendous and I would like to thank each and every one who dedicated their time, energy and creativity to the event. I also wanted to thank the volunteers who provide valuable support, without which this Gala would not have been possible. ”
”Arts brings great benefits and plays a unique role in community developments,” said Amanda Collucci, Markham Councillor and co-chair of the Gala Committee. ”The Markham Arts Council has done an excellent job in promoting arts exchange and in nurturing creative talents, as well as supporting the work and development of visual, literary and performing arts.”
The evening began with Rachel Remisiar singing the national anthem followed by Sandra dance studio performing the opening number from an Oscar film. The majestic event, hosted by Randy Persaud and Jane Lu, was also attended by prominent business persons, professionals, artists and supporters of MAC. The evening was beset with Oscar related performances and included Chinese dancers, jazz music, raffle draws, auction and a display of visual art. The highlight of the evening was Mayor Frank Scarpitti who raised over a thousand dollars by singing songs in Chinese to performances by Sisters Club of Qi Pao that had the crowds applauding and cheering.
“I commend the Markham Arts Council for their dedication in enhancing our community by promoting and fostering the arts, in all its forms, “said the Mayor, also Honorary Chair of the Fundraising Gala. “The development and support of the arts is important to our community and arts and arts organizations are an important resource in our path to building stronger communities. The arts have a long history of bringing people together across boundaries as the arts provide an opportunity for discussion amongst individuals and groups which lead to insight and a shared sense of community.“
A Bollywood dance medley by Sanskriti Arts completed the evening with a Flash Mob where founder Puja Amin led participants through a dance workshop. Mayor Scarpitti, Councillors and others wholeheartedly participated in the workshop, creating cheer, energy and enthusiasm.
“Your support of this fundraising Gala will allow us to continue to pursue our mandate to build a stronger, more unified arts community that encourages cultural exchange and includes all ages and all forms of the arts, “said Jane Milrose, Chair of the Markham Arts Council. “Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your support of Markham Arts Council. This fundraising Gala will create the necessary recognition and awareness of the Markham Arts Council and of the talents and passion of local Markham based artists and arts organizations,” “All funds raised through this initiative will be used towards supporting the Arts and Cultural programs facilitated by MAC.”