Moonlight Gala 2019 – McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The rain couldn’t deter those who support the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the annual fundraiser: The Moonlight Gala on June 1, 2019, in Kleinberg, Ontario. A trio of exhibitions featuring Canada’s Arctic region are the focus this year; Itee Pootoogook: Hymns to the Silence, photographs of Louie Palu; Distant Early Warning and the tapestry of Janet Nungnik in her first solo exhibition. The McMichael has always championed Canadian artistic heritage from coast to coast.


In attendance were the Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua,Mayor of Vaughan, Hon. Michael A. Tibollo, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. First to perform on stage was The Collective Band, featuring special guest artists Aion Clarke and Jenna Nation. DJ Barbi also entertained during the cocktail reception where my favourite appetizer; oysters, were served by the Oyster Brothers of San Antonio Seafood Market & Oyster Bar.

The catering partner for the Moonlight Gala was The Food Dudes who never fail to amaze. Their rendition of a chopped salad and Caesar salad had me eating my share of raw vegetables for the evening on the pathway to the tents. Between the tents and the gallery, I sampled perfectly cooked duck. Inside the gallery space were three food stations, each better than the last!  Halibut with a green pea puree, smoked heirloom carrots, grilled asparagus, fennel leek cream, crispy quinoa, and fennel beet slaw were a “light” start. Next, I tried the supreme of chicken, but I saved the best for last: sous vide prime beef, smoked heirloom carrots, spicy gai lan, demi glaze, umami crumble, and a watermelon radish slaw- superb!

Back on stage, the host for the evening Colin D’Mello, CTV’s Toronto Queens Park Bureau Chair, introduced the chair of the Moonlight Gala Michele D. McCarthy, who introduced Executive Director Ian Desjardins. The live auction featured various travel packages including one to the French countryside, to Fogo Island Inn, Labrador; and to coincide with this year’s theme, Passage to the Arctic and Greenland. The auction ended with a surprise appearance of Hockey legends Wendel Clark and Darryl Sittler who offered to sign 100 photographs at a $500 each to raise money for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. An exceptional musical performance by Juno Nominee Kelly Fraser of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut who sang in Inukitut was enlightening and a highlight of the Moonlight Gala event whose focus was Canada’s Arctic region. For more information about the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, please visit their website at


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