Wow, how time flies! We are the first to admit that we are way overdue to hold a Friends & Company event and we would like to thank you for your patience while we have been planning some exciting new events for you. We have received about a million (give or take) questions about when our next event will be held, so we couldn't be more excited to share this one with you! We have several exciting events in the works, including an evening event in March, which will be announced in the coming days (so be sure to stay tuned).
But first up, we would like to invite you to a very special luncheon, benefitting Out in Schools. Please join us on Friday, April 11, for a gourmet 3-course lunch at what is arguably Vancouver's number one culinary destination, the award-winning Hawksworth Restaurant at the beautiful and historic Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
Our special guest speaker will be long time LGBTQ leader, activist and openly-gay Vancouver City Councillor, Tim Stevenson. Many will no doubt recall that Tim recently made local, national, and international headlines during the lead up to and during the 2014 Sochi Games as a result of his courageous trip to Russia on behalf of the City of Vancouver on the week prior to the Opening Ceremonies (he returned to Canada just before the Games began).
Tim was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2002 and was re-elected in 2005, 2008, and 2011. In 1996, he was the first openly gay person ever to be elected to the British Columbia Legislature. Tim subsequently served as Deputy Speaker of the House and went on to be named to Cabinet in 2000, making him the first openly gay Cabinet Minister in Canada. Prior to entering politics, Tim served as Minister at St. Paul's United Church after being the first openly gay person in Canada ever ordained in a mainstream Christian denomination. Tim spent 10 years in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside working with the inner city poor while sitting on the Board of the First United Church. He has also worked in the Philippines and South Africa, where he was one of Canada's representatives at the African National Conference, where Nelson Mandela was elected as the ANC Party President. Tim was also on of the international observers of the South African elections of 1994. Born and raised in Vancouver, Tim now lives in the West End with his partner, Rev. Dr. Gary Paterson, his partner of more than 30 years. Together, they have raised three daughters and have four grandchildren.
Tim will give us a firsthand personal account of his experiences in Russia, including his meetings with Canadian and international athletes, IOC officials, and members of Sochi's LGBTQ community.
This event will be hosted by none other than our very own resident Friends & Company emcee, the ever charming and always entertaining Robert Kaiser. For those who don't know, Robert is the talent behind Vancouver's best-known drag queen, the world class, Joan-E. Robert is a long time and highly respected fixture in Vancouver's LGBTQ philanthropy and entertainment communities. He is a two-time recipient of medals from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, having been awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his work in community service and again in 2012 when he received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal.
Your ticket includes a 3-course gourmet lunch, prepared by David Hawksworth's award-winning culinary team (vegan and gluten-free options will be available), a welcome glass of wine from Le Vieux Pin, BC's leading boutique winery, a chance at winning lots of fabulous door prizes (including the latest smartphone from our friends at TELUS), a chance to participate in a 50/50 draw benefiting Out in Schools, and of course, lots of opportunities to connect with old friends and meet new ones!
Tickets are an incredible value at $40 each, plus tax and a small ticket processing fee that is charged by our ticket service provider. The luncheon will take place in Hawksworth's famous York Room private dining room, which overlooks the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and a welcome glass of wine will be complimentary. Other drinks will be avaialble on a cash bar basis. Registration starts at 12:00 and lunch starts at 12:30 sharp. The event wraps up around 2:30. Due to physical space limitations, there will only be 63 spaces available (fewer than at our past luncheons), so please don't delay getting your ticket if you wish to attend!
There will also be plenty of time to hear Tim's remarks and to ask him any questions that you may have about his experience in Russia or about his remarkable career as an LGBTQ leader and pioneer in our community.
We would like to thank our generous sponsors, without whom our events would not be possible. Please take a moment to check them out! And please be sure to stay tuned for more upcoming events!
On behalf of Out in Schools, we would like to thank you for your support. Thank you to everyone who attended any of fifteen sold out events to date! Together, we raised tens of thousands of dollars for Out in Schools, money that directly enables Out in Schools facilitators to reach students all over BC. On top of this, our corporate sponsors and community partners have given many tens of thousands more to Out in Schools at Friends & Company events throughout the year. All of this is undeniable proof that together, we can make a difference for young LGBTQ people in our communities. Thank you.
On a serious note: Friends & Company and our sponsors remind you to please drink responsibly and plan a safe ride home. Please don't drink and drive. Thank you.