2019 Inspiration Gala

Over $3 million was raised at the 2019 Inspiration Gala on Saturday, November 2nd to advance genomics – the analysis of an individual’s DNA to better understand their cancer. Thousands of patients will benefit from this support, building on the vision of Dr. Don Rix - the first individual in the world to be treated based on their cancer’s DNA - right here at BC Cancer.

BC Cancer’s brilliant oncologists, bioinformaticians, pathologists and scientists are now one step closer to achieving their mission to break down cancer and change outcomes for the more than 27,000 British Columbians diagnosed with cancer each year. 

​Generous community support enables BC Cancer to lead transformative work with state-of-the art whole genome technology and robust clinical trials to test new genome-based treatments for widespread use.


The 2019 Inspiration Gala:


Event Details

As one of British Columbia's premiere events, the Inspiration Gala has become one of the most important dates in Vancouver's social calendar.

Date: Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
Location: The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Parking: Valet Parking complimentary for guests; please quote Inspiration Gala
Hotel Rooms:  To reserve a hotel room, please call Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 604-684-3131 and quote Inspiration Gala
Attire: Black Tie

6:00 pm Cocktail Reception + Silent Auction
7:00 pm Dinner + Live Auction + Raffle Draw
10:00 pm After Party Dancing 


Tickets for this event are currently sold out. To be added to our waitlist, please contact Chantelle Dalton at Chantelle.Dalton@bccancer.bc.ca or 604.675.8191.

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2019 Inspiration Gala Committee 

Patrick MacKenzie, CHAIR

Tamara Taggart, O.B.C., PAST CHAIR

Negar Adam

Melanie Auld

Carla Barney

Celeste Burgoyne

Ruth Burstein

Ana Fernandes

Karen Fleck

Jane Hungerford, O.B.C.

Janie Hungerford

Stephen Ing

Natalie Matko

Kelly May

Jenny Newell

Susan Nicol

Claudia Pavao

Rachel Thomas

Paula Thomson

Jas Uppal

Over the past fourteen years, the BC Cancer Foundation's Inspiration Gala has invested over $31 million to accelerate research in lung, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, brain, colorectal, lymphoid cancers, personalized medicine and POG at BC Cancer. The Gala has enabled ground-breaking discoveries in each of these projects, enriching our understanding of cancer, informing new treatment protocols, and helping to save lives.

How Your Gift Helps



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Imagine you’ve just heard the words “You have cancer.”

You’re about to receive treatment in the hopes of curing your disease.

Imagine your treatment begins like this…

Your oncologist performs a sophisticated genetic test.

The results from this test are shared with a dynamic team of BC Cancer’s most brilliant oncologists, bioinformaticians, pathologists and scientists. Together, this group dissects your results and devises the best possible way to treat your disease.

With the unique information contained in your genome, they consider tried and true cancer therapies, as well as treatments that have never been used for cancer.

The results of their collaborative planning session are presented to you along with a customized treatment protocol based on a genomic rationale and designed just for you.

Imagine this treatment is optimized, based on your genetic profile.

Imagine if your cancer could be treated like many other chronic diseases, managed and monitored and kept under control.

Imagine the end of being sick.


One in two British Columbians will develop cancer in their lifetime and one in five will eventually die of cancer.

In 2017, 27,000 new cancers were diagnosed and 5% of the B.C. population is living with cancer right now. Experts predict that the number of cancer cases will increase by 50% by 2035 – they’re calling this the cancer “tsunami.”

All cells have genomes (DNA genetic codes) that govern their existence. Cancer occurs when the genomes of cells change, leading to uncontrolled cell growth and replication.

We know cancer genomes are as unique as a fingerprint, and no two genomes are identical.

To break down cancer, BC Cancer is using genomics to create treatments that are uniquely tailored for each person.

BC Cancer is looking toward the end game: transforming the standard of care in British Columbia with genomically-informed treatments. Three assets position us for tremendous success:

  • state-of-the-art whole genome sequencing technology at our fingertips;
  • robust clinical trials to test new genome-based treatments for widespread use;
  • the talent and experience of our team of world-class scientists and clinicians.

BC Cancer is uniquely qualified to lead this transformative work. This will be a global collaboration of huge proportions, stretching beyond provincial borders. Cancer centres around the world will join us. 

The BC Cancer Foundation is seeking to raise $3 million through the 2019 Inspiration Gala for genomics, and have these funds matched 1:1 by the federal government for a total of $6 million.

With your help, BC CAN change cancer care.

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Together, we will be ready to meet the coming tsunami head on: genome-based screening, treatment and survivorship strategies will be comprehensive. Genomics will bring powerful solutions. It will reduce the burden on the health care system. It will enable cancer survivors to focus on wellness. It will ensure our health and the health of our children and grandchildren for years to come.

Welcome to the future of cancer.

Donate securities to Inspiration gala 

Download and complete the Securities Transfer Form (PDF). Follow the easy instructions on the form to complete the transfer. 

Live & Silent Auction

Visit www.inspirationgala2019.com to bid on our silent auction items

Live Auction Package #1 - Celebrate with a Rose

Vogue Rose
The Vogue Rose

Do you have an anniversary coming up? Or is there a significant birthday celebration or the birth of a grandchild in the near future?  This is a unique opportunity to create and name a rose for that special someone or moment in your life. Whether to celebrate a milestone, remember a loved one or if you just want the opportunity to create a rose as beautiful as you, this once-in-a-lifetime experience is what you’ve been looking for!  

Internationally renowned rose breeder Brad Jalbert of Select Roses will work exclusively with you to create a one-of-a-kind rose. Brad has hybridized roses for extraordinary people including Bette Midler, Lorretta Lynn, opera singer Dimitri Hvorostovsky and the Nottingham Forest Football Club. The rose he created honouring Bette Midler was named The Divine Miss M by the New York Botanical Gardens. Ms. Midler requested that her rose be bawdy, bold but also divine and that is exactly what she received.  Brad also recently created the stunning Vogue Rose for Vogue Magazine to celebrate the publication’s 125th anniversary.

If you are looking for a rose that is soft and sweet with a touch of pink or something that is bold and sassy, Brad will work with you to create the perfect rose out of the bank of seedlings. You will have the opportunity to choose not only the colour and petal shape but the fragrance as well. If you can’t find your rose the first year, don’t fret, as you will have the opportunity to come back the following year to ensure your rose is absolutely and perfectly suited to the person honoured or celebration commemorated.

Once you have created your ideal rose, it will be registered with the American Rose Society and will forevermore be called by its given name. To commemorate this rare experience, you will receive the first 10 rose bushes once they have been established. This is a living gift that lasts for generations!

Valid only in the spring. Certain limitations apply with creating a rose as some fragrances cannot be paired with certain colours. May take up to two years to receive rose bushes.

Value: Priceless
Generously Donated by: Brad Jalbert’s Select Roses



Live Auction Package #2 - Once in a Lifetime Stay on River Halladale, Scotland

Halladale Scotland
River Halladale, Scotland

This is your once in a lifetime chance to experience seven days of adventure, fishing and exploration for you and up to 11 guests at The Bighouse Estate on the River Halladale in northern Scotland. Built in 1765 and located two-and-a-half hours north of Inverness, this former home of the Chief of the Clan Mackay offers all the warmth, comfort and charm expected of a traditional Scottish Highland house. Situated on the mouth of the River Halladale, a well known spate salmon river, your activities will include fishing, shooting, hiking, golfing and scenic sightseeing. For fishing enthusiasts, you will have the services of the Lodge’s top ghillie, Reuben Sweeting, to demonstrate the best techniques and areas to fish. Included are two beats on the Halladale, loch fishing with boats and guide, sea trout fishing with boats on Loch Hope, and sea fishing with guide on the Estate’s own boat.  

Taking place in the fall of 2020, this is a great time of year to experience the unique landscape while stalking for both Red and Roe deer. The wild Sutherland landscape provides the perfect setting for scenic exploration, wildlife and photographic safaris, nature trails, bird watching and guided tours.

Also included is the arrangement for a day trip to the many sights nearby, including the Castle of Mey, the late Queen Mother’s Scottish home; the archipelago of nearby Orkney Islands; or the famous village of John o’ Groats. For golfing enthusiasts, play on the northern most 18-hole course on the British mainland, a ten-minute drive away. Through a separate negotiation, you may arrange for partridge shooting. Your seven day excursion includes all sporting equipment, accommodation, meals (breakfast, picnic lunch, afternoon tea and dinner), beverages and transfers to and from Inverness airport. This will take place September 27th to October 3rd, 2020.

Shooting experience to be arranged by separate negotiation; experience to take place September 27 – October 3, 2020.

Value: Priceless
Generously donated by: Patrick Hungerford, Toby Ward and The Bighouse Estate



Live Auction Package #3 - Visit Undiscovered Zimbabwe and Zambia

Somalisa Camp
Somalisa Camp, Hwange National Park

Discover the natural beauty of Zimbabwe and Zambia! You and a guest will enjoy an all-inclusive nine-night safari at the most sought after luxury lodges and camps in Africa.

Receive up to $5,000 in airfare to Livingstone, Zambia which is famous for the magnificent Victoria Falls. The safari begins with two nights at Thorntree River Lodge. Take a sunset cruise along the river with champagne and snacks, track the white rhino on foot or discover the region’s history and archeology at the Livingstone Museum.

From there, you’ll take a chartered flight from Victoria Falls to Hwange where you will stay for three nights at the Somalisa Camp which is set in a private concession at the heart of Hwange National Park. It is the country's biggest reserve, home to a profusion of wildlife, including giraffes, lions, zebras and approximately 40,000 elephants.

From there, you will be flown to Mana Pools to spend four nights at Nyamatusi Camp in Zimbabwe. Set in one of the wildest and most remote parts of Africa, overlooking the Zambezi River, Mana Pools National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s most lush and flourishing regions. It is known for its natural beauty and as one of the continent’s premier game-viewing areas. You and your guest will then be flown back to Victoria Falls airport to return home to Vancouver with lifetime of memories.

Travel must take place in April or May 2020. Safari is for two people. Subject to availability.

Value: $21,900
Generously donated by: Fasken Martineau and Sikeleli Africa Safaris



Live Auction Package #4 - explore winter's magic at sun peaks resort

Sun Peaks Resort
Sun Peaks Resort

Experience the ultimate winter getaway for four at Sun Peaks Resort.

You and three guests will enjoy all the mountain has to offer with a four-night stay at Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre, the gateway to the mountain. Each day you and your guests will enjoy the slopes with ski rentals and First Track Access. Once you have done a couple runs, take a six-hour private lesson and end the day with a luxurious massage for four. Follow this with an Alpine Fondue Dinner and Starlight Descent. After the slopes have cleared and the mountains have fallen silent for the day, you’ll board the chairlift and be welcomed at the top, with a three-course fondue meal. Following dinner, ski the freshly groomed 5 Mile run back to the base in the moonlight.

After your second day of skiing, you will be guests of Executive Chef Hans Stierli for an exclusive private dinner with wine pairings. On your last day, enjoy an extremely rare opportunity: time on the slopes with Olympic Gold Medalist and Canada’s Female Athlete of the Century, Nancy Green Raine. Finish off this truly unique experience with the option of either a dog sled ride or ice fishing tour. This luxurious four-night package for four is the perfect mountain getaway for any snow enthusiasts.

Trip to Sun Peaks Resort must take place between November 23, 2019 and April 13, 2020. Not to be used between December 20, 2019 – January 2, 2020 and February 14, 2020 – February 18, 2020.

Value: Priceless
Generously donated by: Sun Peaks Resort and Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre



Live Auction Package #5 - Rare Opportunity to Stay at Warm Springs Resort 

Warm Springs Resort
Warm Springs Resort

You and three guests will experience a first class fishing trip at the exclusive Warm Springs Resort on Stuart Island, a private fishing lodge available only to invited guests. Take time to enjoy the many amenities this resort has to offer, including a swimming pool, hot tub, tennis court or sitting back and relaxing in the “upside-down boat.” For the adventurer, there are also miles of hiking trails waiting to be explored! The Warm Springs’ “Barge” is fully self-contained, with accommodations that are truly first-class.  

During your stay at Warm Springs Resort, you will have an in-house professional chef at your service, catering delicious meals. The expert fishing guides will show you all the techniques and hot spots needed to help you catch the big one. Your prize catches will be cleaned, frozen and sealed, ready for your departure flight. Your stay on the Barge will be long remembered for its incomparable, first class approach and down-to-earth hospitality.

You will enjoy a scenic flight by float plane from Richmond directly to Stuart Island, one hour north of Vancouver. This trip is two nights and three days, includes 16 hours of guided salmon fishing, all meals and beverages and accommodation.

Available for 2020 season (June to September), subject to availability. 

Value: Priceless
Generously donated by: D.E.R. Resorts


Live Auction Package #6 - Chef’s Dinner for 16 Plus Special Guests

Chef's Dinner for 16
The Vancouver Club

Enjoy an exclusive dinner for you and 15 guests at The Vancouver Club under the direction of Executive Director of Culinary, Ned Bell. Joining you at this Chef’s Dinner will be special guests Dr. Kim Chi, Chief Medical Officer of BC Cancer, Sarah Roth, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation and Sophie Lui, Global News Anchor. You will work with Chef Bell to create a delicious, tailored seven-course meal with wine pairings including amuse bouche to start and a beautiful cheese display to finish the evening. Chef Ned Bell is an established culinary leader with a proven track record of success. He is a popular Canadian chef, personality and founder of Chefs for Oceans whose career has spanned a number of Vancouver’s renowned restaurants including Le Crocodile, Lumiere and YEW seafood and bar. You will delight in an evening of stimulating conversation, exquisite food and delectable wines. Spoil your friends, family members or clients to an incredible evening at The Vancouver Club.

Subject to availability. Expires November 30, 2020 and is not available during the month of December. 

Value: Priceless
​Generously donated by: BC Cancer, Sophie Lui and The Vancouver Club ​


More Live and Silent Auction Items Coming Soon!


Luxe Weekend in the Big Apple

Luxe Weekend in the Big Apple

Enjoy a luxurious two-night trip for two to New York! Prize includes two round-trip tickets anywhere WestJet flies, a two-night stay in a Junior River View Suite at Equinox Hotel, Hudson Yards with breakfast and a spa treatment. While in the Big Apple, delight in afternoon tea at The Plaza Hotel. Valued at approximately $7,300.

Tickets - $100 Each
200 Tickets Available

Must be present to win. Certain conditions apply. Gaming License # 120839



Generously donated by:

Equinox Hotels        



Thank you to our generous 2019 sponsors!







BC Cancer Foundation Hope Couture Sponsor




Gilead KiteHungerford DesignScott constructionPortliving





Global BC




5M PhotoboothSound KitchenPedersen's


The BC Cancer Foundation invites you to partner with us as a sponsor of the Inspiration Gala. We offer monetary sponsorship involvement at a variety of levels. If you would like to discuss a sponsorship opportunity, please contact:

Lindsay Abbott
Associate Director, Corporate Relations
BC Cancer Foundation
Tel: 604.675.8015
Email: lindsay.abbott@bccancer.bc.ca