According to the Canadian Olympic Committee, a total of $2.03 million was raised for the Canadian Olympic Committee from the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Friday evening. The bulk of the money that will be raised will be going directly to Canadian athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Among the athletes inducted were Kyle Shewfelt (men’s gymnastics at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens), six-time Olympic speed skating medalist Cindy Klassen, the gold medal winning men’s rowing team from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Canadian speed skating coach Marcel Lacroix, former Alberta premier Ralph Klein who was part of Calgary’s successful bid for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, Canadian Olympic men’s hockey head coach Pat Quinn, and Canadian sports journalist Richard Garneau.
Earlier on Friday, there was a parade in Calgary honouring the Canadian Olympians from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The parade concluded at Calgary’s Olympic Plaza, where fans could meet Canada’s Olympians and eat a free Stampede breakfast.
The gala was an outstanding evening with several performances by many of Canada’s elite musicians. The list included Roch Voisine, Oliver Jones, Andee, Brett Kissell, Frederic Darveau, the Whip Cream Band, Daniel Clarke Bouchard and Alyssa Reid. One of the most memorable performances was a duet on the piano by Jones, who is 79 years old, and 14 year-old Bouchard who recently performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
The food at the gala was also simply spectacular. Guests had the opportunity to eat a steak and lobster dinner with a lemon meringue tart for dessert.
But the evening was also to recognize the athletes and an opportunity for some of Canada’s finest Olympians to have fun and be seen as superstars. The athletes were not afraid to wear stylish clothing that would be common for Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts to wear. Canadian figure skater Kaitlyn Weaver for example sparkled in a long bright green dress.
The Canadian governments from all levels were also well attended. Alberta premier Dave Hancock and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi both spoke admirably.
The Canadian Olympic Committee also was able to raise significant funds from a live auction. Among the prizes were a ski trip with Canadian Olympic moguls gold medalist Alexandre Bilodeau and a fishing trip with Canadian Olympic bobsledder Jesse Lumsden.