Canada Markets closed

30th Annual Great Valentine Gala Featuring André-Philippe Gagnon and the Honourable David C. Onley

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - February 07, 2014) - On Saturday, February 8th, 2014, over 500 people will gather at the 30th Annual Great Valentine Gala at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel to support the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons (CFPDP).The CFPDP will raise awareness and funds for people with physical disabilities, through an extraordinary evening with dinner, entertainment, prizes and awards.

"This is a very special night for the CFPDP, the Gala is where life began for the organization," says Honourable Vim Kochhar, Gala Founder and CFPDP Chairman. "Like all birthdays, Gala night is always accompanied by competing feelings of arrival and renewal. There is gratitude for our past achievements and resolve for the challenges that lie ahead."

The Gala is meant to improve awareness in the business community, government and general public of the amazing contributions of persons with physical disabilities. The majority of the night's proceeds will support many of CFPDP's initiatives including the deaf-blind community being served through the efforts of the Canadian Helen Keller Centre and to Rotary Cheshire Homes the only communication-adapted, barrier-free apartment complex in North America designed and built specifically for people who are deaf-blind. Revenues from the Great Valentine Gala have helped support many organizations, programs, services, special events and homes for many physically challenged Canadians.

Guest of honour will include Lt. Governor, Hon. David C. Onley, and Suhana Meharchand, host of CBC news. Hosts of the evening include last year's corporate winners, Ellis Jacob, President & CEO and Cineplex Entertainment and Dan Fortin, President, IBM Canada. Other guests include Paul and Gina Godfrey Honourable Michael Wilson, Honourable Con. Di Nino, Brian Porter, President and CEO Scotiabank.

The evening will start off with the Tombola raffle with dinner in the Metropolitan Ballroom to follow. Attendees of the Great Valentine Gala will have the pleasure of enjoying a performance by André-Philippe Gagnon, a Canadian comedian and impressionist. The rest of the evening will be spent dancing the night away.

As part of the annual Gala celebrations, an award ceremony will take place. New to this year's Gala award ceremony is the Honourable David C. Onley Award, which will be presented to an individual in recognition of extraordinary service to Canadians who live with disability. This year's award winner is University of Toronto Professor, Dr. Geoff Fernie.

The prestigious King Clancy Awards and Corporate Awards will be presented to recognize outstanding achievements in the disabled community by individuals and corporations. This year's recipients of the King Clancy Award are Bernard Gluckstein, founding director of the Ontario Brain Injury Association and General Counsel. As well as Kenneth Fredeen, secretary to the Board, member of Leadership team at Deloitte LLP. This year's Corporate Award winner recipients are Scotiabank and Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at

Canadian Paralympic Committee
Any athlete who dreams of competing at the Paralympic Games faces a long road which can present sudden twists and potholes. The goal of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is to assist athletes on that journey and make Canada a world leader in Paralympic sports.

With the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games fast approaching, March 7-16 , the CPC, a non-profit private organization with 25 member sports organizations, remains committed to its mission of a sustainable sport system in Canada that enables athletes with a disability to reach the podium at Paralympic and Parapan American Games. Visit us at

In 1985, Honourable Vim Kochhar and his fellow the Rotary Club of Toronto-Don Valley organized the First Annual Great Valentine Gala. The event was such a success that The Rotary Club of Toronto-Don Valley created The Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. Its goal is to assist individuals with physical challenges to live fuller lives and raise awareness of their achievements and contributions to society. Since then, CFPDP has initiated dozens of important projects and events, raising over $25 million.