A glittering crowd of more than 500, not counting the starfish and jellies, gathered at the Vancouver Aquarium on October 18 to celebrate aquatic conservation in style.

The annual fundraising event, Toast to the Coast, presented by CIBC, raised over $100,000 – funds that directly support the Aquarium’s important conservation, research and education programs.

Guests feasted on appetizers prepared by more than a dozen Ocean Wise™ restaurants and sampled wines from the province’s best wineries at the engaging event, always a hit with the city’s young professionals.

Guests also indulged in sumptuous Ocean Wise canapés from such illustrious restaurants as TUC Craft Kitchen, Tableau Bar Bistro, The August Jack and Sonora Room Restaurant at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. Wine service was equally enthusiastic as guests were treated with pours from Quail’s Gate Winery, Tinhorn Creek and Fort Berens Estate Winery, among others.

As always, guests got up close with the Aquarium’s astonishing array of sea creatures, wandering the galleries in search of old and new favourites among its 50,000 denizens of the deep, of which many are most active at night.

The evening’s silent auction was extremely popular. Guests bid avidly on experiences such as overnight stays at the Fairmont’s Pacific Rim and Waterfront hotels, tickets to a BC Lions game and, from local company Growoya, three oyas, which are terracotta vessels that conserve water and hydrate your garden – an Earth-friendly offering most suitable to this conscientious crowd.

A warm thank you goes to Toast to the Coast presenting sponsor CIBC and major sponsors Dentons, New Chapter, SCA and Status Electrical. Additional thanks are shared with media sponsors CTV and Vancouver Magazine. The evening was also made possible by the generous support of participating wineries and Ocean Wise partners.

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