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Media Release

Stay at Home Gala Whistler raises over $38k for charities in need

Gala goers donned their best dress up dress down outfit to be entertained by national & local celebrities

For Immediate Release – Whistler, British Columbia, May 7, 2020

Stay at Home Gala Showed off National and Local Talent

A short few weeks before the Stay at Home Gala on May 2, 2020, Community Foundations of Canada reached out to foundations across the country to offer fundraising support for a national gala. The support included a nationally organized Stay at Home Gala, and the tools to raise funds and create a local “second act”. Whistler Community Foundation’s volunteer communications committee member, Joelle Tiessen jumped at the chance to lead the charge.

Community Need

It’s well established that Whistler and Pemberton are in need of emergency food and social services during Covid-19, so it was decided that funds from the Stay at Home Gala Whistler would be added to the foundation’s Emergency Fund and granted to front line organizations with the greatest need at the time of request.

Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Provided Matching Grant

The Whistler and Pemberton communities rallied to raise $38,200 in donations, sponsorship and gala ticket sales in short order.

With the phone to my ear, I spent many hours having important conversations with donors illustrating the extreme need in our community. We are grateful to the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation for providing a matching grant of $15,000, as an incentive to encourage further giving.

Finale Full of Greatest Moments

While the national stage included familiar faces, like Hayley Wickenheiser and the iconic Body Break duo Hal and Joanne Johnson, the local acts were clearly favoured by Stay at Home Gala goers in Whistler & Pemberton.

Host Mo Douglas and a merry team of local celebrities didn’t miss a beat when it came to time to showcase their talents. And the chat room went wild for “made in Sea to Sky” moments like when:

  • Brandi and Luke Woodnutt from Raven Room mixed up a signature cocktail
  • musician Susan Holden handled her impromptu back-up singer (or should we say back-up woofer, Caelum the dog) with a cool demeanor
  • Dr. Curtis Collins climbed out of the secret door in James Hart’s (Haida artist) red cedar carving named “The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)”.

More Is Needed

Our local presenters and gala goers even found their social cups a little fuller a result of the gala. “The Stay at Home Gala was such a wonderful gathering of creatives and community supporters – I was really missing that,” said musician Susan Holden.

The Stay at Home Gala was such a wonderful gathering of creatives and community supporters - I was really missing that.

And, while $38,200 is an impressive amount to raise in a small community on short order, more is needed to support the efforts of the front-line organizations working to help community members through the financial and social challenges of Covid-19.

As a donor, you can help grow a community-wide fund that serves the most pressing needs. In time of uncertainty, those needs could change in the months to come. And as always, Whistler Community Foundation is taking the long view, so we’re asking you, our community, to help us build this safety net for Whistler and Pemberton’s most vulnerable community members.

Donors, who have the capacity to help, can support the Emergency Fund through Canada Helps ( or by contacting


For more information, please contact:

Claire Mozes
Executive Director
Whistler Community Foundation
604-935-8080 (voicemail)

About Whistler Community Foundation

The Whistler Community Foundation is the steward of money gifted to the community and provides grants in the areas of environment, arts & culture, social service and education.

Our vision is to be impactful in supporting the charities and organizations that address evolving community needs.

Thank you

Thank you to every Stay at Home Gala donor, participant and volunteer. 

We’d like to send a special thanks to:

Joelle Tiessen, Volunteer Stay at Home Gala Coordinator

Community Foundations of Canada

Stay at Home Gala


The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation

Sushi Village

Arts Whistler

ABC Eats

La Cantina

Town Square Pemberton

Race & Co.

Meier Family Foundation

Coast Construction

Ev Kinsella


Monty Biggins

Rebel Appliance

Rachel Lewis

Susan Holden

Brandi & Luke from The Raven Room

Mercedes Nicoll

Dr. Curtis Collins & The Audain Museum