On Wednesday night, the Four Seasons Hotel was bursting with honorary guests for the sixth annual Alzheimer Society Unforgettable Night gala in honour of all Canadians who care for someone with dementia. Mila Mulroney joked that “there’s no first wives club in Canadian politics,” and yet the room was filled with them: Gellis Turner (wife of John Turner, who was also present), Margaret Trudeau and Maureen McTeer came together in support of the cause despite their differing political views. The mixed crowd included Michael Ignatieff and wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar, Ben Mulroney and wife Jessica Brownstein, theatre community darling Louise Pitre (Mamma Mia) and actress Fiona Reid (King of Kensington), among others. Check out the scene and find out who made a special surprise performance after the jump.
Host of the evening and CBC correspondent Amanda Lang got it right when she said, “This is not a disease that touches strangers.” Despite the energy in the room, the mood had a sombre undertone as guests sipped champagne and politely posed for pictures against the backdrops of screens streaming personal stories of people affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Time and time again we were reminded of the 500,000 Canadians currently living with Alzheimer’s and how that statistic is expected to double in a generation (yikes). Halfway through dinner, guests were honoured with a performance by Canadian Tenor Remigio Pereira, who belted it out like only a tenor can. During his performance, fellow tenor Victor Micaleff suddenly emerged from the back of the room and joined Pereira on stage for a surprise performance (no one looked more excited than superfan Ben Mulroney). It was definitely a performance to remember, and with the night raising nearly $500,000, we hope this marks the near end of such an unforgiving ailment.