Caroline Phillips’ Around Town: Science for partygoers — and youth
If you think knotting a cherry stem inside your mouth is the coolest party trick ever, then you must have missed the Science and Tech Soiree: The Magic of the Museum.
Guests learned how to create instant fire in their hands using nitrocellulose and how to knock over paper cup pyramids with trash can smoke ring launchers.
Thursday’s science-themed gala, which included a gourmet dinner and silent auction, raised $101,000 in support of programs for youth at the Science and Tech Museum.
Present in the 320-person crowd was former Nortel executive Greg Mumford, chair of the soiree and incoming chair of the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation (CSTMC) Foundation.
Also seen were the museum’s new director general, Luc Fournier, and CSTMC board chairman, Gary Polonsky, president emeritus at UOIT. He recently came up from the Whitby area with two of his grandchildren for an NHL game, but it was the museum they really took to. “It was the favourite part of their trip,” Polonsky said proudly.
Wally Parsons, outgoing chair of the foundation, was seen staggering through the Crazy Kitchen with Telus’ Ann Mainville-Neeson. She’s no stranger to the crooked room; she’s just more accustomed to walking through it in sneakers with her kids — not in heels and holding a cocktail.
CSTMC president Denise Amyot was busy socializing with such guests as Connie Nozzolillo, her former University of Ottawa biology prof. Also glimpsed were Nordion CEO Steve West, former Mitel CEO Don Smith, U of O academic David Zussman, Rogers TV vice president Colette Watson and CBC’s chief financial officer, Suzanne Morris.
Unusual artifacts from the museum collection were on display for guests to try and identify. Retired cabinet minister Herb Gray listened carefully as assistant curator Sean Tudor explained one of the thingamajigs. It was a sailmaker’s palm, worn on the hand to facilitate pushing a needle through heavy canvas.
STUDIO 54 THEME
Rockcliffe Park was home to the hottest nightclub scene Saturday as Elmwood School, an all-girls private school, chose a Studio 54 theme for its annual dinner and auction.
Some 210 guests arrived to find a Studio 54 marquee erected above the entrance door. Inside, there were cushioned lounge seats surrounded by framed photos of celebrities partying at the legendary club. Thyme & Again Catering servers dressed as Andy Warhol while Elmwood student volunteers donned matching gold jumpsuits. The dinner table centrepieces were lampshade vases containing swimming goldfish.
The gala is organized by a committee of Elmwood parents. It was chaired this year by Christine Murray, who sees her volunteer role as a way of giving back to a school that means so much to her family. She and husband Scott Murray, CEO of ClearPicture Corp., have two daughters, Claire, eight, and Sarah, 11, at Elmwood. “The girls are really happy here,” said Christine.
Attendees included headmistress Cheryl Boughton, gala patron and former Cognos CEO Michael Potter, and Jim Skippen, CEO of main sponsor WiLAN, with his wife, Pam.
WORLD OF DISCO
The dazzling disco world of mirror balls and funky lighting continued Saturday at the Glebe Community Centre, where partygoers attended the Just Dance fundraiser for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Event chair Joseph Cull delivered an entertaining lip-synch performance in drag as Diana Ross, joined by Judy Charles, Kathy Godding and Melinda Hudson as the Supremes.
Many people arrived in shimmering attire for the disco dance party (with Motown and a hint of country included). Interior designer Dominique Primeau turned heads in his orange disco suit with gold stripes from Malabar Costumes while the Y’s Marian Aylward found her silver skin-tight pants and mesh top that day at Winners. She and her pals unabashedly went out for dinner beforehand in their flashy costumes. They chose a restaurant they thought would be more accepting, in Ottawa’s Gay Village.
Also seen were the YMCA-YWCA’s national capital president, Deirdre Speers, and board chair, lawyer Nancy Cook Johnson, as well as Metro Glebe owners and sponsors Jim and Christine McKeen, and Sarah Waghorn of Pukeko Design.
Around Town also dropped in Saturday to the Spring Symphony Soiree held at the Château Laurier in support of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (OSO).
A well-heeled crowd of 230 seated themselves in the Laurier Room for a concert presented by mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah and harpist Caroline Leonardelli. Nesrallah looked stunning in her sexy Sukhoo Sukhoo Couture pink gown that was so form fitting she had a friend fasten the buckles way down on her strappy shoes.
Nesrallah also emceed the dinner portion of the evening that followed in the adjacent ballroom. Present were the OSO’s music director and conductor, David Currie, as well as its board president, Martha Hynna, and new GM, Peter Feldman. John Manley, head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, was the honourary chair while Mayor Jim Watson was given billing as auctioneer.
Among the items to be sold off were trips to the Yukon and Barbados, a dinner for 10 at Earnscliffe, a Pat Flesher Furs jacket and a corporate box for watching a Senators game next season.
Such traditional Newfoundland fare as cod tongue, rabbit stew and Jiggs dinner was on the menu for Petit Bill’s Bistro’s fifth anniversary celebration, held Monday in support of the Max Keeping Foundation.
Live fiddle music filled the Wellington West joint as guests bid on silent auction items and enjoyed a hearty meal prepared by Chef Glen (Skip) Sansome and his team.
The place is named after the late Bill Fitzpatrick, who was orphaned at a young age and raised by the Catholic Church in Marystown, Nfld. (folks called him Little Bill because there was already a Bill Fitzpatrick residing there). Two of his seven kids, Randy and Terry, own the restaurant, while kid brother Sean helps out.
Present was retired news anchor and Grand Bank, Nfld.-native Max Keeping, whose foundation assists disadvantaged children and youth. He drew the name Donna Gourlay of Lanark for the trip for two to the George Street Festival in St. John’s. Gourlay was excited to learn she’d won, especially since she’d bought her raffle ticket without realizing what the prize was.
Contact Caroline Phillips at Carolyn001@sympatico.ca