Lit Gala show­cases new Cen­tral Li­brary

Calgary Herald - - YOU - BILL BROOKS

Ahead of sched­ule and un­der bud­get are words rarely heard. Nor are words the likes of spec­tac­u­lar, in­cred­i­ble, vi­sion­ary. Our new 240,000-square-foot li­brary is all of th­ese. And more.

The new Cen­tral Li­brary is the only Cana­dian build­ing listed in Ar­chi­tec­tural Di­gest’s 2018 Most An­tic­i­pated Build­ings in the World. The $245-mil­lion project is a breath­tak­ing feat of de­sign and in­no­va­tion. Ar­chi­tec­tural firm Sno­hetta part­nered with Cal­gary-based Dia­log to cre­ate the four-storey struc­ture lo­cated at 800 3rd St. S.E.

Cre­at­ing an open­ing gala to show­case the coolest thing to hit our city in decades would be no small feat. Not to be daunted, or­ga­niz­ers took in­spi­ra­tion from the famed Met Gala in New York. The Lit Gala, as the event was called, took the city by storm Nov. 2 and de­liv­ered on its prom­ise of a high-en­ergy ex­pe­ri­ence ush­er­ing in the light of knowl­edge. Tick­ets at $750 a pop per­haps proved a lit­tle too steep for some, as it was hoped 1,000 guests would at­tend. None­the­less, 680 guests donned their finest to at­tend the event with pro­ceeds di­rected to a Spot­light Speaker Se­ries pro­vid­ing Cal­gar­i­ans from all back­grounds and fi­nan­cial abil­ity with free ac­cess to creative thinkers and fos­ter­ing in­no­va­tion and thought lead­er­ship in our city.

High­lights of the gala were nu­mer­ous in­clud­ing: a per­for­mance from multi Juno-Award win­ning Cal­gary mu­si­cians Te­gan and Sara; a riv­et­ing ad­dress from Craig Dyk­ers, lead ar­chi­tect for the li­brary and found­ing part­ner of the cel­e­brated Sno­hetta ar­chi­tec­ture firm; a cham­pagne toast de­liv­ered by Pat Moore, Li­brary Foun­da­tion board chair and gala com­mit­tee mem­ber; a Stomp Per­for­mance in the TD Great Read­ing Room; a per­for­mance from De­cid­edly Jazz in the Shaw Dig­i­tal En­ter­tain­ment Area; a read­ing from li­brary CEO Bill Ptacek in the Stand and Com­mand chil­dren’s area; re­marks from Li­brary Foun­da­tion pres­i­dent and CEO Ellen Humphrey; a per­for­mance from leg­endary trum­peter Jens Lin­de­mann; and danc­ing un­til the wee hours in the Stu­art Ol­son and Holt Ren­frew spon­sored main level.

Oth­ers in at­ten­dance in­cluded: Lit Gala com­mit­tee co-chair Cyn­thia Moore; in­valu­able donors Mike and Linda Shaikh; com­mu­nity leader and phi­lan­thropist W. Brett Wil­son with De­bra Ross; An­thony, Joe, Britt and Marcela Gi­uf­fre; Ujal Thakor and his wife Sabina Shah; Dr. Robert Mitchell and his wife He­len; An­drea Brussa; Sag­ium’s Rick Green; in­valu­able donors Greig and Brenda Ni­cholls; Jane and Rox­anne McCaig; ar­chi­tect Elaine Moli­nar; foun­da­tion board mem­ber Mar­shall Ab­bott; Stu­art Ol­son pres­i­dent and CEO David Le­May and his wife Lisa Le­may with col­leagues Paul and Lau­rie Pol­son, Michael and Siob­han McKenna, Bau­douin and Anne Nizet, Gawiya Hay­mour and Glen Dane; Norr Ar­chi­tects’ Alex Klassen and Cal­gary Jew­ellery’s Jonathan Florence; Stand and Com­mand’s Avnish Me­hta, Jon Holden, Karin Poldaas, Quin­ton Ra­fuse and Amish Mor­jaria; foun­da­tion board mem­ber Carl Landry and his wife Can­dace Her­man; View­point’s Rob Van Wielin­gen and his wife Cat; Cal­gary Foun­da­tion’s Eva Friesen; Patti Pon, pres­i­dent of Cal­gary Arts Devel­op­ment; TD Canada Trust se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent, prairie re­gion, Robert Ghazal and his wife Clau­dia; Ian and Deirdre Har­ris; my ter­rific han­dler, li­brary vice-pres­i­dent Brent Buech­ler. Ku­dos to all in­volved. You do our city proud.

With rea­son to smile at the open­ing party for the fab­u­lous new Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary are ar­chi­tects Elaine Moli­nar and Craig Dyk­ers. The $245-mil­lion li­brary boasts 240,000 square feet of spec­tac­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture.

Sis­ters Jane and Rox­anne McCaig wear­ing Issey Miyake.

Mitchell Eye Cen­tre’s Dr. Robert Mitchell and his wife He­len Mitchell.

Ujal Thakor and his wife Sabina Shah cut an el­e­gant swath.

Hy­att Re­gency Cal­gary GM Amy John­son and Lit Gala com­mit­tee mem­ber, Mode Mod­els’ Kelly Streit.

Krista and Hugh Thom­son were among the more than 650 guests in at­ten­dance in the spec­tac­u­lar new Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary.

Avid li­brary sup­port­ers Ian and Deirdre Har­ris.

Norr Ar­chi­tects’ Alex Klassen and Cal­gary Jew­ellery’s Jonathan Florence.

TD Canada Trust se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Robert Ghazal and his wife Clau­dia had a won­der­ful time at the fab­u­lous open­ing party of the new Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary. TD is a sub­stan­tial donor to the li­brary.

PHO­TOS: BILL BROOKS

Cal­gary Li­brary Foun­da­tion pres­i­dent and CEO Ellen Humphrey, sec­ond from left, and li­brary vice-pres­i­dent Brent Buech­ler are joined at the Lit Gala by award-win­ning mu­si­cal artists Te­gan and Sara Quin, who were born in Cal­gary.

From left, vol­un­teer com­mit­tee mem­bers Ryan Jen­nings, co-chairs Cyn­thia and Pat Moore, Jan Wit­ting and Maddy Lang.

The Lit Gala was a feast for the senses.

From left, vol­un­teer com­mit­tee mem­bers Franca De Jong, Holt Ren­frew’s De­bra Kerr, Lisa Itz­cov­tich, Pamela Shea­han, Ch­eryl Al­dred and Kelly Streit.

From left, mod­els Destiny Ng­bodin, Devin Moor­man, fash­ion de­signer Matt Laprairie and model Jade Davis.

From left, Stu­art Ol­son’s Paul and Lau­rie Pol­son with Lisa and David Le­May.

The new Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary is open and gar­ner­ing rave re­views. The spec­tac­u­lar space would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of myr­iad donors the likes of Linda and Mike Shaikh, left, and Louise Fer­nan­des.

From left, Can­dace Her­man and her hus­band, Li­brary Foun­da­tion board mem­ber Carl Landry, with View­point’s Cat and Rob Van Wielin­gen.

From left, Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary foun­da­tion vice-pres­i­dent Brent Buech­ler, De­bra Ross and phi­lan­thropist and com­mu­nity leader W. Brett Wil­son.

Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary CEO Bill Ptacek and his wife Mar­garet.

In­valu­able sup­port­ers of the fab­u­lous new Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary are Sag­ium prin­ci­pal Rick Green with Brenda and Greig Ni­cholls.

From left, Joe Gi­uf­fre and his wife Marcela with Britt Gi­uf­fre and her hus­band An­thony Gi­uf­fre.

From left, in­valu­able li­brary donors Stand and Com­mand’s Jon Holden, Karin Poldaas, Quin­ton Refuse, Avnish Me­hta and Amish Mor­jaria.

Jeff and Mar­i­lyn McCaig with leg­endary trum­peter Jens Lin­de­mann.

From left, Stu­art Ol­son’s Michael and Siob­han McKenna, Anne and Bau­douin Nizet, Gawiya Hay­mour and Glen Dane.

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