SPE­CIAL HON­OUR FOR HIT­MAN

Provoca­tive wrestler rec­og­nized

Calgary Herald - - YOU - BILL BROOKS

The Bob Ed­wards Award Gala is the sig­na­ture fundrais­ing event for the Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion. A Cal­gary tra­di­tion, the Bob Ed­wards Award rec­og­nizes provoca­tive in­di­vid­u­als who are not afraid to speak their minds. The award’s name­sake — Ed­wards — was the edi­tor of a news­pa­per in the early 1900s called The Eye Opener and he was con­sid­ered witty, pug­na­cious, and iras­ci­ble. Ed­wards even dealt in juicy gos­sip.

“Provoca­tive” in­di­vid­u­als who have re­ceived the award over the years in­clude: Con­rad Black; Catherine Ford; Ian Tyson; Matthew Good; Pierre Ber­ton; Pre­ston Man­ning; Mary Walsh; W. Brett Wil­son; and the award’s first hon­ouree, Grant MacEwan in 1977.

This year’s re­cip­i­ent was Bret “Hit­man” Hart. The leg­endary wrestler rev­o­lu­tion­ized the sport but many may not know he is a tal­ented au­thor as well. His au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Hit­man: My Real Life in the Car­toon World of Wrestling is crit­i­cally ac­claimed and he is cur­rently work­ing on a fic­tional novel. Hart has over­come a se­vere con­cus­sion, nu­mer­ous bro­ken bones, a ma­jor stroke that forced his re­tire­ment and re­cently won his bat­tle against prostate can­cer. A be­fit­ting re­cip­i­ent of the Bob Ed­wards Award in­deed.

High­lights of the gala held Nov. 4 at the Fair­mont Pal­liser in­cluded: a pre-din­ner re­cep­tion re­plete with de­lec­ta­ble hors d’oeu­vres and spir­its; an el­e­gant four-course meal; wel­com­ing re­marks from em­cee and 2015 award re­cip­i­ent W. Brett Wil­son; an ad­dress from Mayor Na­heed Nen­shi whose an­nounce­ment ear­lier in the day that he would seek an­other term as mayor proved the per­fect fod­der for good-na­tured rib­bing from Wil­son; an in­tro­duc­tion of Hart by pre­sent­ing spon­sor, Brian Ger­vais, TD Bank Group se­nior vice-pres­i­dent, Prairie Re­gion; Hart’s in­spi­ra­tional key­note ad­dress; and clos­ing re­marks by Paul McIn­trye Roys­ton, pres­i­dent and CEO, Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion.

That each ta­ble was hosted by a prom­i­nent writer, film­maker or mu­si­cian from Cal­gary’s cre­ative com­mu­nity added to the mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence for the hun­dreds of guests. Your faith­ful so­cial scribe — billed as Bill “Brain Buster” Brooks, had the dis­tinct plea­sure of be­ing a ta­ble host to: Wil­low Park Wines & Spir­its’ Wayne Henuset and his wife Liz with col­league Peggy Perry and her hus­band Brien (the next evening would see these busy folks co-host­ing Wil­low Park’s an­nual Char­ity Wine Auc­tion); and Pa­cific Wines & Spir­its’ Tif­fany Cor­rie and Tammy Hut­ton with Justin Flem­ing and Kyle Beyeler.

Other guests in at­ten­dance this night in­cluded: proud spouse of hon­ouree Bret Hart, his lovely wife Stephanie Wash­ing­tonHart; Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary CEO Bill Ptacek and his wife Mar­garet; Prairie Mer­chant Cap­i­tal vice-pres­i­dent, fi­nance, Peter Blan­chard and his wife Veron­ica: Li­brary Foun­da­tion board chair Pat Moore and her hus­band Sher­rold; foun­da­tion vice-pres­i­dent Brent Buech­ler; Busi­ness in Cal­gary pub­lisher Pat Ottmann and his son Cole Ottmann; The Banff Cen­tre, chair, Emer­i­tus, Jeff Kovitz, Q.C., with Poet Lau­re­ate and ta­ble host Dr. Miche­line “Meta 4” May­lor; foun­da­tion board mem­ber Brenda Ni­cholls and her hus­band, Coun­cil of Champions mem­ber Greig Ni­cholls; ta­ble hosts Catherine “Ver­te­breaker” Ford, Louis B. “The Critic” Hob­son, Mark “Back­breaker” Tewks­bury, and Aly “Finial Fin­isher” Velji; and wrestling fans Stamina Papi and Tony Cage.

PHO­TOS: BILL BROOKS

The 2016 Bob Ed­wards Award Gala held Nov. 4 at the Fair­mont Pal­liser was an SRO suc­cess. Pic­tured are this year’s hon­ouree Bret “Hit­man” Hart and his wife Stephanie Wash­ing­ton-Hart.

Join­ing Mayor Na­heed Nen­shi at the event are Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion vice-pres­i­dent Brent Buech­ler, cen­tre, with em­cee and pre­vi­ous award hon­ouree W. Brett “Dragon” Wil­son. Nen­shi would have good-na­tured fun with Wil­son this night by...

All smiles at the Gala held Nov. 4 at the Fair­mont Pal­liser are, from left, TD se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Prairie Re­gion, Brian Ger­vais, Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion vice-pres­i­dent Brent Buech­ler and Sue Ger­vais. The TD-pre­sented event hon­oured Bret...

Join­ing 2016 Bob Ed­wards Award Gala hon­ouree Bret “Hit­man” Hart are Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion trea­surer Brenda Ni­cholls with the Foun­da­tion’s Coun­cil of Cham­pi­ons’ Greig Ni­cholls.

Vil­lage Brew­ery’s Jim But­ton and Mandy Stobo were among the hun­dreds of guests in at­ten­dance.

Among the hun­dreds of guests are Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion board chair Pat Moore with Brien Perry and his wife, Wil­low Park Wines & Spir­its’ Peggy Perry. Wil­low Park was an event part­ner again this year.

Pic­tured at the gala are ta­ble hosts, Post­media’s Louis B. “The Critic” Hob­son and for­mer Bob Ed­wards Award re­cip­i­ent and re­tired Cal­gary Her­ald colum­nist Cather­ine “Ver­te­breaker” Ford. The 2016 gala hon­oured Bret “Hit­man” Hart.

Pic­tured with Cal­gary Health Trust board mem­ber Sher­rold Moore, cen­tre, are Wil­low Park Wines & Spir­its’ Wayne Henuset and his wife Liz Henuset. The next evening would see the Henuset’s co-host the Wil­low Park 23rd an­nual Char­ity Wine Auc­tion.

Justin Flem­ing and Tif­fany Cor­rie were among the hun­dreds of guests in at­ten­dance.

Prairie Mer­chant Cap­i­tal vice-pres­i­dent, fi­nance, Peter Blan­chard and his wife Veron­ica Blan­chard were among the hun­dreds of guests in at­ten­dance.

Jeff Kovitz, Q.C., chair, Emer­i­tus, The Banff Cen­tre and Poet Lau­re­ate Dr. Miche­line May­lor were among the hun­dreds of guests.

Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion CEO Bill Ptacek and his wife Mar­garet had a won­der­ful time.

Cal­gary Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion pres­i­dent and CEO Paul McIn­tyre Roys­ton, cen­tre, with ACAD’s Cole Ottmann, left, and Busi­ness in Cal­gary pub­lisher Pat Ottman.

The Gala hon­our­ing Bret “Hit­man” Hart was aptly themed Get Ready to Rum­ble. Pic­tured are Hart fans Stamina Papi, left, and Tony Cage.

Pa­cific Wines’ Tammy Hut­ton and United Rentals’ Kyle Beyeler had a great time at the gala.

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