Lit Gala showcases new Central Library
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.
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.