Big Sisters’ Soirée 2023 presented by Scotiabank



The 2023 Big Sisters’ Soirée presented by Scotiabank brought together over 400 loyal supporters to The Westin Bayshore for an unforgettable event. We were overwhelming by the generosity and support, celebrating mentorship and its profound impact on the lives of the girls and youth we serve, their families, our volunteers, and donors. The evening showcased a collective belief in the potential of youth and the important role of caring mentors. 

Kicking off a night to remember

The festivities commenced with an exciting and engaging happy hour, with drinks sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright and Azure Properties. Guests were greeted by enthusiastic volunteers and ushered into a beautifully adorned space, illuminated with whimsical décor. Everyone enthusiastically participated in our highly anticipated activities, including an in-person raffle for a stunning pearl necklace donated by Britton Diamonds and an online raffle for two roundtrip flights donated by WestJet. The online silent auction, with select items displayed beneath a colourful pergola, offered a unique range of enticing items for guests to peruse.  

Adding a touch of creativity, a specially commissioned mural by Priscilla Yu was converted into a paint-by-numbers activity through Paintillio and guests were invited to contribute to this commemorative piece destined for display in the Big Sisters’ new office space. Another highlight of happy hour was the stylish Wine Wall – guests tried their luck by pulling a numbered cork for $30 to win a surprise bottle of wine valued between $30 and $325. Our Glambox photobooth sponsored by Harbour West Consulting, was a huge hit and gave guests the opportunity to become the cover stars of ‘Soirée Magazine’. 

Live performances, introductions and Big Sisters ‘Live Auction’

The official programming began with Little Sister Zaya, as she mesmerized the crowd with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.” Her astounding performance led to an impromptu encore later in the evening. Emcee Lien Yeung, welcomed and introduced Her Honour, Janet Austin, who initiated the evening with a land acknowledgment before Scotiabank’s Chris Stager and Big Sisters’ CEO Chantelle Krish spoke about the power and influence of mentorship.

The energy levels then surged as esteemed auctioneer Fred Lee took the stage to kick off the Live Auction. Chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Quang Dang donated an elegant and extravagant dining experience each, and through two rounds of competitive bidding, two packages turned into four. As a surprise, Fred was gifted a customized Vancouver street sign from the Mayor, who also donated an additional street sign to be auctioned off, adding an unexpected twist to the Live Auction. 

Little Sister Spotlight

The focus then shifted to the most important part of the evening, as we showcased the heart of our community- the Littles. An emotional video highlighted three little sisters’ stories- Flynn, Matida and Jasmeen- before they each stepped up in person and shared the impact of their mentoring relationships live on stage. With hearts full of love and inspiration, Fred guided the audience through a successful and thrilling Fund-a-Need paddle raise, raising $242,000 which will fund the creation and support of 96 matches for one year. Committee Chair, Alex Gens, expressed gratitude to her committee and the guests for their support, concluding the evening’s official program. A final thank-you from Lien led to the unveiling of a stunning after-party lounge and dance floor, marking the start of a lively celebration led by Zaya and the exhilarating event band, Side One. 

Igniting the potential of youth

The evening concluded in an astounding achievement: over $638,000 (and counting!) was raised for our mentoring programs. At Big Sisters, our mission is to enable life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people. The generous support of our community allows us to continue this vital work, igniting the power and potential of youth.