McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s Moonlight Gala Fundraiser

McMichael Canadian Art Collection embraces the generous support of art lovers by hosting its signature annual fundraiser.

On June 1st, guests attended the McMichael Canadian Art Collection outside, under the stars, to show their support for Canadian artistry at its signature fundraiser, the Moonlight Gala.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is not only an agency of the Government of Ontario but also serves as a long-standing beacon of Canadian artists, housing a permanent collection of more than 6,500 works by historic and contemporary Canadian artists that include Tom Thomson, The Group of Seven and their contemporaries, Indigenous artists and artists from many diasporic communities.

“The McMichael Canadian Art Collection provides visitors with a visual illustration of our country’s rich history, exhibiting the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of Canadians from all backgrounds,” said Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Our government is proud to partner with the McMichael to showcase and celebrate Canadian excellence in the arts, reaffirming Ontario’s reputation as a world-class destination for arts and culture.”

The Moonlight Gala is just one of the many fund-raising events the McMichael Canadian Art Collection holds so that it can continue to serve the community and beyond through the transformative power of art.

Last year’s Moonlight Gala raised more than $630,000; the funds directly supported McMichael’s exhibition, conservation and educational activities. For this year’s event, the goal was undoubtedly to set a new record with the help and significant contributions of sponsors, donors and in-kind partners.

The 2024 Moonlight Gala, co-chaired by Debra Fenwick and Laura Mirabella, opened with a welcome from Honorary Chair Steven Del Duca, mayor of the City of Vaughan. As hundreds of guests strolled in, they were treated to a culinary extravaganza by The Food Dudes, fine Ontario wines from Canada’s first fully LEED-certified winery, Stratus Vineyards, and an interactive gourmet experience led by award-winning Indigenous chef David Wolfman.

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The summer soiree featured exclusive tours of various exhibitions including Bertram Brooker: When We Awake!, Ghosts of Canoe Lake: New Work by Marcel Dzama, People of the Watershed: Photographs by John Macfie, and Jackson’s Wars: A.Y. Jackson before the Group of Seven. There was live music courtesy of the Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra, dancing and an online auction.

“The Moonlight Gala is a great night when our friends and supporters come together under the stars to celebrate our unique offering of art and nature,” says the gallery’s executive director and chief curator, Sarah Milroy. “There’s no place quite like the McMichael — the true home to the art of Canada — and we look forward to sharing it all on this special evening.”

Without celebratory evenings like these that encourage and recognize charitable giving, art institutions like the McMichael Canadian Art Collection would not be able to produce award- winning exhibitions and publications, deliver impactful educational programs and maintain their beautiful grounds. Art reminds us of not only the overlooked beauties of the world but the beauty we can create with our own imaginations.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection will be hosting its next Moonlight Gala on May 31, 2025. Save the date!

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