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Media Advisory

May 9, 2017

16-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster in Vancouver to unveil details of 30th anniversary gala

David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Gala to take place on Oct. 21, 2017

What: Every year, mega-producer David Foster hosts an annual fundraising gala to support Canadian families with children undergoing life-saving organ transplants, bringing celebrity friends from around the world together for one unforgettable evening, and this year it will be held in Vancouver, BC.

Foster will be unveiling the details of the 30th anniversary gala at a media event including details on the venue, the red carpet, and opportunities for interviews for the fundraising event. Foster and special guests, including Jim Treliving, star of CBC Dragons’ Den, will be available for individual interviews following the formal portion of the press conference.

Long-standing valued partner and Life Legacy member TELUS will be hosting the media announcement at TELUS Garden.

Joining Foster will be Coen Wallace, a seven-year old kidney transplant recipient. Coen will be joined by his parents; his family received support from the Foundation during their transplant journey. Details of his family story are below.

About the event: Funds from the annual fundraising gala support the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing life-saving organ transplants. As well as being an important fundraising event for the David Foster Foundation, the annual gala assists in building awareness of the need for increased organ donor registration across the country.

Where: TELUS Garden, 510 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

When: Monday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Video footage from previous galas:

Available for Interviews:

  • David Foster, Chairman, David Foster Foundation
  • Michael Ravenhill, CEO, David Foster Foundation
  • Jim Treliving, Board of Directors, David Foster Foundation, and star of CBC Dragons’ Den
  • Tannis Burghardt and Chris Wallace, parents of Coen Wallace
  • Coen Wallace, kidney transplant recipient
  • Don Davidson, Coen’s living kidney donor

Family Information:

Coen Wallace was born in January 2010 and was diagnosed with Bilateral hydronephrosis, a condition that occurs when urine is unable to drain from the kidney into the bladder. This condition required him to be on peritoneal dialysis 12 hours per day. In fall 2012, the peritoneal dialysis began to fail, and Wallace was listed for a kidney transplant. Due to the severity of his failing medical condition the family who lived in Victoria had to travel four times per week to BC Children’s Hospital for hemodialysis to keep him stable while they waited for a kidney donor.

While parents, Tannis and Chris juggled their lives between two cities, they waited patiently for a donor as neither of them were a match. In 2012, nearly 37 per cent of the people waiting died while waiting for organs were waiting for a kidney (84 people). On average, kidney patients wait four years or more for a deceased-donor kidney transplants.

On Feb. 5, 2015 Wallace and his family received a special gift of a living kidney donor transplant from Don Davidson, a family friend and RCMP officer. Davidson’s gift to Wallace was made possible through his living donation; 35 per cent of kidney transplants are made possible.

Throughout their transplant journey, the David Foster Foundation assisted the family with financial support to help with household expenses, parking, gas, and Mortgage so they could focus on their son. Today, Wallace is seven years old, and living a healthy normal life in Victoria.

Additional Information:

  • The David Foster Foundation has assisted more than 1,000 Canadian families with children in need of major organ transplants and provided millions of dollars in direct family support.|
  • The average cost to support one family is $10,000 throughout their transplant journey
  • The closest pediatric centres for British Columbia transplant families are BC Children’s Hospital, Stollery Hospital (Edmonton), and SickKids (Toronto)

About the David Foster Foundation

David Foster is a proud Canadian, Recipient of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, 50-time nominee and 16-time Grammy Award winner (including three for Producer of the Year), three-time Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, seven-time Juno Award winner, Emmy award winner and has the distinguished honour to have his star on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the man behind the biggest hits, with more than half a billion records sold. In 2015, the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria recognized Foster as their Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

Foster launched the David Foster Foundation in his hometown of Victoria in 1986. Across Canada, the David Foster Foundation financially supports families for all non-medical expenses while their children are undergoing life-saving organ transplants. Thanks to its annual fundraising efforts and the generous support of national partners like TELUS, WestJet, AMJ Campbell, Aird & Berlis LLP, Schnitzer, and Hope Air families receive support for expenses incurred when travelling away from their homes to be with their child during transplant.

In 2014, the Slaight Family Foundation, Newton Glassman Foundation in partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Inc., Jim & Sandi Treliving, and Tan Sri Dr. Francis Yeoh joined TELUS as the Foundation’s $1 million Life Legacy members.

The Foundation also promotes organ donor awareness and registration in both Canada and the United States. For more information, visit www.davidfosterfoundation.com.