Condo developer Sam Mizrahi hosts reception for NAC Gala donors

Soirée features performance from National Arts Centre Orchestra musicians

Mizrahi Developments’ stunning presentation gallery proved itself more than just a pretty face Tuesday by serving as a party venue to thank supporters of the recent National Arts Centre Gala.

Toronto developer Sam Mizrahi and his charming wife, Micki, who’s from Ottawa, hosted some 70 guests at 1451 Wellington. That's the future site of Mizrahi’s luxury 12-storey boutique condominium, located between two thriving residential hotspots, Westboro and Wellington West.

“I just want to box this up and put it in my backyard,” joked NAC Foundation CEO Jayne Watson of the presentation gallery, which showcases the high-end finishes and elegant interiors of the future condo building.

NAC Gala Donor Reception
From left, Jayne Watson, CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation, with hosts Micki Mizrahi and Sam Mizrahi, president of Mizrahi Developments, at its 1451 Wellington presentation gallery (in front of the architectural scale model) on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, for a reception to thank supporters of the recent NAC Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The catered reception featured a trio of musicians playing Beethoven (Variations on La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni) against a backdrop of windows that offered a view of the busy urban life beyond.

NAC Gala Donor Reception
NAC Orchestra principal oboist Charles "Chip" Hamann with Anna Petersen, on English horn, and June Kim, guest second oboist, performed at a reception held Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington presentation gallery as part of a thank-you reception for supporters of the recent NAC Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips 

Watson expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Peter Herrndorf, highly respected president and CEO of the National Arts Centre. The excitement surrounding the NAC Gala, which raised $750,000 and featured a breathtaking performance from k.d. lang, was followed by some really bummer news: Herrndorf’s announcement he would be stepping down in 2018. Among Herrndorf’s accomplishments at the NAC has been his creation of its foundation.

“This man has done so much to put Ottawa, the National Arts Centre and Canadian culture on the world stage,” said Watson. “We can never say thank you enough.”

NAC Gala Donor Reception
Peter Herrndorf, president and CEO of the National Arts Centre, with, from left, Karine Mayers, Haley Wolfenden and Shelagh Connolly, all with the National Arts Centre Foundation, at the 1451 Wellington presentation gallery on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, for a reception to thank supporters of the recent NAC Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Funds raised at the Sept. 16 gala will help with education programs for young artists and audiences, both in Ottawa and across Canada, through the National Youth and Education Trust.

Bringing the arts into the lives of young people offers tremendous spin-off benefits. Through the arts, young people learn how to communicate and empathize with one another, and develop interpersonal skills, NAC Orchestra music director Alexander Shelley told the room.

NAC Gala Donor Reception
From left, Sam Mizrahi, president of Mizrahi Developments, with National Arts Centre Orchestra music director Alexander Shelley and Gary Zed, volunteer chair of the organizing committee for the NAC Gala, at a reception held at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington presentation gallery on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, to thank supporters of the recent gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips

In the crowd were Ottawa philanthropist Gary Zed, who chaired the gala organizing committee for the past three years; entrepreneur, philanthropist and corporate director Thomas d’Aquino; Liza Mrak, co-owner of the Mark Motors of Ottawa's Audi and Porsche car dealership; Dennis Laurin, owner of the Laurin Group; and Elizabeth Vered, accompanied by daughter Ariel.

All the way in from Winnipeg were the gala’s honourary patrons, Bonnie and John Buhler.

NAC Gala Donor Reception
Dennis Laurin, owner of Laurin Group, with his wife Andrea at a reception held Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at the 1451 Wellington presentation gallery to thank supporters of the recent NAC Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips
NAC Gala Donor Reception
From left, Thomas d'Aquino with Ellen Wright, Susan Peterson d'Aquino and Dwayne Wright at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington presentation gallery on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, for a reception to thank supporters of the recent NAC Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
NAC Gala Donor Reception
Alexander Shelley, music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, with his wife, Zoe, at a reception held Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington presentation gallery, to thank supporters of the recent NAC Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips
NAC Gala Donor Reception
Liza Mrak, co-owner of Mark Motors of Ottawa, with Gary Zed, at a reception held at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, for supporters of the recent National Arts Centre Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips
NAC Gala Donor Reception
From keft, Ariel Vered and Elizabeth Vered with Micki Mizrahi, who hosted with her husband a thank-you reception on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington presentation gallery, for supporters of the recent National Arts Centre Gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
NAC Gala Donor Reception
NAC Gala honourary patrons John Buhler and his wife, Bonnie, attended a reception held at Mizrahi Developments' 1451 Wellington presentation gallery on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, to thank supporters of the recent gala. Photo by Caroline Phillips

caroline@obj.ca