VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

The David Foster Foundation’s annual Miracle Gala and Concert that touted a celebrity guest list including Oprah Winfrey and Steven Tyler has come a long way from its roots as a softball tournament.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney said he was among those running the bases at Foster’s first fundraiser in British Columbia 30 years ago.

“I can’t see myself doing that now,” he said at the gala’s red carpet in Vancouver on Saturday. “It raised a modest amount of money, but that’s how things go, things start that way.”

The charity institution founded in 1986 by the decorated Victoria-raised music producer raises money to support the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing or awaiting life-saving organ transplants.

Mulroney, accompanied by his wife Mila, said it’s more than their friendship with Foster that keeps them supporting the cause.

“This is going to have a lasting mark on Canadians everywhere and it does such good work so it’s worth every effort to contribute to his initiative,” he said.

To date, more than 1,100 families have been supported, relieving the pressure of their mortgage payments, travel costs and other expenses.

Saturday’s concert at Rogers Arena featured performances by Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan and B.C.’s Carly Rae Jepsen.

Jepsen’s performance comes just months before she heads on tour with pop star Katy Perry.

“I’m very proud to be supporting such an incredible event and on top of that I’m in my home town so all my family and friends are here as well,” she said.

Jepsen admitted she was also star-struck by the gala’s impressive lineup.

“I’m just going to spend all night hunting for Oprah,” she said.

Foster has won 16 Grammys, seven Junos, an Emmy and a Golden Globe while fetching three Oscar nominations for collaborations with stars including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli.

He is also a recipient of the Order of Canada and has a star on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Foster reflected on the achievements of the foundation ahead of the gala.

“We’ve come a long way and we’re going to continue, as long as the need is there we’re going to do it,” he said.

He added that he’s bumped his goal to establish an endowment fund for the foundation from $30 million to $50 million by 2018 so that “hopefully long after I’m gone it’ll still be doing the work.”

Michael Ravenhill, the foundation’s chief executive officer, said although the gala has grown, so has the need.

“We actually need to make a difference. We need to save more children’s lives and keep families together,” he said.

Ravenhill said less than 20 per cent of Canadians are registered organ donors.

“I think the big thing is that we still need to do a better job as a country,” he said.

Linda Givetash, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

READ: Related story

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Canal Flats pavilion gets a financial boost

Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects

Windermere carnival this Sunday

Fundraiser event features bouncy castles, games, reptile room, laser tag, food and fun

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read