Stars shine for Foster charity

David Foster is loyal to his hometown, but will his extend his fundraising powers to realize his dream of a performing arts centre?

While the event was supposed to celebrate the grand reopening of the still-under-construction Oak Bay Beach Hotel, the David Foster Foundation 25th Anniversary Miracle Weekend went off without a hitch.

It raised more than $4.6 million for the foundation, which supports families with children in need of organ transplants.

And if that was not enough, Kevin and Shawna Walker, owners of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, have pledged to raise $2 million for the foundation over the next 10 years through proceeds from ticket sales to the David Foster Foundation Theatre, to be located in the new hotel.

Greater Victoria hosted a smorgasbord of stars and icons last weekend, including Wayne Gretzky, Rick Hansen, Michael Bublé, Sarah McLaughlin, Sinbad, Ruben Studdard, Josh Groban, Muhammad Ali and the Canadian Tenors.

The weekend included two star-studded dinners, an auction and a concert, giving Greater Victoria locals plenty of opportunity to see some of their favourite celebrities, if not rub shoulders with them.

On Friday, Foster was honoured with a little bit of real estate, as a pathway from Ogden Point to the Johnson Street Bridge, and eventually to Rock Bay, was dubbed David Foster Way.

Bublé, a longtime friend of Foster, who referred to him as a “father figure,” was the impetus behind the naming project and claimed to have driven Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin nuts with his enthusiasm for the project.

In his acceptance speech, Foster attempted to one-up Bublé by telling Fortin, in front of the crowd, that “the city deserves a beautiful performing arts centre right on the water.”

He followed that up with the statement: “Mayor, I’m going to be on your ass for the next 10 years.” Give the guy a pathway and he wants a performing arts centre.

Which, of course would be great, if not for the fact that the residents of Victoria likely aren’t in a position to foot the bill for a performing arts centre located on the waterfront.

Foster and friends are quick to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to charity, but would they do the same for the arts in Victoria?