CNIS’s annual fundraiser A Night in Magical Timbuktu was held in Vancouver on May 6th to raise funds to establish West Africa’s first Injury Control Centre.
One hundred guests, 50 volunteers, countless local sponsors and a dozen performers helped make the night truly magical.
CNIS was honoured to have the Mali ambassador, his Excellency Mamadou Bandiougou Diawara, as our guest and we were grateful for his thoughtful address about his country. Phil Hassen, CNIS President, thanked him on behalf of CNIS and Dr. Jan Christilaw, President of the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, gave a speech on maternal mortality. Global TV’s Lynn Colliar and Bev McEwan were Masters of Ceremonies for the lively evening.
Some of Canada’s best African musicians and dancers had agreed to perform for us. Three-time Juno award winner Alpha Yaya Diallo from Guinea with his group Bafing got the crowd dancing, and even some of the CNIS board members were seen on the dance floor! Cameroon dancer Jacky Essombe had everyone singing African songs, and did a superb dance performance with her group.
Supported by the local film industry and other businesses, the venue was decorated like a Malian village.
CNIS volunteers had hand-painted Timbuktu-inspired runners and miniature Dogon huts for the tables, and an African-inspired feast was provided by local movie caterer, Truffles Fine Foods.
The event raised almost $18,000 in one night, nearly 1/5 of the funds needed to establish the centre. The silent action featuring a.o. artwork by Robert Bateman and Yared Nigussu, raised over $6,000, which is nearly enough to equip a teaching lab. Since the event, another $5300 has been donated, and we will not stop trying until we have reached our goal: to establish an Injury Control Centre in Bamako, Mali, teaching first aid, traffic safety, trauma training and other injury prevention courses.
CNIS would like to thank our volunteers, donors, sponsors and all who helped us make this night possible.