David Foster, the “hit man” and 16-time Grammy award winner, brought us one of the most incredible evenings of the year in Toronto. As one of our generation’s most successful musicians [a record producer, composer, singer and songwriter], he is also a dedicated philanthropist. The David Foster Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing financial support for non-medical expenses to Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. In the past 26 years, the David Foster Foundation has assisted more than 800 families with children in need of major organ transplants and provided much needed dollars in direct family support. The Foundation works in collaboration with transplant teams across Canada to provide support for children listed for pediatric transplant to post-operative checkup.
On December 5, 2013, 1100 distinguished guests gathered to raise funds to support the foundation at the Allstream Centre, at the Canadian National Exhibition. Some notable guests included the honourary chair, Mrs. Laureen Harper, Peter Gilgan, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary from Dragon’s Den, and David’s lovely wife, Yolanda Foster.
For this philanthropic black tie event, we were commissioned to create some inspiring pieces that would create buzz and ignite the conversation for the cause. The foundation was aligned with our core values in so many ways — to give back to the community that built us, to celebrate stories and life, to inspire an audience through art [or music], and to build relationships. After reviewing previous materials for past events, we identified an opportunity to take the event to the next level. We felt that the emphasis of music and warmth of the foundation’s mission was missing, and this was the perfect place to start. David Foster’s main instrument is the piano; through the piano, he touches the world with his compositions. The art direction was determined and we developed a concept around the David’s piano. The role of the piano is often taken for granted in popular culture, and this creative journey allowed us to rediscover its beauty and presence.
Our team designed a series of print collateral, beginning with the sponsorship deck. Here, we introduced the piano using a stylized photo of the hands David and toddler Kyla (a beneficiary of the foundation) playing the piano together. We employed some beautiful treatments in printing on a pearlized stock, and pressed the event name in a brilliant metallic silver.
We continued to unveil the piano with the invitation design. Guests were presented with a violette rectangular envelopment, which had piano keys blind debossed down the side, and the event name and logo pressed on the cover. At first, the texture and detail of the letterpress work alone were impressive. When guests turned over the envelope, they encountered a beautiful curved flap, custom-shaped like the top of a piano, which opened up to match with the blind debossed keys to form a bird’s eye view of a real piano. On the inside of the flap, we made sure to complete the idea but printing the intricate inner architecture of a piano — stylized to match the look of the sponsorship deck. Then, guests pulled out a beautiful Lucite piece that was polished and pressed in silver, with David’s autograph debossed directly onto the Lucite surface. An incredible experience, it represented the transparency of sound and polished quality of David’s work. It was an immediate connection made between music, thoughtfulness, and desire to elevate — the lifting up of an entire community.
We also designed the programme book magazines for the evening, which sparkled next to the lovely circular menus that graced the plates of each guest. Every menu was printed with a tone-on-tone watermark and then individually pressed in silver with the delicious menu. Guests were so delighted to witness excellence in the design and execution of our print pieces, which is refreshing in a landscape of events and galas flooded with common commercial printing. We believe so strongly that philanthropic events deserve effective, thoughtful, and worthwhile print collaterals. The event is a cause; it is simultaneously a statement and marker of our society and culture.
We set the tone with the invitations, and there was no disappointment, as David Foster always delivers! The evening was an incredible experience with talent and heart: David Foster, Earth Wind and Fire, Andrea Bocelli, The Tenors, Sinbad and rising star Aida Garifullina. The event raised 4.2 million for the foundation — a noteworthy feat that will make a huge impact on the lives of many families in need of support during their children’s illnesses. Though the photos capture a lot of the happy moments, there were even more moving and teary moments as we heard about the experiences of 3 families who have had sick children and were supported by the David Foster Foundation. What an unforgettable evening.
Event was produced by Jennifer Bassett at Bassett Events.
Decor: Bill Fulghum
David Foster is a Canadian musician, record producer, composer, singer and songwriter. He has been a producer for a star-studded list of musicians, including Bryan Adams, Christina Aguilera, Air Supply, All-4-One, The Bee Gees, Andrea Bocelli, Boz Scaggs, Toni Braxton, Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, Charice, Cher, Chicago, Destiny’s Child, The Corrs, Neil Diamond, Céline Dion, Earth Wind and Fire, Sheena Easton, Gloria Estefan, Jackie Evancho, Josh Groban, Hall & Oates, Keith Harkin, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Katherine Jenkins, Chaka Khan, Beyoncé Knowles, Kenny Loggins, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Misia, Olivia Newton-John, Brandy Norwood, Nsync, Prince, LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Rogers, Seal, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Tamia, The Tubes, Shania Twain, and Yuna.