Oct. 2, 2019

Annual Beat Goes On Gala raises more than $700,000

Funds to support cardiovascular precision medicine initiatives

The sixth annual The Beat Goes on Gala was a night of hope, raising more than $700,000 for precision medicine initiatives at the Cumming School of Medicine’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute.  The Institute seeks to provide the people of Alberta with world-class cardiovascular treatments, cutting-edge research discoveries and innovations, and leading educational programs for the next generation of healthcare providers and scientists. 

More than 400 people attended the event, held at the Hyatt Regency on Sept. 21. Guests dined on a multi-course meal and were wowed by five-year-old piano prodigy Rachel Wang before two-stepping to a special acoustic performance by Canada’s most-awarded male performer, country star Paul Brandt.

Brandt has a personal connection with cardiovascular health care. Not only is he a former nurse who worked with paediatric heart patients, but his family has also been touched by cardiovascular disease. His father-in-law, who is now gone, suffered a heart attack that is believed to have triggered Parkinson’s disease.

Despite the personal loss, Brandt said he was motivated to get involved because he believes the future of cardiovascular health care is bright.

“This night is all about hope,” said Brandt, explaining it is important that the community supports the work of the Libin Institute.

Paul Fedak and founding donor Alvin Libin at the sixth annual The Beat Goes On Gala.

Paul Fedak and founding donor Alvin Libin at the sixth annual The Beat Goes On Gala.

Britton Ledingham/iEvolve Photo

Libin Institute Director Dr. Paul Fedak, MD, PhD, also expressed excitement about cardiovascular medicine in Calgary, noting the Libin Institute’s goal is to enable cardiovascular health by using innovative technology to provide patients with the right treatment at the right time.

“The Libin Institute is a committed champion of “precision medicine” where we aim to provide the best treatments tailored specifically for that person and delivered by the right provider at the optimal time. This is the future of medicine, and we are at the leading edge,” says Fedak. “We are grateful to our community partners for their generous support of our precision medicine initiatives. Together, we are shaping the future of cardiovascular health.”

It’s a critical aim, because, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women globally.

Libin family at the gala

Ashley, Louis and Alvin Libin, Nora Lee (nee Libin) and Chris Lee, and Bobby Libin at the gala.

Britton Ledingham/iEvolve Photo

Since its inception, the Gala has raised more than $5.2 million. The funds have been used to purchase equipment, including a $1.2-million, high-resolution confocal microscope with leading-edge imaging capabilities. The money has also been used to help set up initiatives, such as the Libin Institute’s new Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative, CV&Me, a research collaborative working to address the unique issues women face when it comes to cardiovascular disease. 

Gala co-chairs included Tony Dilawri, a partner in the Dilawri Group of Companies, Ken King of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, Joe Starkman, the president of Knightsbridge Homes, and Dr. Todd Anderson, the new Vice Dean of UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine.  

Anderson, a Calgary cardiologist and the former director of the Libin Institute, is pleased with the success of the Gala. 

“Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women globally, and it touches each one of us,” says Dr. Todd Anderson, Gala co-chair. “We are so grateful to our community partners for continuing to support the innovative cardiovascular research, education and health care work going on at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of local patients and their families.”

Learn more about the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta at libin.ucalgary.ca or follow them on Twitter at @LibinInstitute.

Billie Jo of 95.9 CHFM was the emcee

Billie Jo of 95.9 CHFM was the emcee at The Beat Goes On Gala.

Britton Ledingham/iEvolve Photo