Life Without Limits Gala

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2017 Gala

The 2017 Life Without Limits Gala was held on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 and what a night it was. Our theme, Play Without Limits was truly in effect — we celebrated and we inspired. Thanks to all of your efforts, we took steps towards improving the disability community in British Columbia

A major highlight of the evening was our live screening of the Play Without Limits short film, showcasing the journey we had with the Darvish family. The funds raised from our 2016 Life Without Limits Gala helped the CPABC to donate a new adapted tricycle to Hassan and Marjaneh Darvish for their daughter Eleeka. Eleeka’s experience is the embodiment of our theme, Play Without Limits.

Our event raised over $45,000.00!


Event Recap

Thank you to everyone who took part in our 2017 Life Without Limits Gala. It was an unbelievable evening full of influential and inspirational individuals, each with their own unique story.

FVN’s Don Lehn (right) and Executive Director Feri Dehdar (left) smile for the cameras before the night begins.

The night began with an absolutely hilarious opening from our emcee, Don Lehn. His comedic flow and well-timed sarcasm was the perfect way to get things started as we transitioned into a territorial acknowledgment from well-known disability advocate, Stephen Lytton. Don Lehn then welcomed several speakers for our introductory remarks from Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs, Scotiabank representative Zak Khokar and our very own Executive Director Feri Dehdar. Their words were perfect to get our theme of the evening, Play Without Limits, going in the right direction.




Paralympian Nathan Dewitt confidently surveys the crowd during his speech.

After dinner, our keynote speaker Nathan Dewitt took the stage and had our attendees hanging on his every word. His humble but confident speaking presence was absorbing. Nathan delved deep into his personal history, his accomplishments and his future aspirations. He went into great detail about his experience dealing with competing interests as a student-athlete. Jumping between wheelchair racing and the classroom did not leave him much room for other activities and thanks to our Tanabe Bursary, we were able to help with the costs of his tuition which ultimately helped him stay on track.


A comfortable Leora Shipley shoots the crowd a smile.

Leora Shipley followed up by sharing her story involving her son, Nathan Shipley and our Equipment Assistive Devices Fund. Despite starting off her speech saying that she felt unprepared, she sounded thoroughly ready and her message came out heartfelt and honest. Nathan was a proud recipient our Equipment Assistive Devices Fund, which helped him and his family to purchase portable lift that has been extremely useful for transitioning through his day to day activities.

Our live screening of the Play Without Limits short film was shown to cap off an inspiring trio of stories.

A short intermission signalled the coming of the one and only David C. Jones, who did another amazing job as our auctioneer for the live auction. He got our attendees to loosen up as he started with an anecdote about his role as a “milk sommelier” for a commercial — a memorable experience that he had to endure the morning of the Gala. As the live auction items rolled out, the crowd went up in a frenzy and so did the donations as every single item was sold.

David C. Jones enters the room and gives off instant energy to start the live auction.

David’s energy set the peak for the evening and it winded down thereafter. Bids closed for the silent auction that was on throughout the night and winners were called upon to pick up their new, prized possessions.

Secretary of the Board Julia Halipchuk closes out the 2017 Life Without Limits Gala with ending remarks.

Secretary of the Board of Directors Julia Halipchuk topped the evening off with the closing remarks, thanking all of our attendees for a wonderful evening. Putting an end to yet another memorable installment of the Life Without Limits Gala.


Relive the 2017 Life Without Limits Gala and view our entire photo album

Keynote Speaker

Nathan DeWitt

nathan dewittNathan DeWitt is a superb athlete who is a part of the Canadian Para-National Team and specializes in wheelchair racing. He has been racing for 9 years and was a team member of the 2012 Canadian Paralympic team. Recently, he participated in the 2016 Canadian Para Track & Field Championships Selection Trials in Montreal and succeeded in getting a silver and two bronze medals in 100 m, 200 m and 400 m respectively. On the track, he’s as fast as they come.


We recognize that his speed is world-class but his dedication to being an advocate for people with disabilities is equally outstanding. Nathan will be the keynote speaker of our Life Without Limits Gala and we are honoured to have him with us!


Don Lehn

don lehnDon Lehn is a broadcasting and communications guru with a long history of media experience. He is a seasoned professional who has been in the business for 38 years, covering events such as the 1988 and 2010 Winter Olympics and interviewing the likes of David Suzuki and Justin Trudeau.


With a great sense of humour, sensible sarcasm and a knack for networking, it is no surprise that Don is exceptional in his field. He is the current editor of Fraser Valley News Sports and Entertainment and also a member of the Chilliwack Restorative Justice Association. His mission: To inform, educate and entertain with grace, style and dignity.


David C Jones

David C. Jones is an actor / improviser / speaker / teacher / film-maker.

Although he won the Georgia Straight’s Best Comedian in Vancouver award 2 years in a row and is a Canadian Comedy Award nominee, he is not a traditional stand-up comedian. You can learn more about his films and other endeavours, like being Entertainment Manager for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympics Games on his website

Musical Guest

Agnes Wan



The 3rd Life Without Limits Gala found it’s home again at the Best Western Plus Chateau Granville Hotel in downtown Vancouver at 1100 Granville St.

2016 Gala

The 2nd Life Without Limits Gala took place in March of 2016. It was a huge success and we are grateful for everyone who helped make it happen! There were over 130 guests in attendance and many generous sponsors and silent auction donors who helped contribute.

The evening’s opening remarks were given by the honourable Carla Qualtrough (MP for Delta, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities), emceed by CTV Vancouver weathercaster Zahra Alani, and we were also joined by auctioneer David C Jones, and musician John Gilliat. World renowned expert and neuroscientist Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, a professor at Simon Fraser University, was our guest speaker this year and he shared some insightful knowledge into his research on the brain as well as the human impact of his work.

The event had a great atmosphere with a three course dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction. The gala raised about $41,000, which surpassed our 2014 gala by 35%. The proceeds from the gala went to the CPABC’s Youth Without Limits peer support group, Youth Navigator program,Tanabe Bursary, and Pre-Employment Program. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the CPABC and contribute to our vision for the future; creating a #LifeWithoutLimits!

“Beyond Limits” was truly a theme for the 2016 CPABC Gala. Speakers, members and presenters all emphasized the power of each individual to reach their goals and stretch beyond their limits to achieve their dreams, at a glittery gala held March 3rd at the Best Western Plus Chateau Granville.

2016 Gala Photos

Click here for more photos from our 2016 Gala

Read more about our 2016 Life Without Limits Gala here.

2014 Gala Photos

Click here for more photos from our 2014 Gala

Read more about our 2014 Life Without Limits Gala here.

Thank you to all our sponsors for making the 2017 Gala possible

Presenting Sponsors

sb_R_red(cropped)Campbell Renaud Lawyers -logo3

Pacific Medical Law

Silver Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor

 Media Sponsor


Table Sponsor


Other Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsor

Check out our live and silent auction donors.

Join us in making a difference by becoming one of our corporate sponsors. For more information, e-mail or download our 2017 Life Without Limits Gala Sponsorship Package to see our sponsorship options.