Third Annual Birthday Party Gala


In 2018, approximately 1000 foster children will reach their 19th Birthday and will age out of Government care.  For most of these young people there will be no celebration, no gifts and no on-going support.  The journey ahead will be challenging and lonely. Last year over 200 of these young people came through the doors of Aunt Leah’s Place.

The Aunt Leah’s Birthday Party Gala is a symbolic event that points to social justice.  A gathering that reminds us of what parents do for their children on their birthdays and when they approach adulthood.

Gifts raised at this year’s event will provide housing, support and personal kindness to this group of vulnerable young British Columbians to help carry them into their young adult years.

Can’t attend? Please consider making a donation to support Aunt Leah’s Place programs. Go to our donate page.

When: Thursday, November 1st, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where: The Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver, BC V5M 3E4

Limited Seats Available:
$150 a Seat or $1200 a Table (10 Seats)
If you have any questions or need help registering, please contact Dumi Owane at | 604 525 1204 ext. 251

Purchase Your Seat or Table

Guest Speakers

William is a connector, connecting community, industry, and government in support of Vancouver Island University as the Associate Vice-President, University Relations and Chief Advancement Officer. In addition, he serves as the Executive Director of the Vancouver Island University Foundation and Alumni Association.

Through these roles, William is able to live his values of equality, opportunity, partnership and access through education. The most rewarding aspect of his current position is creating new opportunities for vulnerable populations through programs like BC’s first Tuition Waiver for former youth-in-care, an outreach program to empower low-income families to access free RESP funding for their child’s education through the Canada Learning Bond, and academic bursaries so that students, no matter their background, have the opportunity to dream, and realize those dreams.

Under his leadership, the VIU Foundation has doubled endowed funds and annual giving over the last four years, while at the same time more than tripled student scholarships. William holds a Master’s degree in Project Management from the University of Liverpool, a graduate certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia and an Honours degree in International Business from Carleton University. William has had the opportunity to live and work in New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child and Youth Care Counselling with a Child Protection Specialization. My dream is to pursue my doctorate in counselling psychology and open a theatre therapy studio where people can find belonging and healing through the narrative storytelling of their lives and experiences. 

I work, in the social services field, as a Youth and Family Development Worker. My passion lies in building resiliency in young people and their families. 

As a poet, I use my words to inspire others and incite social change. I write predominantly about my experiences in the care of the ministry and my journey with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and anxiety. 

I am extremely passionate about many things. Mostly, I want to do my part to support people in their healing and leave the world a little better than how I found it.

Marketing & Communications Assistant at Aunt Leah’s Place

I believe in supporting our youth and providing them with the care they need to navigate life after the foster care system. I’m passionate about the work that I do at Aunt Leah’s and advocating for youth who are in the system as well as those who have aged out.


If you would like to become a Sponsor for the Birthday Party Gala 2018 please contact Gale Stewart at

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?

Yes. Please contact Dumi Owane and let her know what your needs are.


Phone: 604 525 1204 ext. 251

What is the dress code for the event?

Please be in a semi-formal attire.

Is there parking on-site?

Yes. There is ample parking available.

Is it transit accessible?

Yes. It is a 6 minute walk from Renfrew Skytrain Station. Feel free to use Translink Planner to plan your route.

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