Posted on March 7, 2023

Flourish 2023 brings back foodie favourites

Over 300 guests donned their best evening attire for the highly anticipated VCC Foundation signature event, Flourish gala, on Feb. 28 at the Broadway campus. Proceeds from Flourish support VCC student scholarships and awards.

The green-tie affair featured a high-calibre roster of new and returning alumni chefs at 15 stand-up food tasting stations; 9 wine stations generously supported by Naramata Bench Wineries and bussed by VCC Hospitality students; a Nespresso coffee bar; and a new – and very popular – whiskey station from Mad Laboratory Distilling.

Indigenous entrepreneur Heat Laliberte returned with a collaboration with Crack On's Mark Kearney, while decorated chefs Tobias MacDonald and Hamid Salimian presented their unique creations alongside VCC Culinary Arts students, who will have gained valuable experience among some of the biggest names in food and wine in B.C. under their belt. WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competitor Leah Patitucci offered up an elegant dish sponsored by Ocean Mama Seafood while VCC Baking grad and solopreneur Jessica Kruger teamed up with celebrated pastry chefs for desserts. 

The occasion included an unveiling of VCC's planned Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation to government officials, including the Honorable Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Honorable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests, as well as sponsors and donors, industry professionals, and the media. A chocolate model of the envisioned centre was sculpted by VCC Baking instructors Mark Burton, Lin Lee and Laurie Vestergaard, as well as outstanding alumna and fellow WorldSkills 2019 finalist Clarissa Roque. The 75kg mould was generously donated by Cacao Barry.

VCC is well known for its hands-on training, and Flourish guests could get practical with a virtual spray booth, one of a slew of cutting-edge technology that would be housed in the new building. Also on display at the fourth annual fundraiser were student-run booths featuring the sale of handmade art pieces by the VCC Jewellery Art and Design program, Graphic Design program, and the VCC Fashion Arts program. Diners could end their night with a soothing hand massage provided by VCC Salon and Spa apprentices.


VCC Foundation would like to thank the many sponsors who contributed to the event's success. These include PCI Developments, Onni Group, Lowtide Properties, Dilawri Vancouver, Vancouver Convention Centre, Sodexo Live, and Color Compass Corp., and media partners BC Business and Drishti Magazine.

Much gratitude goes out to CBC personality Fred Lee for entertaining the crowd once more and to our five-piece outstanding alumni band for setting the tone of the night with jazz fusion.

A soiree of this scale celebrates the vast amount of VCC talent that lives in this city. Your next green car might get fixed by our automotive technicians, your favourite bakery or restaurant may be run by our finest graduates, or your next dazzling haircut could be fashioned by one of our stylists. Let's raise our glass to these experts and pledge to their worth in this city.


Make an impact. Learn about the many ways to support students and initiatives through the VCC Foundation.