Top cancer researcher keynote at Christmas gala

World renowned for his discovery of the existence and mechanisms of drug-resistant chemotherapy, Dr. Ling has given hope to patients suffering from leukemia, breast and ovarian cancers and cystic fibrosis. Coordinating cancer research for British Columbia for the past four years, Ling has given leadership to BCCA, making it the best cancer treatment and research in the province.

“When he spoke, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop,” says Terry-Lynn Dryfhout, who oversees the gala that raised $500,000 last year, and has sold-out each year since its inception. “Cancer affects one-third of Canadians, so it was a valuable opportunity to learn more about the disease from the person who has won every major cancer research prize in the world.” Dryfhout notes that Ling has been nominated for a Nobel Prize.

Gala guests had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Ling in an intimate setting as he shared an insider's glimpse of what's new in cancer research. Using insights from his innovative research, and personal stories, Dr. Ling addressed the challenge of using individual talent to serve others, and pursing excellence in the workplace—areas in which TWU challenges its own students.

A formal and festive event ushering in the Christmas season, this year's Christmas in the City wove together themes of medicine and the arts. Musical features included tenors Paul Ouellette and Frederik Robert, and pianist Victor Yancovitch. Special to this year, guests received a limited-edition fine art piece by renowned artist, and long-time Trinity Western University professor, Erica Grimm-Vance. The piece has been matted and framed with archival-quality materials through a printmaking technology called, giclée (zhee-CLAY).

“The gala's theme was selected in light of TWU's new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, which will be offered in 2006,” says Doris Olafsen, Vice-President of Advancement. “It was intended to showcase an interdisciplinary forum that demonstrates a connection between art, science and everyday life. It's an honour that Erica Grimm-Vance would bestow such a gift on TWU and its guests.”

The original piece from which the print was adapted is called, “With great effort we remembered,” and was on display at the gala. Further Grimm-Vance pieces can be found in art collections worldwide—from the Vatican to actress Halle Berry's home. One of Grimm-Vance's most recent accomplishments is the significant inclusion of her work in a recent Warner Brothers' film.

TWU alumni were also part of the evening. Journalist and alumna Sharol Josephson, anchor for CTV's CFCN in Calgary, returned to emcee the evening. Alumnus Paul Ouellette, one of the two tenors, is a three-time winner of the Western Canada District Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, and has performed with many notable groups including the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Opera, and The Canadian Tenors.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,500 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 13 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-20
Author: Keela Keeping