The Event

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The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research will unite business and philanthropic leaders for a luncheon in support of ending HIV in Canada at its annual fundraiser, Can You Do Lunch?

Presented by Birks, this year’s luncheon will be chaired by Jean-Christophe Bédos of Birks Group Inc., and Jeanne Beker.

The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating our Creative Community,” as this diverse community has been on the forefront in the fight to end HIV since the beginning of the epidemic. The event will feature a discussion with co-chair Jeanne Beker and guest speaker Billy Newton-Davis followed by an awards presentation. Bringing to life this year’s theme, Billy Newton-Davis, Kent Monkman and Phillip Ing will be the first ever recipients of CANFAR Creative Community Award.

Before and during the event, guests will have the chance to bid on luxurious products, packages and experiences at CANFARAUCTION.COM – all in support of CANFAR.

Achievement Award

Bringing to life this year’s theme, Billy Newton-Davis, Kent Monkman and Phillip Ing will be the first ever recipients of CANFAR Creative Community Award.

Silent Auction

Available for a limited time, guests will have the chance to bid on luxurious items, packages and experiences at CANFARAUCTION.COM.

Special Performance

A special musical performance will be announced.

2020 Event Chairs and Committee

Jean-Christophe Bédos of Birks Group Inc.

Jean-Christophe Bédos

Jean-Christophe Bédos is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Birks Group Inc., formerly Henry Birks & Sons, a leading manufacturer and retailer of luxury jewellery and watchmaking since 1879 in Canada. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Birks Group Inc. Mr. Bédos is a Member of the Board of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation and the London Business School Global Advisory Council. He was co-chair of the Bal de l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 2013, and co-chair of the Bal du Musée McCord fundraising event in 2015. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Bédos served on the board of the Comité Colbert in Paris. In 2011 he was awarded the ‘Talent d’Or du Luxe et de la Création’. He received this prestigious French award for his outstanding performance at the helm of Boucheron for seven years. Born in Morocco, he lived in France and England until 2011. He now resides in Montreal, Canada with his wife and four children. He is a skilled brand builder within the luxury retail sector, who brings a very relevant background having spent his entire career, for more than 30 years, within the high-end watch and jewellery industry. 

Jeanne Beker

Jeanne Beker

Having started her professional show biz career at the age of 16, Jeanne Beker studied acting in New York and mime in Paris before moving to St. John’s Newfoundland in 1975 to cover arts for CBC radio. Three years later, she landed a job at Toronto’s CHUM radio, and in 1979, helped launch the ground-breaking series, The New Music, on CITY TV, which she co-hosted for 6 years.  A founding member of MuchMusic, Jeanne continued to trail blaze and in 1985, launched the legendary Fashion Television, which she presented in over 130 countries for 27 years.  A seasoned newspaper columnist and features writer, Jeanne was editor-in-chief of FQ and SIR magazines from 2003 to 2008, has authored five books and is a frequent keynote speaker and guest on myriad lifestyle shows.  She’s been at the creative helm of numerous fashion lines under her own eponymous label, and since 2015, has been Style Editor for The Shopping Channel, where she currently hosts the series “Style Matters”. Active with several charitable organizations, she has received honorary doctorates from St. Mary’s University and OCAD University, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Special Achievement Award from the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television and a Crystal Award from Toronto Women in Film and Television.  Jeanne was inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Legends in 2015 and received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2016.  In 2014, she was named to the Order of Canada.

2020 Committee

Jesse Barkley
Development Production Executive & Brand Partnership Lead, Corus Entertainment

Cailli and Sam Beckerman
Fashion Influencers and Philanthropists

Chad Brincheski
Principal, ESP Inc.

Gillian DiCesare
Vice President, OverCat Communications

Aileen Halpenny
Principal, Halpenny & Co.

Eva Hartling
Founder and President, The Brand is Female

Lanita Layton
Vice President and Chief Omni-Channel Sales and Marketing Officer, Birks Group

Ivan Mao
Business Development & Assistant Store Manager

Jay McCauley
Publicist, EGPR

Tracey Neziol
Public Relations Consultant at Triumph International

Valerie Pringle
National Spokesperson, CANFAR

Katie Reusch
Senior Manager, Omni-Channel Marketing & Communications, Birks Group

Christine Rezvanian
Vice President, My Storage and Philanthropist

Candice Sinclair

Mary Symons
Founder, Mary Symons Communications and Luxury Publicist

Mary Jean Tully
Founder and CEO of Tully Luxury Travel

Ron White
CEO and Creative Director, Ron White Shoes

Alex Filiatrault
Chief Executive Officer, CANFAR

Ryan Joyce
Director of Communications, CANFAR

Logan Thayalan
Senior Manager of Stewardship, CANFAR

Special Performance

To be announced.

Event Sponsors

2020 Presenting Sponsor

2020 Gold Sponsors

2020 Silver Sponsors

2020 Innovation Sponsors

2020 Community Partner

Champion Tables

  • Andrew and Valerie Pringle, CM
  • Brett Sherlock
  • Candice Sinclair
  • Chad Brincheski
  • Christian Vermast
  • Craig Stovel
  • Dennis Keefe
  • Dr. Graham Smith
  • Dr. Trevor Born
  • Hani Roustom
  • Jay McCauley
  • Melissa Campisi
  • Raymond Accolas
  • Sani Treliving
  • Tracy Neziol