Amid a camera flash-heavy atmosphere, composer David Foster watched as a rope was pulled in the lobby of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel on Friday to reveal a tribute wall dedicated to the man and his successes.
An acclaimed music producer and philanthropist, the Victoria-raised Foster was at the hotel to officially open the David Foster Foundation Theatre and celebrate the partnership between the hotel and the foundation.
This was Foster’s first trip to the hotel since its opening last year. With his wife Yolanda Hadid at his side, Foster shook hands with familiar faces and congratulated owners Shawna and Kevin Walker on their work.
“It’s so rare to find two people that are as committed as the two of you are to everything we do,” said Foster. “I don’t think we can underplay the importance of what the two of you mean to this community and to our foundation.”
The tribute wall features an autographed photo of Foster, along with framed showcases of three eras of his career. There is also a multimedia touchscreen on which guests can bring up video clips of Foster and the music he has helped create over the years, along with information about the foundation.
“How do we pay tribute to a man who has done so much?” foundation CEO Mike Ravenhill asked. “Not only in the music industry, but as a humanitarian, a philanthropist.”
Foster poked a little fun at himself about the display.
“You see on there Alice Cooper, St. Elmo’s Fire the movie, Dionne Warwick, my solo albums – which were kind of pathetic and nobody bought them,” he joked.
“I did,” came a voice from the crowd.
“You’re the one that bought them? Because I saw that statement: one sale,” Foster laughed.
“I’m not going to get maudlin about this or go on and on, but it does make you reflect.”
The David Foster Foundation raises money to support the families of children who are receiving organ transplants. The money allows families to temporarily live near the hospital while their child is being treated, without having to worry about the financial stress.
A portion of the profit from every ticket sold to events at the David Foster Foundation Theatre goes toward the foundation.
About 800 families have benefitted from the foundation. Nearly $300,000 has been raised so far at the hotel for the cause.
“When you can find a partner that actually speaks, talks, eats and breaths our foundation, it’s amazing,” Ravenhill said. “We can’t do it without the great support of the community and of corporate sponsors and partners, such as the Walkers and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.”