2022 Sports Celebrities Festival helps Special Olympics athletes get back in the game

Canucks player Tucker Poolman and SOBC athlete Mike Palitti flexing their arms on stage
Canucks player Tucker Poolman and SOBC athlete Mike Palitti showing off their strength at the SCF! Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Vancouver Canucks

The 2022 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals was a wonderful night to remember, raising over $550,000 for Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids Fund!

Hosted by SOBC athletes Alexander Pang and Susan Wang, the Sports Celebrities Festival brought together business leaders, community champions, and B.C. sports heroes including Vancouver Canucks players and alumni, BC Lions coaches and alumni, and Special Olympics athletes. It was a thrill to finally reconnect in person after two years of virtual events.

Over the last 24 years, the funds raised by the Sports Celebrities Festival have helped Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids Fund change lives through the power of sport. The Sports Celebrities Festival and its supporters matter now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for people with intellectual disabilities and for the beneficiaries of the Canucks for Kids Fund, as they were all too familiar with the feelings of loneliness and isolation.

This year’s joyful event raised over $550,000 through fundraising initiatives such as the popular silent auction, the PALLADIO Jewellers Raffle, the Heads & Tails game sponsored by Wheaton Precious Metals, the Wall of Wine, and many generous donations.

SOBC athletes Alexander Pang and Susan Wang on podium speaking
Special Olympics athletes and SCF co-hosts Susan Wang and Alexander Pang kicking off the event! Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Vancouver Canucks

The in-person return of gala also called for the return of the popular Games Room presented by DP World, and photo booths presented by Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Guests and Special Olympics BC athletes put their gaming skills to the test against Vancouver Canucks players in arcade and Xbox games, and showed off their best smiles and poses at the photo booths.

Special Olympics BC – Ridge Meadows athlete Katherine St. Amand shared her inspiring story with the gala’s sold-out crowd. During her school years, she found didn’t make many friends and had a hard time navigating social interactions. When she joined community sports teams, St. Amand found herself often left on the sidelines, more often spectating more than playing.

But when she joined Special Olympics, she changed her life and opened eyes to her abilities.

“Joining Special Olympics is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. Not only has it allowed me to excel at sports and push myself, it let me know that I can do anything I put my mind to,” she says.

Conor Garland and Scott Fattedad playing foosball hockey
SOBC athlete Scott Fattedad and Canucks player Conor Garland teamed up in the Games Room! Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Vancouver Canucks

Buoyed by the belonging and empowerment she experienced with Special Olympics, St. Amand has become a successful multi-sport athlete and a medal-winning alpine skier who raced her way to the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

“The community of Schladming was very excited we were there, and sent busloads of school kids every day to cheer us on. One day, I noticed that one of the young girls had made a special sign that had my name on it. After a week of competing, I had moved up a division and won a silver medal and sixth-place finish!”

The Sports Celebrities Festival was fortunate to involve players from the Vancouver Canucks, champions of inclusion who each paired up with a Special Olympics athlete for the evening. Watch their triumphant entrance in the SCF parade of athletes, emceed by Sportsnet’s John Shorthouse!

Most sincere thanks to all of the generous Sports Celebrities Festival sponsors, donors, celebrities, volunteers and supporters who make this inspiring event possible. We are also thankful to Pang and Wang for being such skilled and entertaining hosts for the evening!

“As an athlete who has really been enriched by joining Special Olympics, I'd like to thank you for helping me to be able to take part in this amazing movement by supporting our programs and athletes like me!” St. Amand said.

Click here for photos from the event!


Our generous sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

Event Sponsors

DP World logo



Media Sponsors

Sportsnet 650 Vancouver



Thank you to supporters of the Sports Celebrities Festival

SCF Committee


  • Simona Antolak, Wheaton Precious Metals
  • Stephanie Kaye, Canadian Broadcast Sales

Tables Sales Chair

  • David Yan, Envision Financial

Organizing and Advisory Committee

  • Chris Adams, Macquarie Metals and Energy Capital (Canada) Ltd.
  • Diana Campbell, Canucks for Kids Fund
  • Sean Clifford, Vancouver Canucks
  • Carmen de Guzman, TD Private Wealth Management
  • Gunnar Eggertson, Canaccord Genuity
  • Jen Hansen, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.
  • Nikki Matwiv, Canucks for Kids Fund
  • Christina Sunwoo, TD Bank Group

Special Thanks

  • Brent Butt, Marco Iannuzzi, Al Murdoch, Alexander Pang, John Shorthouse, Katherine St. Amand, Susan Wang (Talent)
  • Greg Forrester and Echo Brands (Collectibles supplier)
  • Heritage Office Furnishings (Event transportation)
  • Jeff Vinnick (Photographer)
  • Karen Christiansen (Events Operations)
  • Patrick Roberge Productions (Production)
  • Rick Campbell, (BC Lions Head Coach)
  • Simon Cooksley Design (Decor)
  • Vancouver Canucks Players, Management & Alumni
  • Vancouver Canucks and Whitecaps FC Mascots

Auction Donors $1000+

  • Abbotsford Canucks
  • Anonymous
  • Bosa Development Corporation
  • Canucks Sports & Entertainment
  • Dueck Auto Group
  • Envision Financial
  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler
  • Fitness World Canada
  • Gunnar Eggertson
  • JYSK Canada
  • Pacific Coastal Airlines
  • Park’N Fly
  • SAXX Underwear Co.
  • Studeo
  • Toptable Group
  • Toyota Pacific Dealers
  • West Jet

Fund-a-need donors $1000+

  • ABC Customs Brokers
  • Andy Eisenbock
  • Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.
  • Courtney Keith
  • Doug Holtby
  • Gary Brown
  • Gregory B. Keith
  • Gunnar Eggertson
  • Jen Hansen
  • Kirsten McElgunn
  • Mark Woodall
  • Michael De Pfyffer
  • Mike Hirst
  • Moray & Pam Keith
  • Randall Chatwin
  • Randy Smallwood
  • RBC Foundation
  • Simona Antolak
  • Tamara Howarth
  • Tara Hassan
  • Ted Hirst
  • The Pera Giving Foundation
  • Trevor D’Sa
  • Trevor Rennie
  • Tsering Luding


Learn more about the Sports Celebrities Festival