Right To Play’s The Heroes Gala raises a record sum of $2.825 million to help children rise above their challenges

Toronto, October 12, 2018

Decorated Olympian Caroline Ouellette; National Bank President & CEO Louis Vachon; and youth leaders honoured

For a fifth consecutive year, Right To Play hosted last night its annual fundraising event, The Heroes Gala, which this year raised a new record sum of $2.825 million to protect, empower and educate children through play. This year, the Gala recognized two exceptional Canadians and long-time supporters of Right To Play dedicated to supporting children’s rights to rise above their challenges: Olympic Gold Medalist and Right To Play Ambassador Caroline Ouellette and the President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank, Louis Vachon.

“We have an amazing group of leaders from across Canada coming together to help children rise above adversity,” said Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer of Right To Play. “We are so honoured to share with them our message that every child should be protected, educated and empowered, and to draw on their support to make that a reality. The Heroes Gala is critical for raising the funds to support the 1.9 million children across 15 countries who learn vital life skills in Right To Play programs.”

One of Toronto’s biggest annual fundraising events, Right To Play’s The Heroes Gala paid tribute for a second year to the outstanding accomplishments of youth who participate in Right To Play programs around the world, including one from Rwanda and one from Whitefish River First Nation. The Heroes Gala was made possible by Title Sponsors Power Corporation of Canada and National Bank. The event, which hosted more than 1,100 guests, also featured the presence of high profile leaders and athletes including the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Government of Canada, the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Government of Ontario as well as Canadian Olympians Rosie MacLennan, Anastasia Bucsis, Brian Stemmle and Perdita Felicien. Guests were treated to special performances by Cirque du Soleil and Sean Jones.  

“Right To Play is an amazing organization that uses the power of play and sports to build character, confidence, leadership and team work amongst youth who otherwise might not have access to this vital dimension of the human experience,” said Paul C. Genest, Senior Vice-President of Power Corporation and Co-Chair of The Heroes Gala. “Power Corporation is delighted and very proud to be able to support the wonderful work they do for communities in need in Canada and abroad.”

“National Bank’s partnership with Right To Play represents a true team effort,” mentioned Sean St. John, Co-Chair of The Heroes Gala 2018 edition and EVP, Managing Director, Head of Fixed Income and Head of Debt & Equity Capital Markets, National Bank. “Our people are genuinely moved by the organization’s mission of creating opportunity for children by helping them develop a sustainable skillset. We are extremely proud of our dedicated teams at the Bank who have joined forces with Right To Play partners to help empower the youth in achieving successful outcomes, in Canada and beyond.”

About Right To Play
Every day, millions of children face poverty, war, disease and poor education. For many of these children, culture, tradition and economic barriers can force them into dangerous and limiting futures, which may include child labor, early marriage, illiteracy and violence. Right To Play empowers the children in our programs to rise above these barriers, discover possibilities, and find a way back to hope. We harness the power of play to protect, educate and empower children to rise above these challenges and unlock their potential.

Play keeps children in school and out of work. It helps them overcome challenges that could rob them of their dignity, their promise and put them at risk. Play teaches them how to prevent disease and resolve conflicts, and gives them the confidence to dismantle barriers and create opportunities where often there were none.

About Power Corporation of Canada
Power Corporation of Canada is a diversified international management and holding company with interests in companies in the financial services, asset management, sustainable and renewable energy, and other business sectors in North America, Europe and Asia. To learn more, visit

About National Bank of Canada
With $258 billion in assets as at July 31, 2018, National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups. It has more than 23,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank’s activities at or via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information, please follow @RightToPlayCAN, #TheHeroesGala and visit