McLachlan gives 90 minute concert for 150 at Canon Canada lunch

 Kevin Ogawa, President and CEO of Canon Canada, with Grammy Award winner Sarah McLachlan after her performance at a luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel hosted by Canon Canada.

"So, you're all Canadians?"  Sarah McLachlan asked. "So, I can diss Americans?" Laughter rippled through the Fairmont Hotel ballroom at Canon Canada's gala luncheon for 150 dignataries, employees and partners. "I'm going to play some songs for you; some new, and some old. I hope you enjoy..."

McLachlan then sang for the next hour and twenty minutes about heartbreak, disappointment, betrayal and love, the climax of Canon Canada's luxurious, invitation-only gala. The company announced today it will be opening a new Vancouver Business Solutions office and the elegant gala luncheon that began with mimosas and ended with iced wine brought the mayor, Maelle Ricker,  McLachlan and some four hundred business people together to spend three hours as guests of Canon Canada.

They came from companies like Future Shop and Best Buy and sat at round tables with orchids as centre pieces. Business executives, reporters and politicians  in business suits listened transfixed to McLachlan and her lyrics. Before McLachlan's concert, an army of servers carrying  plates on their arms streamed out of the kitchen and into the ballroom, so that people could dine on their choice of chicken, seafood, or vegetarian cuisine.  Empty glasses were rapidly refilled with choices of red or white wine.

"We  want to be more than one of Vancouver's most successful businesses,"  Kevin Ogawa, President and CEO of Canon Canada, said. "We also want to be a valued part of the community here."

 McLachlan is the founder of Lilith Fair, which has raised more than  $7 million for various causes. She created the Sarah McLachlan Outreach Program to provide free musical education to inner city youth.  One of the most gifted and acclaimed singer-songwriters of her generation,   McLachlan walked onto the stage dressed casually and carrying a guitar.  She sang a set of published music and one song that will come out on a new CD, which she said was to be released on June 15th.  The West Vancouver resident said she was going home that afternoon to record a piano piece for the new release.  She then began a song about forgiveness.  "Never forget about forgiveness," she said.

 The event also featured 2010 Olympic gold medalist Maelle Ricker and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was on hand to accept a donation of $60,000 from Canon Canada to Vancouver's new Community Urban Agriculture Fund, established to support community-based gardening projects.

"Urban agriculture is taking hold in Vancouver and with Canon's generous founding donation, the Vancouver Community Urban Agriculture Fund will be able to support community groups and agencies, purchase plants and supplies to grow food and enrich meals," Mayor Gregor Robertson said. "Thanks to Canon and this very welcome start-up money, more people will get to enjoy the nutrition and delicious taste of fresh garden products grown locally in our city."

Mayor Gregor Robertson and Canon Canada CEO Kevin Ogawa

After showing a video of the moment when she captured her 2010 Olympic gold medal, Maelle Ricker talked about "what I am made of." It was a story of persistence and the rewards of continuing against physical obstacles and emotional pressure. And one long chair ride up Cypress Mountain to do her final run in the Olympic competition.

"I'm going up the chair  and let me tell you, this is probably the loneliest chair ride I've taken," Ricker said.  "There was so much running through my head. I really needed to refocus. I thought about all the times I went riding with my brother when I was younger (on the ski lift). I thought about all the time I spent in the hills with my mom and dad. I thought about the start, what I had to get down the course... And in the finals I had great starts. I kept my lines, ended up very well, as you guys already saw and ended up with the gold medal.

"I'm just so happy that I was able to take that second chance and make something of it and have my wildest dreams come true."

Canon's new office at 999 West Hastings Street will open June 1 and will support Canon's comprehensive business product line which includes networked multifunction devices, digital copiers, printers, scanners, image filing systems and facsimile machines.

Mayor Gregor Robertson uses his hand-held device to photograph McLachlan, Ricker and Canon's representatives.

After the concert, McLachlan posed with guests for photographs.

The mayor and Ceo traded business cards.

Upon accepting Canon's contribution to the Urban Agriculture Fund, Robertson stated, "I like a big cheque."

Canon faces a tough, competitive market in Vancouver, a company official said.

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