CBC held its annual Thanksgiving Brunch that Canadian and non-Canadians enjoyed with their families and friends. This year, almost two hundred (200) participants gathered in the Ballroom of Beach Rotana Hotel to mark this special occasion and reflect on the many blessings they ought to be thankful for. The Thanksgiving Brunch program was filled with activities and entertainment for adults and kids!

The event started with welcome remarks from the Ambassador of Canada to the UAE H. E. Masud Husain, CBC Chairman Mr. Jack Matar, and Mr. Gregory Zoughbi, CBC Board Member and Head of Membership and Sponsorship. They spoke about the importance of Thanksgiving and extended their own thanks including to CBC Sponsors and Members.

Mr. Matar took the opportunity to acknowledge the presence of Canada’s Ambassador to the UAE and invited him to speak. The Ambassador expressed his joy for being in the UAE and briefly spoke about his role in promoting business and strengthening ties between Canada and the UAE. The Canadian National Anthem was then sung by Ms. Tiyana Badwan, a student at The Abu Dhabi Grammar School (AGS) Canada. This was followed by an Irish dance performed by the AGS students all in black and in perfect synchronization. Later on during the event, AGS volunteers also danced the traditional Arabic Dabke to the joy of those present.

The event’s Master of Ceremony (MC) was CBC Board Member Ms. Christine Belanger. She kicked off the entertainment program by announcing and giving out door prizes, vouchers for hotels, restaurants, spa and boat cruises, courtesy of the sponsors. Then everybody was invited to the Buffet where succulent food was served. The traditional carving of turkey with cranberry sauce and potatoes, pasta dishes, salads and a rich dessert buffet were enjoyed by all. As the guests were chatting and relaxing to the music of Canadian singers, and a slide show of beautiful Canadian scenery, other raffles were held! Prizes were even hidden under seats as guests turned their chairs upside-down with laughter looking for Canadian flag stickers that signaled awards! A silent auction was simultaneously taking place for a Golf game offered by Yas links, which was won by the Ambassador! A pair of Etihad Airways tickets were also won by Mr. Gary Reid, who thanked CBC and indicated that he will be using them for his honeymoon.

Meanwhile, the kids were meanwhile having their share of fun in a separate room, with entertainers painting faces, braiding hair, organizing games, and introducing their favorite mascots. They were then taught how to play drums and towards the end of the event, the whole Africa Tam Tam band walked toward the Ballroom with the kids holding their mini drums; they sat on the dance floor in a circle and started playing with the band. The kids were handed gift bags as they were leaving with their parents. Appreciation for the event was very generously expressed to the event organizers with a promise to the next CBC event!

The event was sponsored by Abu Dhabi Grammar School (Canada), which also donated precious gifts and performances. Other gifts were donated by Beach Rotana Hotel, Belevari Marine, Etihad Airways, Europcar, Hilton Corniche, Masaya Gifts, Pascal Tepper, Mrs. Simone Jucker, Spinneys, Tilal Liwa Hotel and Yas Links.

In addition to the tremendous support from AGS volunteers, a group of volunteers from New York University (NYU) supported the event from start to finish.