The UBC Medicine Spring Gala is a celebration of the arts: a night where UBC medical students from all four years come together to showcase talents outside of the medical realm and enjoy the performances and artistry of their peers. Alumni, family, and members of the community are also welcomed as an essential part of the celebration!
The event takes place at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC's Vancouver Campus. All proceeds go towards a charity chosen by the students each year.
The History of the Spring Gala
"The first Spring Gala took place on April 12, 1995 in the Old Auditorium on the UBC campus. The previous year I had attended the Medical School Ball at the Pan Pacific Hotel and during the pre-dinner cocktails a group of students provided background music that unfortunately very few were listening to. Their performances were however of such remarkable quality that it seemed to me they deserved an appropriate time and place for all to enjoy their amazing talents without distraction. And so the idea of the Gala was born.
In 1994 I had the good fortune to be appointed the first Associate Dean of Student Affairs and I made it my mission to organize such an event. I recruited Gordon Horner who was a second year medical student at the time and who the previous year had founded the Medical School choir. He produced and directed brilliantly that first concert that we decided to name The Spring Gala, for rather obvious reasons. It was an outstanding success with a program that appealed to everyone as you can see:
The following year the Gala took place at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver and once again was a never-to-be-forgotten evening. At that time the Chan Centre was being built at UBC and I met with the Director Michael Noon on the stage of what was then only a concrete shell. I told him about our amazingly talented students and described the Gala to him. The timing of the completion of the Concert Hall couldn’t have been better and he was happy to allow us to be the first group to perform there after its opening ceremonies. In fact it was our concert that allowed the designers of the Chan to “tune the hall”. The Gala was a spectacular success of course and I was then able to book the Galas for the next five years, and we have never looked back.
The Spring Gala has become an event that the whole medical school looks forward to and I am forever grateful to all the producers who step forward each year to take on the organization with such professionalism and love. Thanks also to all the student production staff, volunteers and of course performers who never fail to amaze. This year is the 23rd Gala, which means that some of you will be around to celebrate our “silver jubilee” year in 2019; something to think about even now."
Here’s the rest of that first program: