Over 230 politicians, friends and colleagues gathered to honour newly retired senator, broadcaster and jazz musician, Tommy Banks at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s Empire Ballroom on Feb. 4. “I’m very grateful to everyone who thought it was a good idea [to honour my career] and to all the people who bought tickets,” said Banks.
The sold-out tribute dinner called “Take the B Train” included cocktails and dinner, and music by the guest of honour himself, but it also unveiled the Tommy Banks Performing Artists Fund established with the help of the Edmonton Community Foundation to provide accommodations and support to local artists.
“It’s very important that artists of all kinds are able to stay in Edmonton, both during their working careers and when they retire. We want to keep them here,” said Banks.
Proceeds from the ticket sales went to the Liberal Party of Canada, and a private musical performance by the Tommy Banks Trio was raffled off with the proceeds raised — more than $13,000 — going to the artists fund.
Fernelle Fjerwold and Donna Lynn Smith- Blackburn
Donna Bagdan and Brian Heidecker
Nausheen Khan and Arif Khan
Bruce Bradley and Shelley Weinstein
Sharon MacLean and Raj Sherman
Julie Stirling, Barb Stirling and Carole Halko