The Innkeeper’s Gala: A Remarkable Legacy



From its inception, the now legendary Innkeeper’s Gala at the Hotel Eldorado has been the marquis event to kick off the holiday season in Kelowna. For over three decades now, Innkeeper’s has not only been the party of the year, but the funds raised have also made a profound impact in advancing health care at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and in the community.

The history of the Innkeeper’s Gala is truly the story of a locally based, family-owned hospitality property giving back to the people who live in their home community. During their ownership, the Nixon family established the Innkeeper’s Gala as an annual fundraising event in support of KGH. In 2014, Argus Properties bought the Eldorado from the Nixon family and kept the commitment to the Eldorado’s philanthropic traditions, including the Innkeeper’s Gala.

Over the years, the Innkeeper’s Gala has rallied the community in support of the most urgent health care needs at KGH. These include raising funds in support of women’s health, youth mental health, pediatrics, JoeAnna’s House, helping to bring advanced heart rhythm services and electrophysiology to the hospital, and most recently, support for cancer care surgical and diagnostic equipment.

Over the years, the Innkeeper’s Gala has raised over $1.2 million in support of KGH and local health care.

After a two-year hiatus, the Innkeeper’s Gala made a triumphant return in 2022. Over $200,000 was raised to support the purchase of IHC (immunohistochemistry) stainers for the KGH Pathology Lab. These specialized instruments are used to characterize cancer cells.

Previously, approximately 25 samples per day were sent to the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver because the KGH Pathology Lab was unable to complete the tests in-house with older equipment and technology. Sending tissues to Vancouver prolonged diagnosis and treatment planning, adding to a patient’s already anxious state.

The new IHC stainers significantly expand the capabilities at KGH and reduce the need to send samples to Vancouver. This means that patients do not need to wait as long for a diagnosis and oncologists can establish a plan of treatment sooner.

“We are grateful to the Nixon Family for establishing this event, to the ongoing commitment of Argus Properties and the outstanding staff at the Hotel Eldorado,” says Allison (Allie) Young, CEO of the KGH Foundation. “It’s become a tradition! Such an incredible evening of food, dancing, and fun with friends that continues to leave an indelible mark on health care in our community.”

Over the years, the Innkeeper’s Gala has raised over $1.2 million in support of KGH and local health care.

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