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Masked intrigue on the menu at gala for good cause

Get ready for some incognito excitement as evening at the Pipe Shop raises funds for local causes

Oct 17, 2023 7:08 AM

Jacquie McCarnan (right) and daughter Layne O'Donnell get ready for the North Van Cares Foundation Gala taking place at The Pipe Shop Venue at the Shipyards on Friday, Oct. 27. Go to for tickets and more info for the fundraising event. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

Brilliant disguises and decadent deceptions will be in high style Oct. 27 as North Van Cares gets set to host an evening of masked intrigue with a fundraising masquerade gala at the Pipe Shop Venue.

“We’re encouraging people to wear masks,” says Jacquie McCarnan, a local real estate agent and founder of North Van Cares, who will be donning an elegant gown for the event.

Not knowing exactly who you’re rubbing shoulders with as the evening unfolds is considered part of the fun at the sophisticated Halloween for grown-ups.

A silent auction, live auction, charcuterie table of sumptuous snacks from Luxe Bites and dancing music by local band Dr. Jon’s Committee will all be part of the evening which runs from 7 to 11 p.m. There will also be some special surprises, which McCarnan is keeping under wraps until the evening.

The goal of the gala is to raise money for the North Van Cares non-profit, with a mission of supporting locals in need as well as contributing to other local charities and organizations that work on the North Shore.

“I think the big difference is we’re a super grassroots organization,” said McCarnan. “We are boots on the ground in North Vancouver. We don’t have a big bureaucracy. We’re nimble.”

North Van Cares was founded three years ago by McCarnan at the height of the pandemic, when she was looking to help seniors access goods and services they might need, including grocery and prescription pick-ups. Two months later, she had more than 3,500 people signed up to a local Facebook page.

McCarnan inherited her own giving spirit from her mother, who she said instilled a sense of gratitude in her. Her own mother’s family had themselves been recipients of the Santa Claus Fund and “she never forgot that the kindness of strangers offered them joy and hope when it was scarce.”

Some of the group’s projects have been large and some have been small. The biggest to date was the effort that raised more than $140,000 for victims of the Lynn Valley library stabbing.

The group has also handed out 450 Christmas boxes over two years to those in need of a boost.

This year, the list of local causes the gala will benefit includes Backpack Buddies, North Shore Rescue, North Shore Black Bear Society, the Lookout Shelter and North Shore

Volunteers for Seniors.

To buy tickets or get more information on the event go to

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