COVID-19 and the need to follow physical distancing guidelines means that the 2021 PSAC STARS & Spurs Gala will undergo significant changes compared to prior years. For more than 27 years, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) has been bringing industry leaders together to support STARS Air Ambulance and has raised over $17 million during that period.
David McHattie, VP of Institutional Relations for Tenaris in Canada and the Chair of the 2021 event, says that his committee of volunteers has exciting opportunities planned for this year, some of which may become permanent staples in the future. “For the petroleum services sector, operating safely is paramount, but it is great to know that in case of an emergency, STARS is only a phone call away to support our industry, our communities and our employees. As our industry is essential to the Canadian economy, so too is STARS as a service to our industry, employees and communities.”
“While the traditional gala format is not feasible this year due to COVID-19 and our inability to gather in person,” said Elizabeth Aquin, Interim President and CEO of PSAC, “the commitment of PSAC to STARS remains the same. Our theme this year focuses on Canadian values, values shared by our energy industry and STARS — an identity supporting the collective good from our hearts.”
In an effort to raise the same level of funds to help STARS be there for the next patient who needs help, the PSAC STARS & Spurs Gala has been split into three equally essential activities:
We will not have a physical gala as we will not be able to gather. To support STARS, however, we will execute a campaign that raises funds that contribute more directly to STARS and we will celebrate the essential role our industry plays in Canadian communities. To raise funds, we are asking sponsors to contribute as they have before, but due to the different economic circumstances, we understand that this contribution may be different. This means that we will be asking past and new sponsors to contribute what they can in support of STARS in this Safe@Home campaign. Without a physical gala, the costs will be different and the sponsorship funds raised will go to STARS without added expenses.
Sponsorship Committee Chair Steve Glanville, COO of STEP Energy Services, says, “My committee and I will be reaching out to all past supporters in the coming weeks and look forward to any new interest. We have commitments of support from some past sponsors already and there are many opportunities to be a part of this campaign.”
In place of the gala, a 30-45 minute video will be released on January 23, 2021, that celebrates the success of this campaign, along with a Very Important Patient (VIP) story and Honorary Patron Award. In this video, watch for the release of a new single event performance by a recognizable Canadian entertainer.
McHattie elaborates, “This is an initiative to illustrate to our employees, communities and customers that just as we will continue to play an important role in the Canadian economy, we will contribute to ensure that STARS continues to be available in our communities to support patients in need.”
A new aspect this year will be the introduction of a 50/50 lottery that is available to our industry employees, suppliers and residents across Alberta, rather than a raffle that only single-event participants could participate in under the previous gala format. McHattie explains that plans are being developed for a 50/50 lottery that will run for a short period terminating at the PSAC STARS & Spurs Industry Live Auction (May 2021). Sales and promotion of this lottery will be PSAC driven and will create awareness for the essential nature of our industry and the service STARS provides.”
The petroleum services, supply and manufacturing sector traditionally employs 450,000 of the 550,000 people working in Canadian energy. Many of these people live in Alberta and are eligible to purchase tickets. By reaching out to the community through these companies, this lottery will provide an individual opportunity for these stakeholders to show their support for STARS.
Similar to the historic live industry auction, PSAC members will donate valuable services and products to be auctioned off to Canadian energy customers. The auction event will be exclusive to the sponsors and buyers of these products/services. “Due to the exclusivity, physical distancing rules will enable a first-class opportunity for executives to interact and celebrate the essential role that their industry and STARS play. It will be hosted in a unique location and the event will have several creative aspects that will make this a must-attend event in the Canadian energy industry,” according to McHattie. The event will occur in May 2021 and will include the announcement of the winning 50/50 lottery ticket, and a final fundraising tally.