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Posted April 26, 2013

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Great Lakes

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Edward Burtynsky Host the Second Annual Waterkeeper Gala on May 23

Works from artists Michael Adamson, Edward Burtynsky, Charles Pachter and Nicolas Ruel to be auctioned for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water

TORONTO - Lake Ontario Waterkeeper announced that its second annual gala and art auction presented by the RBC Blue Water Project will be co-hosted by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance and photographer Edward Burtynsky. The 2013 Waterkeeper Gala will take place on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at Corus Quay in Toronto.

Kennedy and Burtynsky will be joined by Waterkeeper supporters from the worlds of art, sports, and the environment, including Giller Prize-winning author Joseph Boyden, musicians Gord Downie and Sarah Harmer and breakout novelist Tanis Rideout. The sold-out event will be emceed by on-air personality Terry O'Reilly.

"Our community needs a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Lake Ontario," said Mark Mattson, President, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. "Waterkeeper is honoured to be representing a growing movement of artists and leaders who are committed to ensuring a clean water future for all. As we work towards this goal, we have created game-changing platforms such as the Swim Guide, and a new national water centre dedicated to strengthening Canadians' thought-leadership on water and water health."

The Swim Guide was funded in part by the RBC Blue Water Project. Avid outdoorsman Kenneth Irving donated his family home on the Kennebecasis River in New Brunswick to serve as the Waterkeeper's national water centre. RBC and Irving will join Waterkeeper in celebration on May 23 for the gala and art auction.

The 20 renowned artists who have donated their art to support the Waterkeeper initiative include: Michael Adamson, Edward Burtynsky, Laurie De Camillis, Barbara Cole, Barbara Davidson, David Grieve, Daniel Hughes, Stewart Jones, Nicole Katsuras, David Marshak, Kent Monkman, Charles Pachter, Andrew Peycha, James Prosek, Peter Rotter, Nicolas Ruel, Andrew Rucklidge, Joe Sampson, Ben Schumacher and Su Sheedy. To preview the art online or to register to bid by phone, visit the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper website. Details about the Toronto auction preview event will be announced in the coming weeks.

"We are so proud to be presenting this second annual gala, with its dual focus on water and the arts," said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC. "Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is one of our few two-time grant recipients under the RBC Blue Water Project, and one of our most valued partners not only because it protects this magnificent lake where we live, but also because it inspires organizations across North America through its leadership and innovation."

Last year's gala raised $300,000. This year's event is expected to raise $400,000 for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. The Waterkeeper Gala is presented by RBC and hosted by Champion Sponsor Corus Entertainment. Other sponsors include McKeil Marine, the Cement Association of Canada, the Gordon and Lorraine Gibson Family Foundation, Miller Thomson LLP, Bullfrog Power and Mill St. Brewery.

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