The Scotiabank/Stewart Mckelvey Celebrity Roast Of Paul Sobey Raises Over $285,000 For The Arthritis Society

February 2, 2012 | Melanie Nolan

The Scotiabank/Stewart McKelvey Celebrity Roast of Paul Sobey was held Wednesday, February 1st in support of The Arthritis Society, raising over $285,000 for arthritis research, programs and services in Nova Scotia.

This year’s Roast resulted in over $2 million being raised for The Society in the annual event’s 22-year history. 

“The Celebrity Roast is a longstanding, signature fundraising event for The Arthritis Society and we are grateful for the tremendous support from the community and our generous sponsors,” says Susan Tilley-Russell, Executive Director of The Arthritis Society, Atlantic Region. “The funds raised from this event will be invested in vital arthritis research and programs for people living with this disease in Nova Scotia.”

The evening was hosted by Denis Ryan, a past-roastee himself, who entertained the over 575-member audience. The roast covered a range of topics including Sobey’s love of outdoor activities and sports. The roasters included Richard Waugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank; Bill McEwan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sobeys Inc.; Stuart Fraser, President and CEO of Empire Theatres; and Ed Barrett, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Barrett Corporation. Jimmy Rankin, a good friend of Sobey’s, put on a surprise performance for the crowd. The Stanfields, part of one of the live auction items, also performed.

Zoe Hayes, president of The Arthritis Society’s Antigonish Volunteer Branch, was the event’s Arthritis Hero and shared her stories about conquering her arthritis which she has lived with for over 40 years. Hayes is a long-time volunteer with The Society and leads aqua arthritis classes in her community. February 1st was the eve of her 79th birthday, so the crowd joined Ryan in serenading her with “Happy Birthday”.

About The Arthritis Society Celebrity Roast

The Arthritis Society has had the honour of “roasting”, in good nature, a prominent member of the Nova Scotia community since 1989. Past roastees include John Risley, Mickey and Colin MacDonald, Rob Steele, Steve Parker, Fred MacGillivray, the late Charles Keating, Jack Flemming, and Drs. Richard and Ruth Goldbloom, to name a few. The event has become a Halifax favourite and draws a sell-out crowd of community and business leaders each year making it one of The Arthritis Society’s signature fundraisers.

About The Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society is Canada’s principal health charity which empowers the nearly 4.5 million Canadians with arthritis to live their lives to the fullest by combating the effects of arthritis. Over the last 60 years, The Society has invested more than $175 million towards arthritis research to develop better treatments and ultimately find a cure. In Nova Scotia alone, 210,000 people are currently battling arthritis, making it one of Nova Scotia’s most common chronic conditions. 


For more information, please contact: 

Melanie Nolan  
Communications Coordinator, Atlantic Region  
The Arthritis Society 
902.429.7025 ext. 222 

Jone Mitchell
Director of Development, Atlantic Region 
The Arthritis Society
902.429.7025 ext. 232