News Release

18th Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival raises more than $59 million for University Health Network

Largest, most successful fundraiser of its kind supports groundbreaking medical research and innovation

Grant and Award Announcement

University Health Network

From Michelin stars to medical innovation: world-renowned chefs and philanthropists partner to raise funds at Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival

image: L-R: Chef Stefano Secchi, Todd Halpern (Chair, Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival), Chef Daniel Boulud, Steven Hudson (ECN Capital), Chef César Troisgros view more 

Credit: George Pimentel Photography

TORONTO, November 1, 2022 – Toronto’s UHN Foundation is proud to announce the 2022 Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, presented by ECN Capital, has raised more than $59 million for groundbreaking medical research and innovations across diabetes, cardiac and vascular, brain, surgery, stem cell and vision care at University Health Network (UHN).  

Funds raised include a landmark $52 million donation by John and Myrna Daniels Foundation to construct Canada’s first purpose-built geriatric emergency medicine centre. Slated to open in 2025 at UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital, the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre will be the first of its kind in the world, with every element of the space designed to address the unique needs of older adults alongside research and education programs. 

The ‘Grand Cru’ of fundraising: 18 years and $127 million 

An eclectic and delicious three-day weekend full of festivities, Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival is the largest event of its kind. For 18 years it has united world-renowned chefs and sommeliers with food and wine aficionados and the brightest minds in medical research in support of UHN’s pioneering programs. 

Events kicked off on Thursday, October 27, when more than 90 vintners from around the world treated guests to a unique Halpern Portfolio Tasting, presented by ECN Capital. The spectacular Grand Cru Live Auction featured during the tasting, raised more than $1.3 million. Guests jumped at the chance to bid on rare items, such as large format wines, artwork by Jane Waterous and Edward Burtynsky and an Aston Martin DBX707 generously donated by Grand Touring Automobiles. 

The event’s crowning jewels took place on Saturday night when 19 VIP invitation-only wine and dine experiences took place at private homes across Toronto. Twenty-four of the world’s most esteemed chefs developed 5-star menu pairings, including multi-Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud, Chef Patrick Kriss from Toronto’s newly Michelin-starred Alo, and TV host and restaurateur, Mark McEwan. The incomparable menus were developed around specially selected fine wines chosen by international vintners.  

“The Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival has featured the future of Canadian health care on its exclusive menu since 2005, raising more than $127 million. We are grateful for the support of this year’s presenting sponsor ECN Capital, and to the philanthropists, wine makers and culinary talents who support our events and contribute to significant medical advancements in the community,” says UHN Trustee and UHN Foundation Board Member, Todd Halpern, who founded Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival. At the Halpern dinner, a piece donated by renowned artist Mr. Brainwash was bought by 13 generous individuals for $1.3 million total, to be placed at UHN to commemorate the event. 

Grand Cru has supported many recent innovations at UHN, including: 

  • Pioneering technologies and surgical innovations across 13 surgical divisions in the Sprott Department of Surgery 

  • Promising new treatments for Parkinson’s disease and clinical advancements to treat other chronic and debilitating neurological conditions at Krembil Brain Institute 

  • Experimental models to study drugs delivered through the eye and more than 30 other clinical trials to end debilitating eye diseases at the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute 

  • Recruiting world-leading stem cell researchers to accelerate treatments in the fields of blood, diabetes, heart and liver research at the McEwen Stem Cell Institute 

  • Studying new approaches to treating diabetes that will drive discoveries and lead to better patient outcomes in the Diabetes Program 

  • Establishing remote patient monitoring to track and treat heart health at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre 

“The incredible generosity of Grand Cru attendees and supporters puts UHN at the forefront of transforming the patient experience, incredible research innovations and enhanced education. Grand Cru has been an outstanding source of support for UHN, and has helped to maintain our hospital’s standing as number four in the world. The event enables UHN’s world leading researchers and professionals to continue their mission of creating a healthier world,” says Tennys Hanson, CEO of UHN Foundation. 

For a complete history, photos and further information about Grand Cru, including a full list of sponsors, participating hosts, chefs, wineries and UHN clinicians and researchers, please visit 

- 30 - 

About Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival 

Since its inception in 2005, Grand Cru has raised more than $127 million in support of UHN programs including: Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Sprott Department of Surgery, Krembil Brain Institute, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute, McEwen Stem Cell Institute, Ajmera Transplant Centre, Schroeder Arthritis Institute and Diabetes Program. The 18th edition of the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival took place October 27 to 29, 2022. 

Founded by Todd Halpern, Trustee, UHN Board of Trustees and Board Member, UHN Foundation Board of Directors, Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival is the highest fundraising food and wine festival in the world, bringing together the finest wine, gourmet cuisine, brightest minds in medical research, and UHN donors and sponsors. 

About UHN Foundation 

Part of University Health Network (UHN), UHN Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, Toronto Rehab and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. With donor support, UHN Foundation is helping UHN pursue new knowledge to build a healthier world. 

Media enquiries  

For further information please contact:  

Sadie Tory, Senior Account Manager, Strategic Objectives  

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.