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A Charman Event

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Eric Charman is the life of the party, and not only because he's usually the person organizing it. As a lifelong patron of the arts, Charman has raised money for the Victoria Symphony, the Pacific Opera Victoria, and, most significantly The Victoria Conservatory of Music. The life of a bon vivant is not nearly as effortless as it seems. Over the past forty years, Charman has presided over 400 charity auctions. "My view is that if I'm going to raise money, I want people to have fun in the process," he says. Director Carl Bessai captures this effervescent man in his element, doing what else, throwing a party. Within the elegant environs of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, the champagne flows and the flowers and confetti fall like rain. Charman is, as his friends say, "a force of nature," and a benevolent hurricane who whips people into a joyful frenzy of generosity. But behind the parties and the celebrations, there is a deeply democratic principle at work. As a child, Eric Charman wanted to take piano lessons. "Well, after my third lesson, I ran out of money..." he says. He has since devoted himself to making music available to everyone, not just those who can afford the price of a lesson or a ticket.

2008, 05 min 40 s