Nordstrom will host charity galas for the opening of its Canadian stores, as it does with its US store openings. Its first gala will be held on September 17th in Calgary, two days prior to the opening of its Chinook Centre store. Remarkably, all 1,800 gala tickets sold out within two weeks. Nordstrom's second Canadian gala will be held in March of 2015, prior to the opening of its new Ottawa location. Subsequent galas will be held for Nordstrom's new Vancouver and Toronto stores.
Nordstrom's Calgary gala will benefit the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, as well as the Calgary United Way. Tickets went on sale last month for $100 each and according to Calgary's Ryan Massel, sold out in exceptional time. The entire cost of the gala is underwritten by Nordstrom, meaning that all proceeds from ticket sales go to these charities. Being that 1,800 tickets were sold, over $180,000 will be going to charity.
Over the years, Nordstrom's store opening galas have raised millions for various charities. Many galas raise in excess of $100,000 and some, considerably more. The 2008 gala for the opening of Nordstrom's Aventura Mall store in Miami, for example, raised more than $212,000 from its over 1,700 attendees. It will be interesting to see if Calgary's gala surpasses these numbers.
Nordstrom's Calgary store opens on Friday, September 19th. The 140,000 square foot Chinook Centre store occupies part of a former Sears location, at the north end of the mall. Nordstrom's second Canadian store opens March 6th, 2015, at Ottawa's Rideau Centre. Its third Canadian store opens in the fall of 2015 in Vancouver. Two Toronto stores (Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Shopping Centre) will open in the fall of 2016, and a third Toronto location opens at Sherway Gardens in the spring of 2017. At least a couple more Canadian Nordstrom locations are expected to follow.