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2011 - Year in Review

Australia Day and Waitangi Day, Thursday 3 February

Thanks to everyone who joined us to get the CANZA year going with our traditional combined event celebrating Australia Day and Waitangi Day at the Iron Curtain pub! Special thanks to David Chirnside for organizing the event and to Double Shot and Danny Robinson who played up a storm including some great Aussie and Kiwi hits!


New Year’s Business Dinner, Friday 11 February

Our first business dinner of the year was held in conjunction with Club Vivanova at the Brewery Bar of the five star Augustine Hotel and was a great sign of things to come this year. Guests enjoyed some lovely Barking Owl wines courtesy of event co-organizer Club Vivanova and were accompanied by a tasty three course gourmet dinner prepared by Executive Chef Richard Fuchs.


Asian Fusion Part 1 Business Dinner, Thursday 17 March

– 50 guests enjoyed another sold-out event featuring the Michelin-awarded cuisine of Sasazu Restaurant together with a great selection of Australian and New Zealand wines courtesy of event co-organizer Club Vivanova including Taylor Ferguson Sparkling Brut,Sliding Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Marlborough, New Zealand), Hundred Tree Hill Pinot Noir 2007 (Pyrenees, Victoria) and Meerea Park The Aunts Shiraz 2007 (Hunter Valley).

New Zealand Film Night, Thursday 7 April

CANZA was pleased to present our second New Zealand Film Night at Kino Atlas. The evening featured the Prague premiere of New Zealand’s 11th top grossing film, In My Father’s Den, winner of the International Critics’ Award (FIPRESCI) at the 2004 International Toronto Film Festival. The NZ Film Night was presented in association with the New Zealand Embassy Berlin, the New Zealand Film Commission and Kino Atlas.

Palace Business Dinner, Friday 15 April


CANZA celebrated our second successive sold-out business dinner at Palffy Palac Club. Guests enjoyed a five course Gourmet Dinner matched with five Australian & New Zealand Boutique Wines against the stunning backdrop of Prague Castle, the Pálffy Gardens and the Furstenberg Palace. Thanks again to Club Vivanova who co-organized the event.  More photos can be found on the Club Vivanova site

NSW Public Schools Symphony Ensembles Concert, Monday 18 April

– CANZA was proud to support the Prague concert of the NSW Public Schools Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the Church of St. Simon and Jude. The music included Symphony No 5 by Dimitri Shostakovich; Symphony No 9 ‘The New World’ by Antonin Dvorak; Rondo and Capriccioso for solo violin and orchestra by Camille Saint Saens; Festive Overture by Dimitri Shostakovich; Extreme Makeover by Johan De Meij; and Concerto for Trombone by James Stephenson.

Anzac Day Commemoration and BBQ, Monday 25 April

As in the past two years, ANZAC Day fell on a public holiday (Easter Monday) CANZA again organized dual events to commemorate and celebrate the day. Thanks to assistance from the Australian and New Zealand Governments, we held a Memorial Ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves located at the northern end of Olšanské Cemetery, which include the final resting place of a number of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. After the ceremony everyone was invited back for the organization's traditional ANZAC Day BBQ down by the Vltava Riverside at the VK Slavia Rowing Club. A complimentary bus transfer was offered from the ceremony to the BBQ. The BBQ featured Aussie and Kiwi music, sports and childrens' activities and BBQ food and Australian wine and Czech beer available at reasonable prices.

Christchurch Fundraising, April

In light of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake which hit Christchurch in New Zealand on the 22nd of February, CANZA gave members and guests at all of our events in April an opportunity to contribute to the rebuilding of Christchurch. Raffle tickets were sold, prizes drawn and auctions held at the New Zealand Film Night, the Palace Business Dinner and ANZAC Day BBQ. Prizes included signed Flight of the Conchords and bro’Town memorabilia. Also all profits from the sale of food and drinks at ANZAC Day went towards the appeal.

Aussie Gals at the Fringe Launch Party, Thursday 26 May

Almost 100 guests showed up for the launch party of our Prague Fringe Festival sponsorship for 2011. As in previous years, CANZA supported the Antipodean performers at the Prague Fringe Festival, and in 2011 the focus was on two Australian singers, Merri-May Gill (www.merrimaygill.com) and Phebe Starr (www.phebestarr.com). We were treated to sneak preview performances from both artists in the garden of the five star deluxe Augustine Rocco Forte Hotel together with an outdoor gourmet BBQ feast with a selection of premium Australian and New World wines. Following on from the launch party, over 500 tickets were sold to the singers’ performances at the Prague Fringe Festival, proudly sponsored by CANZA! In particular, Phebe Starr made a huge impression at her first European festival, playing to rave reviews (http://www.expats.cz/prague/article/fringe-fest-2011-reviews/the-sublime-phebe-starr/?amp) and a sold-out final show. Here's a  Fringe performance by Phebe Starr:



Asian Fusion #2 Business Dinner, Thursday 23 June

After the success of our sold-out Asian Fusion Business Dinner in March, members demanded a second Asian Fusion night – and it soon sold out too! The event took place at the fabulous Buddha Bar Restaurant and featured a five course gourmet Asian fusion dinner plus four premium boutique Australian and New Zealand wines. The event was co-organized with Club Vivanova and Prague Private Dining.

Summer BBQ, Thursday 14 July

Thanks to everyone for their great support of our BBQ party held at Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge in conjunction with Club Vivanova. The BBQ buffet was as great as the view! But the real highlight of the evening was the amazing New World Wine cocktails courtesy of cocktail-phenomenon Roma Uhlir using wines including Australian sparkling brut and New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

AFL Supercoach Kevin Sheedy in Prague, Monday 18 July


Thanks to CAAFL, CANZA welcomed legendary Aussie Rules coach Kevin Sheedy in Prague last week to mark the cooperation between his AFL team, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, and their main sponsor Skoda Auto. As part of his visit, Kevin attended a special CAAFL training session at the Petrovice Rugby Ground on Monday afternoon, together with Dale Holmes, CEO of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, along with Skoda Australia MD Matthew Weisner. For footage of the visit see http://bigpondvideo.com/AFL/377401/sheedy-in-prague/.

Asian Fusion #3 Business Dinner, Friday 9 September


After two sold out Asian Fusion Business Dinners, we went for a third at Aureole Fusion Restaurant – and nobody was disappointed! The restaurant is located on the 27th floor of City Tower, Pankrac, the tallest building in the Czech Republic so guests enjoyed a great view to match the amazing Five Course Dinner matched with five premium Aussie wines from the Hunter Valley, Tasmania and the Margaret River courtesy of event co-organizer Club Vivanova.

CAAFL Grand Final, Sunday 18 September


CANZA was proud to support the Czech Association of Australian Rules Football (CAAFL) again in 2011. The CAAFL Grand Final was fought out between the 2010 Premiers Vinohrady Hawks and the Prague Cats, who managed to run up a huge score (22.22-154) to down the Hawks (3.12-30) and avenge their defeat in the 2010 Grand Final by becoming 2011 Premiers. Highlights of the game are on youtube:

Mediterranean Business Dinner, Thursday 6th October

After three Asian Fusion evenings, we changed gears to enjoy a five course mediterranean fusion menu matched with Australian and New Zealand boutique wines courtesy of event co-organizers Club Vivanova at Bilkova 13 Bar and Restaurant.

CANZA at Expats Expo, 8 October

For the first time CANZA exhibited at Expats Expo and was able to provide information on a range of our activities to newcomers and long-standing members of the expatriate community alike. We are looking forward to seeing everyone we met at Expat Expo at a CANZA event soon!

Inaugural Sparta Hockey Bar Night, 9 October

Over 50 members of CANZA and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) enjoyed our first joint Sky Bar event at HC Sparta Prague as we watched live hockey from the VIP bar. Sparta squeezed out a victory against 2010/11 Extraliga champions Trinec in a game so close it went to a penalty shootout. But we were all happy since the longer the game went the more unlimited pizza and beer we could enjoy!

New Zealand RWC Celebration, Saturday 5 November

With the fantastic All Blacks victory in the 2011 Rugby World Cup our New Zealand gala dinner became a RWC Victory Celebration and what a success! The event, which was held on Saturday 5th September at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, was fully sold out with 100 guests who thoroughly enjoyed some great New Zealand wine long into the wee hours! We were also honoured by the presence of New Zealand Ambassador Peter Rider who gave a presentation on the highs and lows of 2011 for New Zealanders.

Meet the Prague Barbarian Vikings, Friday 25 November

About 20 of us got together on Friday 25th November for the last drinks night of the year - JD was buying for Who's Free and we got to see footage and meet players from the new Prague Barbarian Vikings rugby club which is proudly supported by CANZA. The last of us finished up around 2am! Thanks to those who came and especially to JD for organizing the event. Look out for further CANZA drinks nights in 2012!

Champagne and Chocolate Party, Friday 2 December

At our most recent business dinner, around 40 guests enjoyed an exclusive start to the festive season on Friday 2nd December bringing together two companies never before seen in Prague! Aussie-owned company BLYSS (www.blysschocolate.com) is a radically new indulgence company, breaking conventions and creating multisensory experiences beyond old-fashioned luxury through the secret of single bean virgin chocolate. So we were very happy to welcome former Ironwoman Aussie Alyssa Jane from BLYSS as she introduced her amazing products for the first time to the Czech market. BLYSS joined with Armand de Brignac (www.armanddebrignac.com), producer of one of the number one rated Champagnes in the world to present a unique chocolate and champagne degustation dinner - all at top Michelin-rated Prague restaurant Sasazu (www.sasazu.com) which also provided some of its great fusion food to complement the chocolate and champagne!

Annual Charity Ball, Saturday 3 December

This year’s Annual Charity CANZA Ball was held at Zatisi Group's Zoom Function Room at the Prague Congress Centre on 3rd December in the presence of Australian Ambassador Ruth Pearce and other distinguished guests. We were also joined by the South African community including Ambassador Celia-Sandra Botha giving an additional and new flavour to the evening. Highlights included performances by Standard Bank 2011 Young Jazz Singer of the Year Melanie Scholz and ex-Fatboys favourite Danny Robinson. Around 160 guests enjoyed food and wine from Australia and New Zealand (supplied by Wine Partners CZ) as well as South African beer (courtesy of SAB). And continuing in the charitable tradition of our Annual Balls, 62,000kc was raised for UNICEF!


For more details see the 2011 Ball Page