Red Deer Arts Council holding first Arts and Craft (Beer) Fundraiser

Red Deerians will soon be able to check out an exciting and thoroughly unique event coming up – the Arts and Craft (Beer) Fundraiser for the Red Deer Arts Council.

Folks will be able to enjoy craft beer, live and silent auction items, appetizers and live music with St. James’ Gate in a fundraiser slated for Jan. 31st at Festival Hall.

Tickets are available via the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.

Things get underway at 7 p.m.

The event will feature samples of fine craft beer and gourmet appetizers from Red Deer’s finest restaurants, all included in the ticket price, served in an artistic atmosphere that features live music, visual artists creating works on site, and a special short presentation by the Arts Council’s first Emerging Artist Award winner Alysse Bowd.

A unique arts-and-culture-themed auction will also feature special ‘experiential’ auction items, allowing the top bidders to experience the creative process.

“To me, it’s very important not only because it will help with some of the ongoing operations of the Arts Council, which is an arts and culture umbrella organization. We actually have 29 member organizations and about 111 members altogether – those 29 member organizations are included in that,” said coordinator Diana Anderson.

“So we are fundraising for the Arts Council, and we are also helping to support those 29 organizations and all those individuals that have signed with us as well. So if you think of it on the broader scale, that’s really what we are about.”

Live auction items include building your own guitar with master luthier David Gilmore;

under the guidance of a professional chef, learning to create an haute cuisine menu for eight for a dinner party in your own home; enjoying an al fresco BBQ dinner for eight with live music in a garden setting with hosts Morris and Hazel Flewwelling and more.

Silent auction items, following a similar theme, include experiences such as digital photo and computer touch-up lessons with a professional photographer; one-on-one painting lessons, beer-making lessons, including equipment; pottery lessons, dance lessons for kids and adults, jewellery-making, learning to bake the best cinnamon buns ever and more.

“There are some really unique items,” said Anderson, adding that the support in providing items and experiences has been tremendous.

“People are calling me and saying, ‘Can we give you something – what can we do to support you’. I think that is absolutely fantastic,” she said. “Our board is also amazing – they’ve stepped up 100 per cent with everyone taking on different kinds of duties as well.

“Ultimately, I hope people get really excited about coming out and doing something a little bit different. You can also dance to St. James’ Gate which I think is one of the great bands of Red Deer.”

Board Chair Scott Barnabé said the event is thoroughly unique, and the goal is also to bolster awareness of how important the arts are to the overall health of a community.

“You are actually participating in it – you are going to be in the middle of whatever a particular prize is – in some way, shape or form,” he said.

Take the ‘building your own guitar’ with Gilmore.

“Having a custom guitar built for you is one thing; actually participating in the process and being able to say, ‘This is a custom built guitar that I helped build’ is something else. For anyone who plays the guitar, it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Barnabé said the idea is to provide experiences – often, people don’t really want more ‘stuff’ but they are eager to try new things.

“I’m still interested in collecting and acquiring new experiences.”

Planners also say the auctions will be interspersed with a night of dancing with one of Red Deer’s favourite party bands, St. James’ Gate, with craft beer and wine available at the cash bar.

Tickets are $50 per person or $350 for a table of eight and available through the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.

Beer-tasting starts at 7 p.m. and dancing starts at 9 p.m. with auctions happening throughout the evening.

Festival Hall is located at 4214 – 58th St.

In June 2013, Red Deer hosted the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Awards Gala.

The LGAA event raised legacy funds, part of which were gifted to the Red Deer Arts Council to establish the Emerging Artist Award and to use the funds as seed money for a fundraising event that would see the legacy funds grow and to continue to provide money for the Emerging Artist Award, as well as for ongoing operations.

“Supporting this is really important to us, too,” said Anderson.

The first award winner, Bowd, will be presenting a performance art piece at the event.

“It’s very exciting – I’m quite curious to see what she comes up with.”

Bowd’s exhibit, Dear Little Friends, is on display at the Kiwanis Gallery through Feb. 22nd.