Something very, very special is on the menu in the Show Lounge at the Oceanfront Hotel and Suites in Cowichan Bay on Friday, April 29.
The newly-formed Cowichan Jubilee Foundation (CJF) for the Performing Arts is presenting a fundraising Evening of Fine Dining and Music.
There will be a silent auction featuring such items as tickets to anywhere Westjet flies, a full set of luggage and more and, of course, superb food.
And a galaxy of special guests, such as Will Millar — an original Irish Rover — plus former NHLer Greg Adams and many other local luminaries.
But what about the music?
That is coming from the equally superb pairing of soprano Betty Allison and pianist Rykie Avenant.
The evening begins at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at Volume One Bookstore, Oceanfront Suites, or by calling 250-466-9966.
There is a terrific incentive to getting your friends to join you at this dinner, according to CJF president Les Broadway.
“Anyone who sells a table of 10 tickets to this dinner gets to put their name in a draw for a foursome with the three top golfers in Canada at our golf tournament in September.” he said.
Broadway and the group’s vice-president Ray Inder are excited about the possibililties for the foundation.
“In the arts everywhere, we spend half our time talking about fundraising. I suggested about a year ago that we should form a foundation whose whole purpose it raise money and which would then support the arts, the symphony included.
“But I’m also really concerned about all these older teenagers who have gotten through their dance program or their voice or piano or violin lessons but now they can’t go on to reach the pinnacle of their abilities because they don’t have the money.”
Broadway admitted that there is already a Cowichan Performing Arts Foundation but said the two fundraising groups should be able to exist simultaneously because the focus of each one is very different.
“In five years that group has done a great, great job but there is still another need. We want to raise millions.”
Ray Inder is new to the Valley but is ready to step up and work on the foundation.
“We don’t want people paying [to put on shows] out of their own pockets. We want to help out. Say a choir needs to go to a competition in Vancouver and they need help with their funding. We’d be more than happy to assist them.”
The CJF is putting on the banquet at the end of April but there’s more in the wind.
On Sept. 26 they’re organizing a fundraising golf tournament at the Cowichan Golf & Country Club — a real showstopping event, according to Inder.
“We have Canada’s three top golfers coming: David Hearn, Graham DeLaet and Adam Hadwin as well as Walter Gretzky. It will be called Walter Gretzky and Friends.”
Eager golfers can enter that tournament by signing up (at $225 per player) at the golf course after May 1, he said.
“We’re expecting a minimum profit of $100,000; we would like to be the umbrella of funding organizations. Then they don’t have to do those chocolate bar sales,” Inder said.
And the Valley’s business community will also be glad of the relief, according to Broadway.
“We just heard that now. A man said: ‘Every business is going to love you guys because we get 30 people a month coming in.’
That’s what we’re trying to educate people about: if they will support us, then we will support the performing arts people who always have their hands out,” Broadway said.
And sponsors and supporters are already stepping up.
“Westjet has given us return trip tickets for two to anywhere they fly in the world,” he said.
“Sears and they gave us a full set of luggage to go with that travel plan. We’re trying to do that: think in a bigger way.”
The group is also really looking for volunteers, too, the men said.
Anyone interested in working with the foundation can get in touch with Broadway by calling 250-466-9966.