The glasses have been emptied, the tuxes and party dresses packed away, and we’re thrilled to report that this year’s Bacchanalia Gala was an outstanding success!

The glittering fundraising event is held as the kick-off to each Vancouver International Wine Festival season, and net proceeds go to Bard on the Beach, as we are the Wine Festival’s charitable beneficiary. This year’s gathering on February 11 was unforgettable for many reasons and here are three of our favourites:

Number one: The evening’s live and silent auctions raised nearly $260,000, an increase of $50,000 over last year’s auctions! Bard’s Live Auction package offered a celebrity dining experience at Vij’s with our own Christopher Gaze, restaurateur and Dragon’s Den alumni Vikram Vij and master winemaker Howard Soon. After some very lively bidding, the initial package sold for $20,000. And then a second dinner was unexpectedly offered – and it fetched an additional $17,500!

Number two: Leanne Quirk won the trip of a lifetime! Leanne bought the winning ticket in the raffle for two Delta One International Business Class tickets, donated by Delta Air Lines. Only 200 tickets were available, every one was snapped up and that means an extra $20,000 of revenue went towards the Gala’s total net proceeds of $280,000.

Number three: Guests were treated to a condensed version of Christopher’s always-popular Quoting Shakespeare performance. If you missed it at the Gala, here’s the next best thing.

We’ll leave the last words to Christopher: “The Bacchanalia Gala was absolutely superb and all of us at Bard thank everyone who attended. The guests were incredibly generous and Bard Education is the worthy beneficiary. This remarkable support will help us reach thousands of young people across British Columbia through our unique and ever-expanding Education programs.”

The next Bacchanalia Gala is scheduled for Saturday, February 24, 2018 and should be extra-special, as the Wine Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018. We hope to see you there!