Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction Raises $225,000 for Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

VANCOUVER, BC (February 26, 2018) — The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction kicked off the 40th Vancouver International Wine Festival on February 24 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver with a spectacular evening of wine and food, topped by a thrilling live auction. Live and silent auctions raised $205,000, while the sold-out raffle for two Delta One International Business Class tickets, donated by Delta Air Lines, raised an additional $20,000. Net proceeds of this annual fundraiser benefit charitable partner Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

“The Gala was absolutely marvelous and all of us at Bard say a heartfelt thank you to those who attended, and the team that created it,” said Christopher Gaze, artistic director of Bard on the Beach. “The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver provided a truly dramatic and elegant backdrop. The wonderful chair of the Gala, Stephanie Hungerford, along with MC Chris Gailus of Global BC, made sure the night was great fun. It was everything a successful Gala should be – full of laughter, excitement, superb wines and an exquisite gourmet menu. The funds raised will do remarkable things for our Bard Education programs and I’m so thrilled that this generous support will help us reach thousands of young people across British Columbia.”

The sold-out gala began with a sparkling Cava reception and an opportunity to bid on a fantastic range of wines in the One Bid auction. Following the reception, guests savoured nine spectacular wines paired with five inventive courses created by the Fairmont’s executive chef, Cameron Ballendine, that took guests on a culinary journey to the Iberian Peninsula.

Throughout dinner, guests were able to place their bids using electronic tablets on silent auction lots of unique and rare wines, while Master of Ceremonies Chris Gailus kept the evening flowing. During the dinner, Jana Maclagan, past Gala chair, hosted the exciting Live Auction, which featured once-in-a-lifetime wine lots and spectacular packages.

Live Auction bidding proved so competitive that several lots sold twice, including a dinner for 10 at the Vancouver Club with Christopher Gaze and members of the Bard Company for $6,000 each; and the Sip & Savour weekend in the Okanagan at Vanessa Vineyard and Spirit Ridge Resort for $9,000 and $8,000. A last-minute donation from the floor of a private jet to a Seattle Seahawks game plus dinner for two went for $6,500, while Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro stepped up with a Champagne and Caviar dinner for 10 that raised more than $10,000. In total, the live and silent auctions raised nearly $205,000. The sold-out raffle for two Delta One International Business Class tickets, donated by Delta Air Lines, raised an additional $20,000.

“The energy at Saturday’s Bacchanalia Gala was nothing short of exhilarating,” said Stephanie Hungerford, chair of the Bacchanalia Gala committee. “The fantastic partnership between the Vancouver International Wine Festival and Bard on the Beach is rare and wonderful. Together, the two organizations help raise money for Bard’s educational programs, which I believe would make Shakespeare and Bacchus very proud!”

Net proceeds from the 2018 festival, contributed to Bard on the Beach, will be announced at VIWF’s fiscal year-end and in conjunction with the opening of the Bard on the Beach season in June. The 2019 Bacchanalia Gala is scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Bacchanalia Gala Dinner Wines:

Juvé y Camps Reserva de la Familia Brut Nature Cava 2014, Penedès, Spain
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016, California, USA
Jean-Luc Colombo Amour de Dieu Condrieu 2016, Rhône Valley, France
François Martenot Chartron et Trébuchet La Chapelle Pouilly-Fuissé 2016, Burgundy, France
La Crema Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2015, Oregon, USA
Vivanco Colección 4 Varietales Rioja 2014, La Rioja, Spain
Suvla Single Vineyard Bozokbag Reserve Syrah 2011, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey
Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina
Bodegas Tridente Rejón Tempranillo 2014, Castilla y León, Spain
Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro, Portugal

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Canada’s premier wine show marks its 40th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 24 to March 4, 2018. The festival features Wines from Spain and Portugal and showcases 173 wineries from 15 countries (including 38 wineries from Spain and 20 from Portugal) pouring 1,450+ wines at 51 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction opened the festival on Saturday, February 24 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; it is sponsored by Nicola Wealth Management. The Trade Days Conference runs Wednesday, February 28 to Friday, March 2. The festival has been named the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash for five years running.

The festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Since 1979, the festival has raised $9 million for the performing arts. Major sponsors are Delta Air Lines and the Vancouver Sun; major industry partners are the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, BC Liquor Stores, Import Vintners & Spirits Association, and Tourism Vancouver. The festival is made possible through the gracious support of our participating countries’ consulates and embassies.

Celebrating its 29th season in 2018, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. It is presented on the waterfront in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. Bard on the Beach offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and popular special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2017, attendance was over 100,000 and more than 1.6 million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. This year’s Festival dates are June 6 to September 22, 2018, and the lineup includes As You Like It, Macbeth, Timon of Athens and a new Bard-commissioned adaptation of the Greek classic Lysistrata.

Bard also offers a range of education programs, including Young Shakespeareans camps and workshops for 8 to 18 year-olds at its Vanier Park site during the summer, and Riotous Youth for 19 to 24-year-olds. During the school term, Bard also offers workshops for educators and youth in schools and community centres throughout BC’s Lower Mainland, as well as at its administrative home, the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Avenue). Full details and education program information are at


Anna McDonald
Milk Creative Communications
T: 604-314-5018
E: [email protected]

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