VANCOUVER, BC (April 24, 2023) — The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859, the sparkling centrepiece of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, took place Saturday, April 22, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Live and silent auctions raised nearly $130,000, while the sold-out raffle for two round-trip Delta One International Business Class tickets, donated by Delta Air Lines, raised an additional $20,000. Individual donations at the event brought the evening’s total to $160,000.

Honorary Gala Chair Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C. expressed gratitude and appreciation for all who made the evening possible. Net proceeds of this annual fundraiser benefit charitable partner Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

“This year’s Gala was superb and all of us at Bard say a huge thank you to the organizing team and to everyone who attended,” says Bard on the Beach Artistic Director Christopher Gaze. “Guests were dazzled by the extraordinary wines and menu and once the Delta Air Lines raffle prize was awarded, the dance floor was packed! The funds the Gala raised will give our unique Education programs even more impact and this generous support will help us teach and inspire thousands of young people across British Columbia. We are deeply grateful.”

The evening began with a Champagne reception, where roving volunteers helped guests register for the online Silent Auction. Following the reception, guests savoured nine spectacular wines perfectly paired with five courses created by the Fairmont’s executive chef, David Baarschers. The Adam Woodall Band soon had guests on the dance floor as the evening came to a close.

Throughout dinner, guests were able to place their bids using their mobile phones on silent auction lots of exclusive and rare wines and wine experiences, while Masters of Ceremonies Sophie Lui of Global BC and Christopher Gaze kept the evening flowing. During the dinner, Howard E. Blank hosted the exciting Live Auction, which featured once-in-a-lifetime wine lots and sensational packages.

“Private Banking 1859 is so proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction for the third year,” says Haleh Alexander, Regional Vice President, British Columbia, of National Bank Private Banking 1859. “This wonderful event, which supports Bard on the Beach’s mission to educate youth in the world of arts and culture aligns so well with our values. We look forward to returning in 2024.”

The sold-out raffle for two Delta One International Business Class tickets, donated by Delta Air Lines, raised an additional $20,000. Net proceeds from the 2023 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. Next year’s Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859, is scheduled for February 24, 2024.

The following dinner wines were generously donated by the wineries and their agents:
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV, Champagne, France
Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Brut NV, Lombardy, Italy
McWatters Collection Brut 2017, Okanagan Valley, Canada
Cedar Creek Estate Winery Platinum Jagged Rock Chardonnay 2021, Okanagan Valley, Canada
Bodega Garzón Reserva Albariño 2022, Garzón, Uruguay
Viña Errázuriz Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2020, Mendoza, Argentina
MASI Costasera Amarone 2017, Veneto, Italy
Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port 2012, Douro Valley, Portugal
Grand Tokaj Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2013, Tokaj, Hungary

Tickets are still available for select events during Festival week.

Online: 24/7
Phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
All ticket prices include wine, food (if a food event), gratuities, taxes and service charge.

Stay in Touch
For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to
Twitter: Follow @VanWineFest for announcements, including e-news, festival updates & media releases. Join the conversation at #VIWF.
Facebook / Instagram: @VanWineFest

Canada’s premier wine show marks its 44th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from April 22-30, 2023. The festival is showcasing 147 wineries from 17 countries, featured in 36 events over eight days. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859, is the main fundraising event of the festival and kicked off the festival on Saturday, April 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Trade Days takes place Wednesday, April 26-Friday, April 28. The festival is consistently ranked the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash. 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 inception in 1979, the festival has raised nearly $9.9 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, and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association. The Vancouver International Wine Festival gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia. The 45th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival will take place February 24-March 3, 2024, featuring Italy.

Bard on the Beach was established in 1990 with a mandate to provide Vancouver residents and tourists with affordable, accessible Shakespearean productions of the finest quality. Begun as an Equity Co-op, Bard is now a fully professional company engaging hundreds of talented artists, artisans, technicians and year-round administrators. Bard’s primary focus is its annual festival in Vanier Park/Sen̓áḵw, which annually attracts over 100,000 people. Bard’s other key elements include education and training initiatives for both the artistic community and the general community at large.


Ruby Gillett, Milk Creative Communications
[email protected]
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