Gala Raises ~$280K

Auction, Raffle Raise ~$280,000 for Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

VANCOUVER, BC (February 13, 2017) — The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction kicked off the 39th Vancouver International Wine Festival on February 11 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver with a spectacular evening of wine and food, topped by a thrilling live auction. Live and silent auctions raised nearly $260,000, an increase of $50,000 over last year’s auctions. In addition, 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, this year themed “For the Love of Wine”, benefit charitable partner Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

“The Bacchanalia Gala was absolutely superb and all of us at Bard thank everyone who attended,” said Christopher Gaze, artistic director of Bard on the Beach. “The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was the height of elegance and style and the chair of the Gala, Jana Maclagan, made sure the night was glorious fun. It was like fundraising dinners should always be – with lots of laughter, divine wine and gourmet dining. Those attending were incredibly generous and Bard Education is the worthy beneficiary. I’m thrilled that this support will help us reach thousands of young people across the Province of British Columbia.”

The gala began with a sparkling wine reception and an opportunity to bid on a fantastic range of wines in the One Bid and Wines of Canada auctions, as well as food & wine related items in the Epicurean 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 across Canada.

Throughout dinner, guests were able to place their bids using electronic tablets on silent auction lots of unique and rare wines, while Masters of Ceremonies Chris Gailus of Global  BC and Christopher Gaze kept the evening flowing. During the dinner, Jana Maclagan hosted the exciting Live Auction, which featured once-in-a-lifetime wine lots and epicurean adventures.

The Live Auction kicked off with a dinner for ten hosted by Wines of Canada selling for $10,000, which set the tone for the rest of the auction. A celebrity dining experience at Vij’s with Christopher Gaze, Vikram Vij and Howard Soon went for $20,000 after lively bidding and a second dinner was offered, which raised an additional $17,500. Bidding on collectible wine was fast and furious, including two bottles of 1994 Chateau Petrus for $10,000 and six bottles of 1990 Chateau Angelus for $10,500.  In total, the live and silent auctions raised nearly $260,000, an increase of $50,000 over last year’s auctions. The sold-out raffle for two Delta One International Business Class tickets, donated by Delta Air Lines, raised an additional $20,000.

“I would like to express my greatest appreciation and thanks to our volunteers, donors and attendees for making our 2017 Bacchanalia Gala such an incredible success this year,” said Jana Maclagan, chair of the Bacchanalia Gala committee.  “Saturday night’s ‘For the Love of Wine’ dinner was a culinary extravaganza presented by Chef Ballendine and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver staff. Over 400 attendees celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday drinking beautiful wines from BC, Oregon, California, Italy, Portugal and France, and eating food inspired by the incredible bounty of our country. The evening was a blur of avid bidders vying for supremacy in the one bid and silent auctions. The competitive spirit came to a peak during the live auction – where thanks to our guests’ kind nature they supported my first attempt at auctioneer – allowing us to raise a record amount of money for the evening for Bard on the Beach.”

Net proceeds from the 2017 festival, contributed to Bard on the Beach, will be announced at the festival’s fiscal year-end and in conjunction with the opening of the Bard on the Beach season in June. The 2018 Bacchanalia Gala is scheduled for Saturday, February 24, 2018.

Bacchanalia Gala Dinner Wines:

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Traditional Cuvée 1996, Okanagan Valley, Canada
Alois Lageder Löwengang Chardonnay Tenutæ Lageder 2014, Alto Adige, Italy
Signorello Estate Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2014, Napa Valley, USA
Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Pinot Noir 2013, Carneros, USA
Elk Cove Vineyards Mount Richmond Pinot Noir 2014, Yamhill-Carlton, USA
Tommasi Casisano Brunello di Montalcino 2011, Tuscany, Italy
One Faith Vineyards Grand Vin 2013, Okanagan Valley, Canada
Château Haut-Mazeris Cuvée Réserve Fronsac 2001, Bordeaux, France
Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2012, Barossa Valley, Australia
Fonseca 20 Year Old Aged Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal

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Canada’s premier wine show marks its 39th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 11 to 19, 2017. The festival features The Wine World Celebrates Canada as the theme. The festival will showcase 180 wineries from 16 countries (including 76 wineries from Canada) pouring a projected 1,700 wines at 54 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction opens the festival on Saturday, February 11 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The Trade Days Conference, presented by Sysco, takes place Wednesday, February 15 to Friday, February 17. The festival has been named the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Industry Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash for four 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 inception in 1979, the festival has raised $8.7 million for the performing arts. Major sponsors are Delta Air Lines and the Vancouver Sun; major industry partners are the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, Canadian Vintners Association and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association. The festival is made possible through the gracious support of our participating countries’ consulates and embassies.

Celebrating its 27th season in 2016, 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 2016, attendance exceeded 100,000 and more than 1.4 million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. This year’s festival dates are June 1 to September 23, 2017 and the lineup includes Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, plus a special limited-run presentation of Shylock. Bard also offers a range of education programs, including Young Shakespeareans 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 new administrative home, the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Avenue). Full details and education program information are at


Wines of Canada is a collaborative initiative of the Canadian Vintners Association and regional wine associations – British Columbia Wine Institute, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, Vignerons indépendants du Québec and the Winery Association of Nova Scotia – to bring the country’s best wines to the world. Partial funding for this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the AgriMarketing program through Growing Forward 2.


Media Contact:
Nicola Humphrey, Milk Creative Communications

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