By Sandra L. Anderson
BRANTFORD – The 17th Annual Grand Fete Du Vin, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Grand River Chorus took place on February 11 and was a great success.
Gerry McDougald was the grand winner of the night, taking home the grand prize certificate for a return trip for two from Brantford to Quebec City donated by VIA Rail Canada. He won a game of Heads and Tails for the prize. Don and Dawn Shiell of Brantford are the winners of a travel Gift Voucher. The Grand River Chorus thanks VIA Rail for their generous contributions to this event.
The organizing committee consisted of 15 people chaired by Susan Howe and Maria Lloyd. Auction Co-ordinator was Andy Blackwood.
“We had 152 guests,” said Howe. “Over 200 is a sellout, but we had more guests this year than the last few years. We had been told at a workshop that galas were a thing of the past, and to expect declining attendance, but we were up by at least 10 if not 12 from last year, which is wonderful.” With volunteers and other guests such as the band, there were approximately 170 in attendance.
The Fête du Vin is a major event for the Grand River Chorus, held each year at the Best Western Hotel in Brantford. This year’s gala included wine tasting by Château des Charmes Winery, music by Corner Pocket and a dinner. The event also featured a plethora of prizes and 130 silent auction and just under 30 live auction items moved by auctioneer Hugh Foy.
The theme this year was Canada Sea to Sea to Sea and this country’s 150th birthday which was reflected in the decorating. Several attendees wore red and white for the occasion.
The Grand River Chorus thanks all the individuals and businesses who donated auction items and prizes and supported the Fete du Vin. Proceeds will be used to maintain the high-performance standards in future concerts.
Next year’s gala is set for the last Saturday of February, 2018.