Vancouver International Wine Festival’s kickoff auction raises nearly $280,000 for Bard on the Beach

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      This year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival is off to a roaring start.

      The 39th annual fete kicked off on Saturday (February 11) with the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 West Georgia Street)—an affair that raised nearly $280,000 for the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

      Live and silent auctions, featuring items like a celebrity dining experience at Vij’s and coveted bottles of 1994 Chateau Petrus and 1990 Chateau Angelus, drew more than $250,000 for the cause, while a raffle for two Delta One International Business Class tickets raked in $20,000. The total represents an increase of $50,000 over last year’s auctions.

      “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, in a press statement. “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.”

      Proceeds from the function will help fund classes, training programs, and apprenticeships that help engage and familiarize B.C.’s youth with the works of William Shakespeare. The performing-arts event was announced as the Vancouver International Wine Festival's charitable beneficiary in 2012.

      Prior to this partnership, the vino-focused fete raised $7.9 million for the now defunct Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.

      The Vancouver International Wine Festival will announce the net proceeds from its 2017 bash in conjunction with the launch of this year’s Bard on the Beach, which takes place from June 1 to September 23 at Vanier Park.

      The 2017 wine festival, which raises its glass to Canada in celebration of the nation's 150th birthday this year, happens until this Sunday (February 19) at various venues around Vancouver. For more information about the event, click here.

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