Local youth organization celebrates 5th anniversary with the Art of Wine

By Lindsay Ducharme

One of Fort McMurray’s most anticipated and well-loved events is about to get even better. The 5th Annual SMS Equipment Wine Auction, taking place on September 27th at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre, has announced plans to partner with Arts Council Wood Buffalo in a effort to recognize and celebrate the vibrancy of the arts community within Wood Buffalo.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo president, Rita Dizak, explains “The local arts community in Wood Buffalo is growing and in celebration of the diverse children and youth we have been serving for over 35 years, we wanted to celebrate in a way that was meaningful not only for our organization but Wood Buffalo as a whole. We look forward to showcasing the amazing pool of talent in our arts community, all for a great cause.”

The SMS Equipment Wine Auction, this year aptly titled “The Art of Wine,” is presented each year in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo. The Arts Council Wood Buffalo will be taking the lead in reviewing art submitted in consideration for the event’s silent auction. Artists are encouraged to submit new, original artwork or existing pieces that fit the “Art of Wine” theme.

In addition to the partnership, fans of the event can expect the same elements and details the Wine Auction has become known for. “Guests can expect to be spoiled, there will be hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary glass of wine, and live music on the Suncor Stage. As always we will have whimsical details guests have come to expect from us. The Tasting Room will also be making a return this year, featuring some of the most exciting and exotic wines from around the world,” promised Danielle Murgatroyd, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo.

The wine auction is one of the major fundraisers Big Brothers Big Sisters relies on each year to help supplement their funding. Murgatroyd explained that due to an increase in community demand for Big Brothers Big Sisters programming, this year’s event is essential to the organization’s ability to continue providing quality programming.

“Demand for our programs continue to climb as our population increases and we are committed to making successful mentor relationships for the children and youth that want and need one. That’s what the SMS Equipment Wine Auction has been helping us to do for the last four years.”

In addition to the call for artwork, Murgatroyd said event organizers are also seeking corporate sponsors. “We have several different sponsorship levels available. In addition, we are also seeking gifts in kind for raffle and auction items.”

“Not to be overlooked, we are currently recruiting volunteers whose participation is vital in ensuring this year’s event is a success,” she added.

Local artists interested in submitting artwork to be considered for the wine auction should contact Anne at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wood Buffalo at 780-791-2447. For more information on sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, as well as to purchase tickets contact Big Brothers Big Sisters Wood Buffalo at info@fortmcmurraywineauction.ca. Ticket numbers are limited; residents interested in attending the auction are encouraged to purchase their tickets early.