Gallery celebrating art of wine
When the Kamloops Wine Festival is finished on April 21, the folks at the Kamloops Art Gallery (KAG) hope they can toast another successful fundraiser.
The annual event — this is the 14th instalment — is a major and much-needed source of money for the gallery to continue providing exhibitions and other services, said its executive director, Jann Bailey.
With government-funding cutbacks in recent years, the gallery, along with other cultural organizations in the city, has had to pare back, find ways to save money and learn to provide the same level of service with a reduced budget.
Complicating it is the fact KAG won’t know until sometime in June how much it will receive from the province’s gambling revenue “so that makes it hard to budget and forecast,” Bailey said.
In June, Premier Christy Clark announced the government would restore $15 million in gambling grants to charities — but that is still $21.5 million less than what has been cut through the years, Bailey said.
“So, my math says you’re not going to get 100 per cent back.”
In the past, the gallery has received about $85,000 from that fund, Bailey said.
It also gets money from the B.C. Arts Council — another agency that has seen its pool of money reduced through the years.
It makes local fundraisers vital, she said, and is why the gallery staff is reviewing the man events it holds to determine which to keep and which just aren’t generating the kind of financial return to justify continuing.
The festival isn’t one of those.
While the annual art auction remains the major fundraiser, Bailey said, the festival is coming close to supplanting it.
It involves a variety of events through the week: it opens with a consumer wine-tasting at the Kamloops Convention Centre on Friday, April 13, from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Through the week, special dinners with wine featured will be held.
• Saturday, April 14: Terra Restaurant, Through the Looking Glass, a five-course dinner accompanied with a discussion on B.C. wines by wine educator Gerrit Van Staalduinen.
Tickets are $79 each and available at the restaurant, 326 Victoria St., 250-374-2913;
• Monday, April 16: Caffe Motivo, 229 Victoria St., Delectable Desserts and DeVine Wine, featuring a variety of desserts and wine pairings.
A discussion of the wines will be provided by Kevin Enns of Viniferya Wine and Spirits.
Tickets are $40 and available at the downtown outlet or at the Kamloops Art Gallery.
• Wednesday, April 18: Tobiano presents a Mexican feast in the clubhouse.
Tickets are $55 each and available at the clubhouse.
• Thursday, April 19: At Your Service Catering the gallery’s official caterer, presents a nine-course dinner with live performance by musician Neil Harnett.
Tickets are $110 each and available by calling 778-471-5700 or at the gallery.
Part of the proceeds will also go to the Kamloops Brain Injury Association.
• Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21: Caffe Arianna, 272 Lansdowne St., presents It’s All About Fondue, with four fondues and accompanying wines.
Tickets are $60 and available at the restaurant.
The event wraps up on Saturday, April 21 at Ora Restaurant with a Bacchanalia Event, a seven-course dinner with B.C. wines
Tickets are $135 and available at Ora Restaurant, 1250 Rogers Way.
All ticket prices are subject to HST charges.
Bailey said the money generated by fundraising is needed because hosting exhibitions carries with it a large cost that is rarely recouped through admission revenue.
An exhibition can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $65,000, she said, depending on its nature and where it comes from.
KAG also tours exhibitions but won’t take one on unless three venues are guaranteed.
It’s becoming more difficult to tour exhibitions, Bailey said, because the federal government did away with a program that helped shipped the works across the country “so we have to rely on commercial shippers now and that can be too expensive.”
The gallery — and all cultural organizations in the city — battle this ongoing financial challenge, Bailey said, for several reasons.
“A civilized society relies on its creative capacity, its creative roots,” she said, noting people moving to the city won’t to know not only about work opportunities but the quality of health care, education and culture amenities.
“It helps us develop pride of place,” she said.
There is a major economic spinoff, as well.
Bailey said a study done through the city’s cultural strategic plan showed for every dollar spent at the gallery, another $6 on average is generated into the economy, “so this makes us a significant economic generator for the city.”