Art of Wine at Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Art of Wine Festival is May 10 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. - Submitted
Art of Wine Festival is May 10 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.
— image credit: Submitted

It starts with an invitation to wine-lovers and ends with top-of-the-line stained glass equipment.

With a little jazz, some appetizers, a silent auction and a whole lot of wine, the Chilliwack Cultural Centre uncorks their first-ever Art of Wine Festival on Saturday, May 10.

Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will go towards new supplies and equipment for their arts and crafts programs. This spring they hope to raise funds to purchase equipment for paper arts and stained glass courses, as well as cameras, printers, laptops and software for photography courses.

Chilliwack Cultural Centre’s development officer Pat Clark says hosting a spring wine festival seemed like a natural choice after they huge support they received for a similar craft beer festival last fall.

“We know there’s a lot of folks in our town that like and appreciate wine, so it’s a good opportunity to support home-grown wine,” she says. “It seemed like it was a good way for wine lovers to have some fun and for us to have a benefit at the same time.”

The festival brings together more than 25 wineries into one building, with just under 70 kinds of wines on offer. The closest hails from Chaberton Estate in Langley, with the farthest one coming in from Fort Baron in Lillooet.

“We’re happy with the way this is shaping up, and the range of small to large wineries that are represented here,” Clark says, noting the selection spans from brand-new whites and “patio wines” to award-winning reds.

This cornucopia of wine pairs with a variety of hors d’oeuvres from Bravo Restaurant, Society Gathering House, and Frankie’s Italian Kitchen—and, of course, cheese.

“We’re working on some little cards that will actually prompt people to think about wine and food pairings as they see them,” Clark explains. “We’ve had a super response from both business and private donors, and that’s a real blessing in our community.”

After tasting the wines, festival-goers will have a chance to take a bottle or two home with them. The silent auction table is full of wine in a variety of groupings, so people can look at wines in a particular price point or from a particular winery.

“People are there to appreciate wine—the idea is that people can go home and enjoy the festival all over again,” Clark says with a smile.

And it wouldn’t be the Art of Wine festival without a healthy dose of local art. The festival will span from the Cultural Centre’s beautiful long lobby to the open gallery, where the exhibit showcases art from Chilliwack students. More art hangs in the lobby itself, and a jazz trio adds a final touch.

And, as Clark notes, there’s a bit of art in every glass.

“As I’m sure the winery representatives will say, there is an art as well as a science to creating wine,” she says with a laugh.

• Tickets are $45 and are available at The Centre’s box office for patrons aged 19 and over.

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