Wine and appetizer evening an artful event


In a richly adorned and transformed Blarney Stone, last Thursday’s wine and appetizer evening proved to be a viniferous, artful, and tasty evening.

Thrown for a second year as a fundraiser for the Killarney-Turtle Mountain Arts Council, the mixing of elements helped raise thousands of dollars for the development of arts in the community, and for the repurposing of the former Demonstration/Heritage House on the agricultural grounds into an arts centre.

“We raised $4,013.25 through the live art auction, the Chinese auction, and through our 50:50 draw and raffle ticket sales,” said arts council member and musician Tim Lawson. “It was a good time, and I think people really enjoyed it.”

The group is already over halfway to reaching their target of $250,000 for the Arts Centre project, which got underway this spring. New windows, replacement of the verandah, painting of the exterior, and repointing and rebuilding of the stone foundation has all been tackled, and should be complete before the snow sets in.

The evening began with a welcome at the Killarney Place mall entry, where the art donations were displayed, and the jazz sounds of the JT&T trio (including Lawson) swung out and created a mellow ambience.

Inside the Blarney, theme rooms had been created, where a mix of local merchants, wares, and wine tasting stations were beautifully set up.

While guests sampled everything from a Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc to a Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz, waiters threaded their way through the crowd to offer delicious appetizers fresh from the restaurant kitchen.

Beginning with spicy Bothwell cheese, prosciutto, and fresh grain bread, to prawns (two ways), mini-Yorkshire puddings filled with tender braised beef, and all the way to scallops wrapped in bacon, and tiny, delicious slices of pizza. It was a match made in heaven.

Organized by Rick Pauls and wine expert Heather Christiansen, it was a big-city event in a small town; giving wine lovers a chance to try tipples they may never have had a chance to experience.

“It’s going really well,” said Christiansen, who manages the local liquor store, and donated her personal time for the fun event. “We have some excellent wines here, and the reps love coming to Killarney. We will have all these wines available in the liquor store until they run out, and the ones that prove to be the most popular we will continue to carry.”

Following the two-hour tasting, Auction Mart owner Allan Munroe picked up the reins for the art auction, which featured 17 items in the live auction, plus a number of Chinese auction delights, two baskets of terrific gifts, and a 50:50 draw.

Top draws were the gorgeous stained glass ‘dragonfly’ window, donated by glass artist Adelyn Nichol, which went for $400, and Marg Law’s rich watercolour painting, ‘Spring Peonies,’ which garnered $375. The meticulous ‘Mountain Stars’ quilt, donated by Nancy Ross and Carol Reimer, pulled in $325, while a wide-shot rural landscape photo by Garnie Ross collected $250.

These were just some of the wonderful pieces of art donated by area artists for the event.

The 50:50 draw went to wine rep Laurie Christensen, of Select Wines and Spirits, who blushingly swept up the $280 prize, and then donated back four bottles of wine for the arts council fundraiser.

Host Rick Pauls said that over 100 tickets had been sold for the posh event, and that more than $1,000 will be donated from the proceeds to the Arts Council. The exact amount will be calculated once all the costs are tallied, he added.

And with luck, the whole shebang should run again next fall, with even more golden success.

“We’re hoping to have it again next year,” said Christiansen. “And we’d like to bring in beer tasting too. It seems to be a popular event for Killarney, for a good cause, and I think we can build on it.”



BIRD ON THE BLOCK – Eunice Buhler holds up a beautiful bird carving donated by Keith Letts, while Allan Munroe auctions it off during the Killarney-Turtle Mountain Arts Council fundraiser held in the Killarney Place mall and the Blarney Stone.



SIPPING SAMPLE – Grant Rigby of Rigby Orchards winery pours a sample for Hilary Heide at the Killarney Arts Council fundraiser hosted by the Blarney Stone Pub and Restaurant. The Blarney was packed with over a dozen wine reps, and other vendors, for attendees to peruse and enjoy. Also on offer were a variety of tasty appetizers to go along with wine sipping. An art auction followed the sampling, with donated pieces and the 50/50 raffle bringing in over $4,000 for the Arts Council who are in the middle of renovating Killarney’s Heritage House to become a permanent arts centre. 


AUCTIONEERING FLAIR – Local auctioneer Allan Munroe takes bids for artist Brenda Klassen’s hawk painting, which she donated for the Killarney-Turtle Mountain Arts Council fundraiser on Thursday, October 6 outside the Blarney Stone. Held up high by volunteer Brenda Mitchell, the evocative painting was sold for $125.