Gathering and sharing a meal is a connecting experience. It brings people together to mark traditions, to express gratitude, and to offer help.

The Steinbach Arts Council is highlighting community impact at this year’s fundraising Gala.  With a focus on developing skills through arts recreation like leadership, commitment, critical and creative thinking, mental and emotional well-being, this year’s event celebrates a significant increase in participation at this regional hub for the arts. 

“The money raised at this annual event goes a long way,” explains David Klassen, Executive Director at the Steinbach Arts Council (SAC). “Everything we do here is subsidized. Every concert ticket you buy, every program you put your kids into or that you take yourself as an adult is subsidized. As a nonprofit, the money we raise is invested in making sure our programs are accessible and that the quality remains high. We have a significant impact in our community.”

It’s an impact worth recognizing – and supporting through events such as the Gala. Of course, beyond the fundraising and everything that goes with it, is the chance to simply connect with friends and other boosters of local arts and culture.

“We’re excited to throw a celebration for arts and culture in our community,” says Klassen. “It’ll be great to see all the new and old guests that will join us on May 3, as we demonstrate the value in programming like ours.”

On Friday, May 3, SAC will put food at the centre of its annual Fundraising Gala – both literally and as a live art experience. The entire menu, and the flavours it features, is intended to represent all the artists involved in the event.

“We’re excited to see what our chefs have for us this year,” says Klassen, who adds that the various artworks at the Gala will connect with each other and tell a story.

It’s a fresh take on what is always a popular event in the southeast, and this year the venue is also new. Guests will be heading just east of Steinbach to Bentwood Hall, located on Highway 52.

“It’s a beautiful location,” Klassen says. “Every once in a while it’s nice to shake things up and put people into a new environment.

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception, and dinner will follow at 7:00 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., SAC will present its annual highlights. A silent auction will be conducted throughout, with prizes including a culinary experience and house concert.

“These are great prizes and they’ll really help immerse the winners in the artistic experience,” says Klassen. 

Beyond the excellent food, wine and celebration of local art, the event supports new and ongoing programming. Among the SAC initiatives that will be celebrated later in the evening is the February performance of the musical Godspell.

“We’ll perform a few highlights from the musical and showcase new and experienced musicians and actors from within the community,” says Klassen. “Being in a musical is a really immersive experience, and it’s something we want to demonstrate as well.”

Donations are welcome by visiting SAC’s website, with all funds supporting the Arts Council’s programming.