The Steinbach Arts Council held their gala this past Friday and Executive Director David Klassen says the changes that they made were well received. 

Klassen says the event was held at Bentwood Hall for the first time. 

“Anybody who does events, anybody who puts on parties like this knows that as soon as you put on your event in a new space, there's a lot of stuff to figure out, so it was definitely a new experience for us. We felt we did it well, we had an amazing team, we had so many volunteers come together to make this happen for us.” 

He adds “It looked amazing, the space really lent itself well to connecting as a community of people who appreciate what it is that we do. We felt that it went really well.” 

Klassen says this year they kept the program short and sweet, they had a medley from the community musical Godspell, and a silent auction full of art and wonderful artistic experiences. All in all, he notes it was a wonderful evening. 

“Whether it was a culinary experience, we'll create a dining experience out of our hall gallery this year for those guests, we auctioned off a house concert, we had a couple of workshops with some really interesting multicultural elements and I think that it was just a nice overview of what it is that we do and the value there.” 

The goal is for the annual gala to be a $50,000 event. Of course, there are some costs associated with running a party of that magnitude so not all of that money is net income, but Klassen says that is the goal. 

So, exactly how did they do this year? 

“It's still very early to tell. There's a lot of dust that needs to settle and a lot of math that needs to happen, but we feel really good about it. I think we met our targets.” 

That said, Klassen notes the targets go beyond money.  

“We want to make sure that everybody understands the work that we do in the community. The funds that we raise are a huge part of that, but the understanding and the activation within the community is another huge element and so it was successful from the beginning to the end. I think we met our targets and we had a good time doing it.” 

Finally, Klassen says this year’s gala was very uplifting, noting there was an amazing buzz in the room and the feedback has been positive. 

“There were a lot of very happy people there. They're all there for a common reason, and I think that was well established. There was just such a nice positive energy throughout the entire evening from beginning to end, from the reception at 6:00, right through dinner and well beyond. People stayed, people lingered, people visited, and they connected.”