Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up and get your ticket to a sensational show happening April 26th that will confound all rational explanation. With bearded ladies, gourmet fare on sticks ,and more cocktails than a circus has clowns, you’ll be happy we told you about the Carnival Cocktails for Cancer.
It all starts with a great cause.
Several years ago, Jesse Willis, co-owner of Vine Arts, had talked at great length with his partner’s stepmom Jennifer Gardiner about hosting an over-the-top carnival-themed affair that would celebrate the cocktail scene in the city while raising funds for charity. Tragically, Jennifer was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the brainstorming had begun.
During her illness, she became a spokesperson and tireless champion, working closely with the Alberta Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and inspire others. Before passing in early 2014, Jennifer had made a huge impact on the community, which included sharing Uplife Project: Jen Unplugged that documented her brave battle.
Fast forward to 2015, and Carnival for Cocktails represents is not just Willis finally realizing his dream, but also his chance to pay tribute to an amazing woman.
After calling in a few favours from the local food and drink community, Willis has created a unique opportunity for guests to experience a snapshot of what’s happening in the top kitchens and bars in the city.
There will be eight food stations inspired by the midway, with a variety of snacks from restaurants like Anju, Brasserie, Teatro, The Beltliner, Ox & Angela, Black Pig Bistro, Raw Bar, Native Tongues, Anejo and Model Milk. And with restaurants like these, you know you’ll be getting more than your standard corndog or doughnut.
But that’s not all.
Vine Arts has also invited some of the city’s top mixologists (think Milk Tiger and the soon-to-be-open Proof) to create cocktails with a twist. Giving everyone a different theme, guests will be sampling a wide array of curious drinks inspired by bearded ladies and the trapeze (just to name a few).
While Willis is keeping some of the details on the entertainment hush hush, he did confirm that DJ Carl Cassidy will be spinning – a definite plus.
We might not be able to share all the details of the evening, but we can guarantee this is definitely a circus you’ll want to run away to and join.
Please note: Tickets are $125 and will not be sold at the door, so don’t forget to buy your ticket in advance. Tickets include the cost of wine, beer, cocktails and snacks.
All proceeds raised will go to the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Jennifer Gardiner Chair in Surgical Oncology.