Beer tasting fundraiser returning by demand

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Attracting about 300 people and raising $13,000, last year’s Wolf Back a Beer event proved such a success that the Mann Art Gallery is hosting it again, next month.

Wolf committee board chair Bente Huntley motions to the fundraising total she’d like to see reached by the time the March 16 Wolf Back a Beer event ends – about $60,000. 

Attracting about 300 people and raising $13,000, last year’s Wolf Back a Beer event proved such a success that the Mann Art Gallery is hosting it again, next month.

On March 16, organizer Bente Huntley hopes to see the gallery packed full with 500 people tasting 16 kinds of beer and enjoying various types of food and music -- from calm jazz music in the main floor pub to hopping dance music on the dance floor upstairs.

“It’s been a long winter, this year, so it’s nice to get out in the evening to have fun,” Huntley said. “It’s really a fun event.”

The event is a fundraiser to help pay for a 1,000 pound, six foot bronze wolf sculpture by Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard, which will be installed in front of the gallery, near the southern edge of of the Diefenbaker bridge.

“He’s done so much work all over Saskatchewan, Canada, internationally,” Huntley said of Fafard. “He has these bronze sculptures all over -- mostly cows and cattle. I think the wolf represents the north, (so) the wolf is the ideal animal for here.”

Between last year’s Wolf Back a Beer event, a musical fundraiser in September featuring Fafard’s son, Joël, and private donations, they’ve raised about $40,000 toward the $100,000 wolf statue.

After March 16, Huntley hopes to see this fundraising total bumped up to $60,000.

With taxes, a ribbon cutting ceremony, a crane, transportation and other such costs factored in, the total fundraising goal is $156,000.

Speaking in the Mann Art Gallery’s lobby, which boasts wolf-centred t-shirts, bags and other items and efforts meant to help raise money for the wolf statute, Bentley said that Prince Albert’s ever-strong arts community has been very supportive of the effort.

It’s been a long winter, this year, so it’s nice to get out in the evening to have fun. Bente Huntley

In addition to their fundraising efforts, quite a few people have made donations toward the wolf statue, either as individuals or in memory of a loved one.

In advance of the March 16 Wolf Back a Beer event, Huntley needs to gather a group of volunteers together to tend the bar and taste-testing stations, serve food, take care of the coat check and help set up and tear down the event.

Tickets are $20 in advance and will be $25 at the door, if there are any still available. Admission includes five beer tastings.

This year’s musical lineup will include the O’Kraut Boys, Java Time and the Bridge City Bards, with DanceLand DJ’s classic rock lineup pumped into the upstairs dance floor.

The Fry Shack will serve pulled pork on bannock or a bun, onion rings, perogies, veggie platters, homemade French fries and fried bannock dusted with sugar and cinnamon.

Included among the 16 varieties of beer available for tasting will be special displays by the Prince Albert Brewing Company and the Saskatoon-based Paddockwood Brewery.

For more information on tickets or on volunteering at this year’s Wolf Back a Beer event, call 763-7080. 

Organizations: Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert, O’Kraut Boys Bridge City Bards Paddockwood Brewery

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada

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