A fundraising dinner in Beechwood Cemetery for Partage Vanier

Businesses and friends gather for a dinner to raise funds for Partage Vanier, which serves part of  Ottawa-Vanier’s riding where residents call upon foodbanks more often than the rest of Ontario

Mirrored on last year’s very successful “Poets” run by Secret Dinner Ottawa, the Vanier BIA and Beechwood Cemetery are once again joining forces with Secret Dinner and Fraser Cafe to host a unique fundraising dinner on August 22, 2019.

In July, Feed Ontario published a “hunger map” that looked at food bank usage across the province. In Ottawa-Vanier, 15 per cent of residents in the riding visited a food bank during 2018. The number of visits totaled 80,332.

Nathalie Carrier, the executive director of the BIA, says that data is especially frightening because if you remove the residents of very affluent neighbourhoods in that catchment the numbers are staggeringly higher.

She adds “when we saw the news last week we immediately called on our friends at Beechwood, Secret Dinner and Fraser’s to see if we could pull off a dinner again but this time as a fundraiser. Everyone jumped on board without hesitation.”

Her lips are sealed on what will actually be served, but is happy to report this event centres on supporting the local food bank, Partage Vanier and the vitally important role they play in the community. “We know the Chef Fraser will work his magic and serve up a dinner to remember” she adds.

Helena Arruda, director of counselling and community services at Partage Vanier says “our food bank serves the province’s most vulnerable people and every little bit helps. It’s great that the business community is contributing to our efforts in this unique way.”

The idea to host the event was born out of the success of the actual Secret Dinner Ottawa event held at Beechwood Cemetery last year.

“We are part of this community and have been serving this community since 1873 (Beechwood) and it’s important to be able to give back in a meaningful way,” says Nicolas McCarthy, director of communications and marketing at Beechwood Cemetery. “We are proud to be able to use our facilities, our groups and our partnership to help out the community and continue to build it together.”

With the event fast approaching, Carrier said she is still hoping other business members will want to get involved, whether it be purchasing tickets or participating in the event in their own capacity.

Tickets are $150 per person and include a $50 charitable receipt. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact the Vanier BIA.

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