Visitors check out the Colwood Rotary booth at the annual Art & Wine Festival the service club hosts at Fort Rodd Hill national historic site. Tickets are still on sale for this charity event

Tasty fundraiser coming up at Fort Rodd Hill

Colwood Rotary ready to stage third annual Art and Wine Festival

A sip of wine with your art? The Rotary Club of Colwood has an event for that.

The third annual Colwood Rotary Art & Wine Festival returns to the Fort Rodd Hill national historic site Sunday (July 27). More than 30 artists will team with 11 food, wine and cider vendors at this fundraiser for building an inclusive playground for children with disabilities.

Artist and photographer Monica Reekie said this event is all about giving back.

“I think it is amazing. There are playgrounds, (but) to have one that is accessible to children with whatever handicap (they might have)? Children don’t have to be excluded and sit on the outside,” she said.

“They can just have fun with their friends and not worry about barriers.”

One of the presenting artists, Reekie will show off her work for a third straight year. Having had the opportunity to partake in the event as an artist and a enjoy a few moments as a spectator, the Saanich resident said the camaraderie of the festival draws her back year after year.

“The biggest thing is how people get together to work together for a common goal. People from all over the city come down – the vendors, the wine people, the food people – it is a community coming together,” she said. “The Rotary really thinks through any cause they decide to fund and I think it is amazing.”

Colwood Rotary president Michael Wedekind said the ground has already been broken on the playground site. More than $190,000 has been raised for the project over the past four years, including labour donated by West Shore Parks and Recreation. Rotary needs just $14,000 to achieve their goal for the project, which Wedekind hopes will be completed on the West Shore Parks and Recreation lower fields by the start of school this fall.

“It is important to me because it is a project that Rotary embraced for the community,” the Langford resident said of the festival. “I hope the people will think it is worthwhile, an afternoon well spent… It is a very worthwhile project.”

For $35, participants gain entry to the scenic national historic site, get five one-ounce wine samples of their choice, appetizers from local restaurants, a blind tasting session with sommelier Micheline Ouimet, art demonstrations and a silent auction. Musical performances from Terry Brennan and other local musicians round out the entertainment.

“It is a wonderful (opportunity) spending the day outside talking to people socializing and raising money for a good cause at the same time. It brings everyone together,” Reekie said. “It gives people an experience and makes them feel good about what they have experienced but also makes them feel good because they have helped someone else.”

The festival runs 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Fort Rodd Hill. For more information visit colwoodrotaryfestival.com

alim@vicnews.com

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