The Yorkton Lions Wine Festival is entering its fifteen years. The event has grown steadily from its inception, and the plan is to grow it even further in the coming years.
Denny Vachon, Yorkton Lions President, says that when the festival began, it was a small festival featuring mostly local home brewers. After joining with the SLGA, it expanded substantially, and now features 11 representatives with a wide range of wine, beer and spirits for people to try.
Four local restaurants also provided food for the attendees to have a taste of Yorkton in the building, free of charge. Jackie Guy provided the evening’s entertainment.
The event is one of the Lions’ biggest fundraisers each year, and Vachon believes it’s because it’s a way to celebrate during harvest season.
“It’s one that a lot of people look forward to because it’s in the fall. If it doesn’t interfere with harvest, obviously, people are really looking forward to a night out. It has actually turned into a girls’ night out for a lot of people.”
The money raised from the wine festival will go to funding the different projects the Lions has in the city each year. The Lion’s commitment to the Yorkton Community Clubhouse is one example of where money will be going. They made a $50,000 commitment to that project last year, with annual contributions of $5,000 for five years after the initial payment of $25,000.
“We’ve got a number of different charities and causes that we support throughout the year. This is one of the fundraisers that puts money in our coffers and we can dole out that money when it comes due.”
The plan for the festival is to keep it growing. It sold out in 2016, and Vachon says that the Lions are talking about growing it in a larger venue as a result, as well as take advantage of changing liquor permit laws if possible.