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Upcoming Beer and Cheese Tasting fundraiser for the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund

With the goal of helping to bolster the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund, a Beer & Cheese Tasting is set for Nov. 29 at Blindman Brewing.

Tickets for the event, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m., are available through Blindman Brewing.

“We are trying to keep growing the fund each year,” said Maureen MacKenzie, the City’s representative on the Arts Endowment Fund committee.

She added that even though the fund has been in existence for many years, there are a lot of folks who may not even know about it.

“With our fundraising, we also like to keep an arts and culture base to what we do, and we try to have new and different things. We’ve had the 10 by 10 art sales, where artists would paint a 10 by 10 painting, donate it to the sale, and we would sell those,” she explained.

This year, the committee was considering a kind of collaborative fundraiser that could benefit the also community in some way, and provide a fun and unique experience for those who attended.

“That’s where we came up with this idea for a beer and cheese tasting. Blindman Brewing is an excellent community supporter with great products, and there are also some great cheese producers in the area,” she said.

MacKenzie had done some investigating and discovered the growing popularity of beer and cheese tastings. “You always hear about wine and cheese but not so much about beer and cheese.”

So she had a chat with the staff at Blindman Brewing and they were keen to partner for the event.

A portion of sales from Blindman’s charity tap of the month is supporting the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund through November as well.

“They’ve really, really embraced this which is wonderful. We couldn’t thank them enough. They are so easy to deal with and good community supporters,” she said.

MacKenzie explained that the fund started in 2003 with seed dollars of $10,000 from the City of Lacombe, and through the efforts of countless volunteers and donors, has grown to just over $300,000 since that time.

Each January, residents can apply for grant funding of up to $2,500 to continue their artistic endeavors in music, visual, performing, and literary arts.

The fund also supports the yearly junior and senior high school student art awards as well.

The school art competition is held in April in conjunction with the Encore Art Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression.

And speaking of the art sale, excitement is already building about that event as the committee hasn’t been able to host it for the past few years.

“So many of our artists say that it is their premier event, and also a kind of kick-off for the events that they will be attending through the year,” she said. “The LMC is also so beautiful for an arts event.”

Over the years and according to the website, the fund has had a significant impact in many ways.

“We have assisted young talented students in attending ballet school in New York City and violin lessons in Quebec, a mid-40s applicant who attended pottery workshops in Japan, and a filmmaker and other visual artists ages 17 to 60-plus who attended Series Art Classes at Red Deer College.

“Each recipient is selected based on their current skill level, quality of the school, school fees, the applicant’s opportunity for growth, and the potential for them to continue in their chosen field and share their learnings with others in the community afterward.”

Meanwhile, for those who would like a ticket for the beer and cheese tasting, only a limited number are available for purchase.

Again, they are available by contacting Blindman Brewing.

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