Pam Goodvin (left) and Tina Sharkey with Chilliwack Academy of Music are the organizers of the fifth annual Fraser Valley Distillery Festival set for Feb. 1. The event is a fundraiser for the academy. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Party like it’s 1920 at the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival in Chilliwack

The fifth annual '20s-themed festival is a fundraiser for the Chilliwack Academy of Music

It’ll be a night of flapper dresses, formal suits and a plethora of liquor samples from B.C. distilleries on Feb. 1.

The Fraser Valley Distillery Festival is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and the theme for the evening is the roaring ’20s.

It’s the first year there’s been a theme attached to the fifth annual event, said organizers Pam Goodvin and Tina Sharkey.

The distillery fest is a fundraiser for Chilliwack Academy of Music which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“By attending the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival you will not only be helping out the arts community, but supporting students’ development in their music education,” Goodvin said.

Funds go towards bursaries for families with financial needs so kids can take private lessons, and towards group programs to make it more affordable for people to take music lessons.

There will be 18 B.C. distilleries in attendance at the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival that will be serving up rums, vodkas, gins, single malt whiskeys, tequila, fruit liqueurs, flavoured moonshines and more.

Many repeat distilleries will be there, plus some new ones like Abbotsford’s New Wave Distilling (from Ripples Winery), Lucid Spirits from Delta, and The Woods Spirit Co. from North Vancouver bringing their lemoncello liqueur.

Last year’s fan favourite, Taynton Bay Spirits from Invermere, will be returning this year. They were recently on Dragon’s Den where they made a deal with one of the dragons.

“They infuse theirs with tea, so they have fun liqueurs,” Pam Goodvin said.

Taynton Bay’s tea-infused flavours include strawberry herbal, ginger matcha, and blueberry rooibos. They also make a pickled vodka.

Award-winning spirits company Sheringham Distillery will also be at the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival. Their Seaside Gin won best contemporary gin at the 2019 World Gin Awards in London.

Dubh Glas Distillery’s Noteworthy Gin is also an award winner.

Catering the festival will once again be Lakeside Beach Club.

“Last year they did fresh shucked oysters and their appetizers were phenomenal. Everybody left very full and happy,” Goodvin said.

Lakeside will have three or four stations set up plus servers bringing food to guests throughout the event.

“In honour of the theme this year, they’re doing some Italian food because of the mob influence with prohibition,” Sharkey laughs. “It’s always amazing and fresh.”

Live entertainment includes music in the lobby by academy teachers Rod Swanson on guitar and Ken Natchigal on cello, plus Wesley Hawkins and student Janette Wood will be playing the piano in the art gallery. Additionally, music from the ’20s will fill the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre.

There will also be a silent auction, a candy-by-donation table, a 50/50 draw, an on-site liquor store and various vendors.

There will be a prize for the best 1920s costume, plus anyone who comes dressed up will get three extra drink tokens.

The fifth annual Fraser Valley Distillery Festival is Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Tickets are $50 and include five tokens for liquor samples. More tokens can be purchased at the box office during the event. Doors open at 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for sponsors).

Tickets are available at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, online at chilliwackculturalcentre.com, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

This is a 19+ event.

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