Distillery display at a previous Fraser Valley Distillery Festival.

Wet your whistle at the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival

Chilliwack Academy of Music's annual event is back at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

The holiday cheer may have been put away for another year, but you can still enjoy wetting your whistle while supporting a worthy cause at the third annual Fraser Valley Distillery Festival.

Held inside the beautiful Chilliwack Cultural Centre, the Festival combines delicious drinks, delectable hors-d’oeuvres, and delightful music to raise money for music education in the Chilliwack region. Held on Friday, Jan. 26, the Festival will highlight more than 20 distilleries, including some of B.C.’s finest, who will delight Chilliwack patrons with their cheek-puckering vodkas, gins, single malt whiskeys, moonshines, and a variety of liqueurs.

Although British Columbia is well-known for its wine and craft breweries, its distillers are just as good, but yet are still flying under the radar, says Academy trustee, Corbin Kempenaar, who’s been a part of the Festival since its conception in 2016.

“These businesses are true artisans and are using … the Festival to spread the word about their brand and give attendees the chance to taste some rare and delicious spirit. Patrons will be given access to the full gamut of spirits and liqueurs, made 100% in BC.”

With the richness and boldness of these spirits in mind, the Chilliwack Academy of music has done its best to create a Festival atmosphere that perfectly pairs luxury and creativity. And as such, they will be entertaining guests with a musical selection featuring one of their own instructors, Mary Demers, who’s traveled the globe singing and strumming her harp in venues like the White House and Lincoln Center. Joining Demers will be Academy students and Joanna Black and friends on the piano.

READ MORE: Spirited affair raises a glass to local music

But this Festival isn’t just about music and drinking: while savoring their spirits, attendees can also enjoy tasty morsels from Roll n’ Coal BBQ and The Clean Plate caterers as they partake in the real fun: a Silent Auction. With an array of prizes donated by local businesses, and all proceeds going to help music education in the Chilliwack region, Festival goers have the opportunity to not only help out a good cause but to snag themselves some impressive swag.

Organized by the Chilliwack Academy of Music, the Festival is the only fundraiser hosted by the music school each year. And while they do charge tuition, the Academy is a not-for-profit, federally-registered charitable society, and as such, must also rely on the support of the community to achieve its goals. Since 1979, the Chilliwack Academy of music has strived to provide high-quality music instruction, while fostering interest and participation in music within the region through its classes, scholarships, and bursary programs.

“Music is an integral part of our culture, which is the life-blood of any community,” says Kempenaar. “I cannot stress enough the importance of giving children access to affordable musical instruction, and a place to gro their gifts and talents.”

The Fraser Valley Distillery Festival begins at 7:00 p.m. To learn more, visit the Festival’s website at fraservalleydistilleryfestival.com. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at ChilliwackCulturalCentre.ca, or by calling The Centre Box Office at 604-391-SHOW(7469). This is a 19+ only event.

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