Friends of the Museum hosting ninth annual gala

By Allan Bradbury
Staff writer

The Friends of the Fort Frances Museum and Cultural Centre will host a wine and cheese gala in November in an effort to help fund programming at the museum and throughout the community.

Sarah Marusyk is part of the Friends of the museum she says this year’s fundraiser is the first one since the COVID 19 pandemic shut so many things down.

“It’s coming back after a three-year break, due to COVID,” Marusyk said. “We’re excited to be bringing it back. This is the ninth annual, so we’re coming up on 10 years, which is hard to believe.”

The theme of this year’s event is “Forget Me Not,” which plays off of the current exhibit at the museum of soldiers from the Rainy River District which was curated by guest curator Marjory Stintzi. As such they’re asking anyone coming out to wear their finest floral patterned outfits.

The Friends of the Fort Frances Museum are a group of volunteers who plan events for and with the museum Marusyk said.

“We are a group of volunteers who plan both community events to give back to the community but also fundraising events like the gala to raise funds for additional programming at the museum,” Marusyk said. “Snowasis is probably one of the more popular Friends events that a lot of folks would know about.”

The gala helps offset the cost of events like Snowasis and other workshops that the museum hosts which they hope to resume soon.

The funds also go to help offset the cost of bringing temporary exhibits at the museum.

The evening will be a fun time for people to get together to raise money for a local institution with a few changes from past events.

“We’ve always done it on the first Thursday of November but we’ve shifted it to Friday night this year, just to try something new to give people that opportunity to maybe have a relaxing Saturday morning the following day,” Marusyk said. “Rather than having to go to work the next morning.”

Marusyk says she hopes that will open up the event to some younger folks who might not have come out in the past due to the next day being a week-day.

The event is Friday Nov. 3 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Marusyk says people should plan to stay for the entire evening.

The event will have a silent auction rather than a live auction like they’ve done in the past.

“We’re going to make a return this year to silent auctions,” Marusyk said. “We’ve done live auctions in the past… but they tend to take up a lot of time and people’s attention. We want to give people more time to visit and explore the museum’s exhibits.”

The Friends are looking for local artists to contribute auction items as well as businesses.

The event will also feature hors d’oeuvres from Flint House as well as beer, wine and other beverages all included as part of the $40 event ticket. Tickets are available in advance via Eventbrite or $45 at the door on the night of the event. For more information contact the museum or a member of the Friends of the Museum.