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Niagara Falls, NY 06/23/2007; Niagara Wine Auction
Topic Started: Sep 6 2008, 01:46 PM (534 Views)
mouser
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June 23 - Saturday ( 6:30 PM to 1:00 AM - entertainment to follow dining )

BEAUTIFUL NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA/ USA


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NY Niagra Wine Auction
Niagra Falls, NY

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This event is held on the Canadian side of the Falls and is a multiple day event. It is quite expensive, so be aware !!!


Saturday, June 23, 2007 SOLD OUT
Garden Party with the Winemakers & Auction 12-4 pm -- THE COMMONS
A glorious celebration of food & wine in a large garden setting, featuring Ontario's premiere chefs and winemakers. Enjoy a brilliant assortment of food and wine, while bidding on priceless wine packages, merchandise and getaways at the Live and Silent Auctions, featuring the winemakers Barrel Auction. The auction will offer an entertaining and lively atmosphere benefiting SickKids Foundation and St. Catharines General Hospital Foundation.

Jonaton Lorne, Azure
Kevin Maniachi, Cave Springs
Fawzi Kotb, Caviar Centre
William Brunyansky, Charles Inn
Albino Silva, Chiado
David Garcelon, Fairmont Royal York
Andrea Damon Gibson, Fred’s Bread
John Higgins, George Brown College
Nicolette Novak, The Good Earth
Esther Benaim and Maggie McKeown, Great Cooks on Eight
Frank Dodd, Hillebrand Estates
Jamie Kennedy, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens
Jonathan Gushue, Langdon Hall Anna and Michael Olsen, Olsen Foods and Bakery
Jason Parsons, Peller Estates
Randy Dupuis, Pillar and Post
Andy Dymond, Queen’s Landing
Rodney Clark, Rodney’s Oyster House
Jess Ostlund, Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Patrick McMurray, Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill Stone
Stone Road Grille, Ryan Crawford
Lisa Bunting & Lara Lorge Pantusa, Sweet Rage
Tony De Luca - Restaurant Tony De Luca
Jan-Willem Stulp, Vineland Estates
Cathy O’Donnell, Willow Cakes
Bruce Worden
Ross Midgely, Zee’s

Interested in providing a silent auction item? Please download and fill out our auction commitment form and fax it to 416-703-7425, attention Nicole Walker.

Gala Dinner 6:30 pm-1 am -- THE COMMONS
Hosted by Dan Aykroyd, this black-tie affair will bring together the "who's who" from the worlds of food, wine, entertainment, and media to honour the Ontario wine industry and celebrate the proceeds raised for the charities. Under a brilliant Gala tent, guests will enjoy cocktails followed by a gourmet dinner and feature entertainment.

Guests will enjoy cocktails followed by a gourmet four-course dinner prepared by:

Jamie Kennedy, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens
Frank Dodd, Hillebrand Estates
Andy Dymond, Queen’s Landing
Jason Parsons, Peller Estates
Anna and Michael Olson, Olson Foods and Bakery



Featuring live performances by:

Measha Brueggergosman - Award winning soprano, concert artist and opera singer
Michael Burgess - Critically acclaimed recording artist and accomplished entertainer
Matt Dusk - Juno award nominated singer
Naomi Striemer - Canadian Chart Topper
The Starz Band with Juno Award winner Liberty Silver
Gala headliner ... 2006 American Idol Winner - Taylor Hicks!

Plus, so much more!


. Garden Party With The Winemakers & Auction - $250 each

For details contact: http://www.niagarawineauction.com/event_details.html

SETLIST:

REVIEWS AND MEDIA:

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1. A man of few words; American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is a straight-shooter who lets his singing voice do most of the talking
Don Fraser
Spectrum - Friday, June 22, 2007 Updated @ 7:09:06 AM

Taylor Hicks is known to millions as the silky-smooth, somewhat quirky winner of the 2006 version of TV phenomenon American Idol.

He's appearing at a gala dinner for the inaugural Niagara Wine Auction on Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., in a black-tie event at The Commons behind the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

It will be hosted by funnyman Dan Aykroyd and features other top singers and a gourmet meal prepared by celebrity chefs.

In a phone interview during a tour stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Hicks belies his sometimes odd stage persona, and reveals himself as a straight-shooting man of choice - and often few - words.

"Never been, I'm looking forward to it, I always hear it's a beautiful place," says the 30-year-old, when asked if he's visited Niagara before. It turns out he's never stepped foot in Canada.

And Hicks' plans once he crosses the Niagara River and takes in the fabled Falls?: "Probably taking pictures," he states.

Hicks says he was approached about the auction and accepted the gig in a heartbeat: "I thought, 'wine and Dan Aykroyd, there's no question I'll be there.
'

"It's for a good cause and I think it'll be a great time."

The Blues Brothers fan also hopes to "swap some licks on harmonica" with Aykroyd this weekend. As for the vino itself, Hicks says he likes Pinot Noir, "but there's so many to choose from.

"When you get to an event like that, I'll be able to find some good ones, that's for sure."

Hicks is single, hails from Birmingham, Ala., and claims no fixed address for the last couple of years: "I live on my bus ... I am serious."

Among his most memorable recent anecdotes are squeaking that big puppy on wheels through narrow drive-thrus.

"Which is pretty interesting, because tour buses usually don't fit in drive-thrus - we kind of stay on the outer edge of the drive-thru; but all-in-all, it's a pretty funny sight."

Between frenetic touring and near-misses at fast-food joints, Hicks has released two independent albums, and a self-titled debut through a major label last year.

The standout singer is also known as the Soul Patrol by a legion of rabid online fans, and he has a book coming out this summer called Heart Full of Soul.

Life in the celebrity spotlight has been just fine, he reveals.

"You have to know where you are as an artist and go from there.

"Things are just really well," adds Hicks."The music is great, I'm really happy."

About 1,000 people are expected to be part of the ritzy Niagara Wine Auction and many are sure to get their own taste of Hicks' sweet vocal chops.

The goal is to raise some serious cash - from $250,000 to $500,000 - for the SickKids Foundation in Toronto and the St. Catharines General Hospital pediatric foundation.

Tickets for the gala, at $500 each, aren't for the budget-conscious. Other auction events and dinners are roughly half that amount, and an all-inclusive weekend package goes for a cool $1,000.

Still, tickets have sold well, and as of press time, not many were left. For more information, visit www.niagarawineauction.ca.

This year's eighth annual Niagara Indie Filmfest in downtown St. Catharines includes some standout shorter films from Niagara and across the country.

The juried short film and video festival starts with a meet-and-greet this evening at Niagara Artists' Centre at 354 St. Paul St, to be followed by screenings at 7:30 p.m. Screenings continue Saturday at the St. Catharines Centennial Library at 1 and 3 p.m. An evening program at NAC includes a meet-and-greet before the 7 p.m. showings, with awards at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $6 per screening, $15 for a full pass, and can be purchased at Esprit Films, 2 Lake St., or at the door. Visit www.niagaraindiefilmfest.org for more details.


2. Auction toasted as success; Wine industry officials say event was great way to showcase their products to a broader audience
KARENA WALTER
Local News - Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 01:00

A sold-out gala, successful fundraising and overall enthusiasm almost guarantee the Niagara Wine Auction will become an annual event.

Local winemakers mingled with a variety of high-profile people over the three-day event, luring many Toronto executives whose support is seen as key to the future of Niagara's wine industry.

"You know, this isn't about what we've achieved, it's about what we want to be," John Peller, who spearheaded the event, said at the gala dinner Saturday. He said it was "pretty much guaranteed" the event will continue next year.

"I think the enthusiasm of people speaks volumes about what we can do in the future."

The 1,100 seats were sold out for the $500-a-plate fundraiser for SickKids Foundation in Toronto hosted by Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd, who volunteered his time. St. Catharines General Hospital Foundation will also receive a portion of the money raised.

Entertainers for the night included singers Michael Burgess, Measha Brueggergosman, Matt Dusk and Taylor Hicks, the 2006 American Idol winner who had the crowd racing to the dance floor. Dinner was headed up by Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy.
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The gala dinner and garden party earlier in the day were held in a giant tent in the Commons in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Peller said the aim of the event was to awaken in people a sense that there's something great within Niagara but they've got to work together to get there.

"I think we need other people to buy into our dream and part of those people are from other parts of Ontario," he said.

In the last five years, Niagara has had 50 new wineries open, and Peller predicted there would be another 50 to 100 in the next five to 10 years.

"We need to draw people to share our ambition and not just turn a vineyard into a winery, turn a vineyard into the best winery in the world, with the best food and the best restaurants, and build communities where people will say, 'If I could live anywhere, that's where I'd want to live.'

"So this is step one, see you in 30 years."

SickKids Foundation spokeswoman Linton Carter said more than 50 per cent of the tickets were sold to people who don't have a stake in wineries. Many were from Toronto.

"I know some of my board members have never been to Niagara," Carter said. "But here they are and they are saying, 'This is spectacular, we're going to return, buy Ontario wines and we love what this industry is bringing to Canada and the world.' "

Paul Speck of Henry of Pelham Estate Winery in St. Catharines said the Niagara wine industry is at a whole new level now and it's casting the net further into the market.

"We need the people in downtown Toronto and everywhere across the country to come out here and see what we're doing," he said.

That meant throwing a party for great causes with world-class talent, food and wine to get the word out.

"As colleagues, with our restaurant tours and everybody, we're putting a stake in the ground and saying, 'We're on the world stage now and come on out and see us,' " Speck said.

The event solidifies the Niagara wine industry as the Real McCoy, said Charlie Pillitteri, of Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The quality of Niagara wine has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 30 years, and the industry wants Ontarians to drink more Ontario wines.

"Our numbers are increasing, but we want them to increase more. We want Ontarians to drink more wine and it's happening. This just proves they're out here to have a look."

Patrick Gedge, chief executive of Niagara Economic Development Corp., said the gala was the type of event people will talk about when they return to their communities.

He said organizers accomplished a "blockbuster" with their first event, in terms of tickets sold and dollars raised.

"It's one thing to have all the ingredients, it's another thing to put it all together."

One Toronto guest, Louis Louro of Louro Jewellers, sponsored his first non-Toronto event with the donation of a one-of-a-kind necklace for the auction.

"For a first event, they did a pretty good job," he said. "It's not easy building a three-day event. They got the right people entertainment-wise - and the wine was great."

kwalter@stcatharinesstandard.ca

3. According to The Niagara Falls Review:
The live bidding portion of the Niagara Wine Auction raised $223,800 Saturday afternoon and evening.
Totals for the barrel auction and silent auction weren't yet available Sunday.


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Actor Dan Aykroyd performs with American Idol winner Taylor Hicks on Saturday night at the Niagara Wine Auction gala. PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE STANDARD BY KEVIN ARGUE ( notice no jeans, a concession to the event and the band all in black )

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4.
Vintage hilarity
Dan Aykroyd Hosts Niagara Wine Gala
Amoryn Engel, Weekend Post
Published: Saturday, August 18, 2007
The wine really flowed at the first Niagara Wine Auction and Gala, hosted on a warm summer weekend by legendary comedian turned winemaker Dan Aykroyd.

More than 1,000 guests descended on Niagara-on-the-Lake, many of them checking in to Vintage Hotels' trio of historic inns (a wise decision, as this was to be a weekend of serious merriment, styled after California's star-studded Napa Wine Auction fundraiser).

The three-day event was officially uncorked on the Friday night, with intimate Winemakers Dinners at numerous wineries, including Peller Estates and Jackson-Triggs.

On Saturday afternoon, guests attended a garden party -- lunch and an auction featuring Ontario's premier winemakers and chefs -- one of six whirlwind events on the agenda.

But the weekend's piece de resistance had to be the black-tie gala dinner at the Commons, where, beneath an enormous tent, the sides of which were left open so that guests could enjoy the lush foliage and heavenly breeze, patrons sipped designer cocktails and bid on an eclectic assortment of auction items ranging from major wine packages (quelle surprise!) to sofas and washers and dryers.

Guests then made their way to their tables for a delicious four-course dinner prepared by star chefs Jamie Kennedy, Frank Dodd (Hillebrand Estates), Andy Dymond (Queen's Landing), Jason Parsons (Peller Estates) and Anna and Michael Olson.

Performances by Canadian chart-topper Naomi Striemer, Juno-nominee Matt Dusk, former Phantom Michael Burgess and soprano Measha Brueggergosman warmed the crowd up. Then everyone hit the dance floor when Taylor Hicks, the 2006 American Idol winner, took the stage. Of course, when Aykroyd appeared and started jamming with Hicks, people went wild -- and kept right on dancing until the band packed up in the wee hours.

More than $300,000 was raised for SickKids Foundation and St. Catharines General Hospital Paediatric Division, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Niagara Wine Auction and Gala quickly become an annual summer tradition.

amoryne@nationalpost.com







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