As active COVID-19 cases in the province continue to climb at a substantial rate, the Airdrie Food Bank has decided to move its annual Empty Bowls Art Festival fundraiser online once again this year.
“Unfortunately, last year – obviously – we couldn’t hold it. And again, this year we decided [to move online] because we just weren’t really sure,” said Christine Taylor, the events, marketing and communications manager for the Airdrie Food Bank.
Taylor explained that in a normal year, Empty Bowls would be held in person at the food bank’s location in east Airdrie. As part of the fundraiser, soup made at local businesses is served and patrons bid on bowls that were hand-painted by community members and artists in collaboration with Colour Me Mine. All proceeds go directly back to the food bank.
“It’s always such a really fun community event,” Taylor said, and added the in-person iteration typically has live entertainment and plenty of activities for kids.
A sense of uncertainty around the time the extensive planning for the event was set to begin is what influenced staff’s decision to follow suit with last year’s event – moving the fundraiser entirely online.
“It’s nice not to cancel it,” Taylor said. “It’s nice to be able to modify it and still have it.
“It’s not quite the same, but it keeps the event in people’s minds for – hopefully – next year.”
Although there won’t be a big gathering at the Airdrie Food Bank this fall, community members can still show their support for the initiative by participating in the online bowl auction. Bowls up for grabs have been painted by local artists, as well as Mayor Peter Brown and Coun. Tina Petrow.
Taylor said the auction is expected to begin on Sept. 20, but updates will be provided via social media on timelines and other logistics. She said the process is quite simple – those interested in bidding can place their name on the particular bowl and indicate the price they would be willing to pay.
Traditionally, the Empty Bowls Festival is an event to express appreciation to the community for their support over the past year. Even though there won’t be the food, music, and games associated with past iterations of the fundraiser, Taylor said the Airdrie Food Bank wants the community to know the support of residents is truly appreciated.
“This is our way of saying thank you for being here for us, for your community. It really is a thank you to say, ‘You know what, we couldn’t do this without you,’” she said.
Those interested in bidding on a bowl are encouraged to keep watch over the Airdrie Food Bank’s social media channels for the official launch of the auction. They can be found @airdriefoodbank on Twitter and Airdrie Food Bank on Facebook, as well as their website, airdriefoodbank.com
The Airdrie Food Bank is located at 20 East Lake Way NE.