Jacquie Simpson (left) and Theresia Reid are organizing the Purple Haze arts recovery fundraiser for the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Jacquie Simpson (left) and Theresia Reid are organizing the Purple Haze arts recovery fundraiser for the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Purple Haze arts recovery fundraiser to have ‘fun, 1960s chilled-out vibe’ in Chilliwack

Groovy music, scenic lavender field part of much needed fundraiser for Chilliwack Cultural Centre

A groovy night of rock’n’roll at a scenic lavender farm will double as a recovery fundraiser for the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Organizers have named it Purple Haze.

“This fundraiser is definitely necessary. We’re calling it an arts recovery fund… the arts industry was particularly hit hard because of how much we were forced to close down,” said Theresia Reid, operations manager at the centre.

During the pandemic, the centre had 71 bookings and 71 cancellations in one quarterly report, she noted.

“My job was purely about cancelling shows for a solid year. Some shows were cancelled and booked five times.”

She pointed out that the centre did receive federal funding and money from the City of Chilliwack during the pandemic. But now Reid, along with interim director Jacquie Simpson, are trying to bring back funds that were lost over the past two years.

On July 16, folks can take in live music, pizza, drinks and more at Windward Lavender farm in the Columbia Valley, all while supporting the arts.

“It’s something that is a little bit of what everybody is missing,” Simpson said. It’s an event with a “fun, warm, social, 1960s chilled-out vibe.”

The lavender will be in peak season as musical guests perform. Harma White is a groovy band with danceable music and a vintage rock’n’roll vibe. Adding to the ambience will be singer-songwriter Ben Cottrill with his folk-rock style.

Chestnut Springs Organic Bakery is donating pizza to feed 200 people. The owners of Windward Lavender farm have donated their venue for the night.

“It’s an incredible donation,” Simpson said. “I can’t believe the amount of sponsors that came on board.”

When word spread of the recovery fundraiser, more than 30 sponsors joined. Many made monetary donations, but others gave them discounts on things like beer and wine.

Simpson and Reid had some fun with the sponsorship levels as well, titling the top, diamond-level sponsor as ‘Jimi Hendrix.’ Other sponsor levels include Janis Joplin (platinum), The Who (gold), Santanna (silver), and Joe Cocker (bronze).

The fundraiser has connected them with folks outside their normal circle of people and organizations, and the communities of Yarrow and Columbia Valley have gotten involved in a big way for the first time, Simpson said.

“That feeds into our mandate of connecting with the community and providing this place and letting more people know about it,” Reid said.

Tickets are $150 each, and 80 per cent of that is a donation going directly to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

This painting of Windward Lavender farm by Lucas Simpson will be raffled off during the Purple Haze fundraiser. (Lucas Simpson)

This painting of Windward Lavender farm by Lucas Simpson will be raffled off during the Purple Haze fundraiser. (Lucas Simpson)

Lucas Simpson has donated a painting of Windward Lavender farm which will be raffled off, and Chris Reid built a custom picnic table which will be auctioned off. There will also be a 50/50 draw.

Folks can buy floral crowns by Lisa Glover Floral Design and Purple Haze T-shirts will also be for sale.

IceLab, which is a mobile Hawaiian shaved ice company, will be serving up special ‘Purple Haze’ flavoured treats that evening.

Vintage furniture will be placed throughout the venue as little lounge areas and people are encouraged to get dressed up, wear tie-dye clothing, or their favourite concert T-shirt.

“It’s a sunset evening – we start at 5 o’clock and the event is done by 9:30,” Simpson said. “It’s an opportunity to get out into a beautiful setting, listen to some fun rock’n’roll, have a bite to eat and hang out with people.”

There are also shuttles taking folks to the venue from four pickup locations: Chilliwack Cultural Centre, Tzeachten Hall, Cultus Lake Elementary and Lindell Beach.

Their initial fundraising goal was $35,000, but they have a feeling they will surpass that.

“It’s not just about the centre. It’s about what we are providing for the community and having this gathering place and having the gallery, the classes, the theatres for groups to perform in… for people to come and enjoy the arts,” Reid said.

The Purple Haze arts recovery fundraiser is Saturday, July 16 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Windward Lavender (231 Columbia Valley Road). Tickets $150 and include two drink tickets (more can be purchased). Tickets are available at the Centre Box Office, online at chilliwackculturalcentre.ca or by calling 604-391-SHOW (7469).

Looking for more events taking place in and around Chilliwack? Check out What’s happening Chilliwack in our community section.


 

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