After 10 years of putting on Robbie Burns Suppers, the Beaton Family and local band Celtic Chaos have decided to retire from hosting the event at the Qualicum Beach Community Centre.
“Ten felt like a nice number,” said Joyce Beaton, “we thought it’s a good time to say, ‘there you go, lets move on to new things.’”
Beaton said they started hosting the public event in 2003 to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation, after her father passed away from a brain tumor. She and her family had been holding Burns’ suppers at their home for years, and they thought this would be a good way to raise some funds, she said, and honour her father.
Many people volunteered their time and talents to helping the cause, feeding and entertaining 150 to 160 people, and every show was sold out. But organizing the event became a little overwhelming, Beaton said, and for the past two years they have had it catered instead of having volunteers cook all the food.
“You start to wear (out) your volunteers,” Beaton said, “and like many things people think it’s a great idea, and they are willing to buy a ticket, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to commit months of time and organization to help setting it up.”
Over the last 10 years the Beaton’s and their team have raised $59,371, of which three quarters went to the BC Cancer Foundation and one quarter went to the local Abreast of Life Dragonboat Team.
The Beaton’s and Celtic Chaos will continue to perform at a number of locations around the area including Fairwinds Golf Club Jan. 25 and the Rocking Horse Pub in Nanoose Bay Jan. 26 and the Vault in Nanaimo on Jan. 27.
All the events will include a traditional ceremony, toasts, live music (which normally leads to Ceilidh dancing), poetry and haggis — a Scottish delicacy containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, traditionally simmered in the animals stomach.
For more information on these events email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joyce at email@example.com.