“A wonderful dinner for a great cause”: Bella Notte 2019 organizers are bringing the renowned flavours and warmth of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region to this year’s signature event.
Organizers of 11th annual Bella Notte dinner say 2019 fundraiser will be event like no other
By Ryan McBride
It’s home to the music of Verdi and Pavarotti, Bolognese sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and some of the finest balsamic vinegars in the world—and on February 7, 2019, you can experience it for yourself without having to leave Winnipeg.
Emilia-Romagna, one of Italy’s most culturally rich and fertile regions, takes centre stage at the 11th annual Bella Notte, or “beautiful night”, the signature fundraising dinner of the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation.
“The focus of Bella Notte has always been Italy because we hold the event at DeLuca’s and that’s what they do best,” says Belinda Bigold, chair of the dinner’s planning committee. “This year we wanted to shake it up a little by celebrating a particular region—one that doesn’t always get the spotlight, but definitely deserves it.”
One reason is the food. Although the event’s menu is a closely guarded secret (“I can tell you it’s something special”), Bella Notte will feature some of the tantalizing dishes for which the Emilia-Romagna is so well known the world over.
The food will be the main event in more ways than one. Throughout the evening, which takes place at DeLuca’s expansive instructional kitchen at 950 Portage Avenue, Chef Mike Brown will demonstrate how each course is prepared, from start to finish. “Apart from being a great chef, he’s just a fabulous, funny and engaging guy to learn from,” says Bigold. “Every year we’ve done this, that’s all people have talked about.”
Plenty of fine Italian wine will flow, and in keeping with the theme, the music of Verdi and Pavarotti will add to the warm, intimate ambiance—which, in years past, has served as the perfect antidote to a frigid February night. When the evening is over, each guest walks away with a special keepsake: a booklet of recipes from the delectable dinner.
A member of the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation board of directors, Bigold is also owner of High Tea Bakery, known as Winnipeg’s Imperial cookie capital and located just around the corner from Deer Lodge. She and her mother Carol have run High Tea since it opened in 2003, so they’re no stranger to Deer Lodge’s importance to the surrounding community.
“I grew up here, so Deer Lodge has been part of my life since I was a kid,” Bigold says. “We have friends and family who work there. Everyone in the neighbourhood knows someone who works or lives there. I love what the amazing staff there are doing for those who need their help.”
She says she hopes the event will raise $40,000 to support the Centre’s programs and services, through ticket sales and the evening’s silent and live auctions.
Sheena Warkentin, an Occupational Therapist at Deer Lodge, attended last year’s Bella Notte. She knows first-hand how money raised from the event enhances quality of life for the Centre’s residents and patients. Thanks to proceeds raised at last year’s Bella Notte, Deer Lodge was able to purchase 12 new wheelchairs. “With the expansion to 88 geriatric rehabilitation beds, there’s been an increased demand for these chairs,” says Warkentin. “Patients who aren’t capable of walking longer distances use wheelchairs to attend therapy appointments, or go down to the cafeteria for a meal or a visit with family. Bella Notte made it possible for us to give them more mobility and independence.”
She adds, “You don’t want to miss this event. It’s a wonderful dinner for a great cause.”
BELLA NOTTE ~ EXPERIENCE EMILIA-ROMAGNA
Join us for a a “beautiful night” in support of Deer Lodge Centre:
- Thursday, February 7, 2019
- De Luca’s Banquet Centre ~ 950 Portage Avenue
- Cocktails 6 pm ~ Dinner 7 pm
Individual: $200 | Corporate Table of 10: $2,000
Unable to attend? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation.
Paper tickets to Bella Notte will not be issued. We will mail out tax receipts after the event.