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Let’s eat! The fine art of fundraising with food

Jana Schilkie of JHC Hospitality Consulting talks about an upcoming circus-themed fundraiser for the Sudbury Food Bank and how to help organizations raise money

It doesn’t matter where you turn, you’ve felt the pinch of rising food costs on your wallet.

That’s why the Cirque de Sudbury inaugural gala on Sept. 14 will support the Sudbury Food Bank and its clients as we head into the colder and darker months.   

Jana Schilkie and her JHC Hospitality Consulting team have spent the summer organizing the event slated for the Upper Hall at the Caruso Club.

“If you’ve ever witnessed a Cirque du Soleil event, you know the magic that comes with the acts,” Schilke said. “It's something I have always wanted to bring to Sudbury and it seemed like the right time to launch it.”

Schilkie worked with Toula Sakellaris from the Apollo Restaurant to take on the role of presenting sponsor.

Then came finding the entertainment, which involved locating a steady stream of gymnasts, face-painted models in top hats, circus entertainers and other jaw-dropping talent.

“I put out a call for fire dancers, stilt walkers, suspended silk artists, contortionists, acrobat walkers, tumblers, unicyclists, jugglers, and we found people to fill each and every vacancy,” Schilke said.

In keeping with the ambiance of a Cirque-themed event, carnival food, wine, and a five-course dinner will also be on tap.

“I like to have these events partner with charities revolving around the topic of food because it is fitting for me working in the hospitality industry,” Schilke said. “If you cannot eat, you have nothing. It’s important for us all to acknowledge that.”  

So far this year, JHC has raised $85,000 for local charities like the food bank.

After the fanfare of Cirque wraps up, there are more JHC planned events to come.  

Everyone on the team is focussed on its events tied to their own expertise. That team is composed of Dawson Reale, Vanessa Sawyer and Natalie Proulx, a recent Cambrian graduate. Schilkie launched the company about seven years ago.

A second Taste of Sudbury food and drink event in support of Inner City will be held in the new year along with a ball hockey tournament. 

When the snow begins to melt, JHC works with Maple Hill Farms to deliver syrupy fun to coincide with the spring run.  

The home show will also return again in April.  

JHC is also toying with hosting a possible model search exhibition planned for the end of 2024 among a few other different events along with an office location move.

Cirque de Sudbury is Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Caruso Club.  

Although mostly sold out, you might still be lucky enough to find a ticket, which were available for purchase at Apollo Restaurant or the Sudbury Food Bank. Tickets are $200, for which a $75 charitable tax receipt. 

Anastasia Rioux is a writer in Greater Sudbury. Let’s Eat! is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.


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