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Chocolate Fest 2024: A sweet revival at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

After a pandemic hiatus, SACHA's Chocolate Fest returns to unite the community with a blend of indulgent treats and a new garden party theme.

Chocolate Fest, organized by The Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) (SACHA), is scheduled to light up the Art Gallery of Hamilton on the evening of May 30, after a hiatus brought on by the pandemic.

Peggy McGillicuddy, Chair of SACHA’s Management Committee, is excited about reviving the event in a post-COVID-19 era. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring Chocolate Fest back. It’s a vibrant event that truly unites people. The past couple of years have been challenging, and we look forward to reigniting the community spirit that Chocolate Fest is known for,” McGillicuddy said.

“Originally, Chocolate Fest was timed around Valentine’s Day, making it a celebration of all things chocolate. It’s a fun, delicious theme that everyone seems to enjoy. Why not continue a tradition that celebrates such universal joy?”

This year’s Chocolate Fest also introduces a garden party theme, transforming the venue into a floral paradise.

“We’re adding a garden party twist this year. Imagine being surrounded by beautiful blooms and greenery from local vendors, all while indulging in the finest chocolate treats. It’s going to be a feast for all the senses,” McGillicuddy added.

The choice of venue also plays a crucial role in this year's event dynamics. 

“Hosting this year’s Chocolate Fest at the Art Gallery of Hamilton adds an element of sophistication and beauty that complements our garden party theme perfectly,” McGillicuddy explained. “Guests can enjoy the art installations, which will provide a magnificent backdrop to the evening’s festivities.”

SACHA hopes to sell more than 300 tickets for this event, with each ticket contributing directly to the funding of their critical services. 

McGillicuddy highlighted the importance of these funds: “Events like Chocolate Fest are pivotal for us. They provide necessary funding for the numerous programs that SACHA offers to the community. Our centre runs essential services such as our 24-Hour Crisis Line, Counselling and Advocacy, and Public Education, among others, which are all supported by the proceeds from this event.”

Discussing the impact of SACHA on the community, McGillicuddy stressed the organization’s long-standing commitment to supporting survivors of sexual violence and working towards ending violence and oppression. 

“For over four decades, SACHA has been at the forefront of supporting survivors and advocating for change. Our approach is survivor-centred, which empowers them as the experts of their experiences and healing journeys,” she said.

The evening promises not only a wide variety of chocolate samples from local chocolatiers and artisans but also a silent auction featuring items and services from local businesses. 

“The chocolate is definitely a highlight, but we also have a silent auction and showcases from various local vendors. It’s a chance to support local businesses, enjoy exquisite chocolates, and contribute to a cause that impacts many lives in our community,” McGillicuddy noted.

Tickets for the event are priced at $60, including entry and eight sample tickets for an array of chocolate delights. The event promises an immersive experience with chocolate at its heart, set against the cultural backdrop of the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

For those interested in partaking in this delightful evening, more details and ticket purchases can be found on SACHA’s official event page, here.

“Join us for an evening where community, art, and the simple joy of chocolate converge. It’s more than just a festivity; it’s a celebration of resilience, community, and the sweetest aspects of life.”


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