Wolf Back returning with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage tastings, food and live music

The original purpose of Wolf Back was to raise money for this statue, which the Mann Art Gallery purchased in 2016. (Mann Art Gallery/Facebook)

Fundraiser focused on keeping the gallery free

Prince Albert’s Mann Art Gallery is bringing back its largest fundraiser for the ninth year.

Wolf Back brings a variety of beverage vendors across Saskatchewan—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic— to the city for tastings. Beverages include specialty beer, wine, spirits, ciders, mocktails and kombucha.

Lana Wilson, the gallery’s acting manager and curator, said staff call it “Prince Albert’s favourite fundraiser party.”

“You maybe can’t always afford to go to a gala, but this is the type of party that everyone can enjoy,” she said.

The event takes place on Friday, Jan. 17 from 7 p.m. until midnight at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.

It’s sponsored by Lake Country Co-op, Holash Wilcox McCullagh Novus Law Group, Prakash Consulting and Econo Lumber. SGI will also be providing vouchers for a safe ride home as part of its Be a Good Wingman campaign.

Advance tickets are available for purchase in person at the gallery for $30 or online with a $1.50 surcharge at www.mannartgallery.ca/events. They’re also available at the door for $35 each.

Tickets include three three-ounce tastings of beverages of your choice.

The first 200 people through the doors will receive a tasting glass with the Mann Art Gallery’s logo on it as a souvenir.

Vendors include the returning 9 Mile Legacy out of Saskatoon and the Last Mountain Distillery out of Lumsden. Wilson decided to bring in Saskatoon’s Parkerview Brews, a kombucha brewing company, with its cherry cola and mango flavours.

“I really enjoy them, I think that other people will as well,” she said, adding the mocktail bar has gained a lot of traction in the last couple of years.

“There’s always going to be (people) at different events who might not be drinking for a variety of reasons, and the reality is that pop gets really boring,” said Wilson. “We’d like to look at maybe some more unique types of ginger beers or maybe cane sugar sodas with unique flavours.”

Randy Whitter with My Place Bistro and Catering will also have hot food available for purchase. Additionally, Wilson said local bands The Bush Pies and FLASHBACK will have everybody dancing.

But ultimately, she explained, the purpose of Wolf Back is to raise funds to keep art alive and accessible in Prince Albert and area.

“We’re using it to fundraise for gallery operations, specifically the theme this year is keeping the gallery free for all, and this is to raise awareness of the fact that the Mann Art Gallery is one of the public museums and art galleries that actually has no cost for admission,” said Wilson.

“We always like to let people know that they don’t have to worry about financial status being an access barrier to visiting the gallery.”

The fundraiser was previously called Wolf Back a Beer before it expanded to include a variety of beverages. Originally it raised funds for the wolf statue that now sits outside of the gallery titled ‘mahihkan,’ the Cree word for ‘wolf.’ The gallery successfully purchased and installed it in the spring of 2016.

Wolf Back is only available for those 19 years and older.