As I ventured into this lively event this past Saturday, January 20th, I had every intention of capturing photos for just an hour, but when you’re surrounded by familiar faces and vibrant energy, time tends to slip away… as I’m sure you all know how that goes…
Despite the chilly evening outside, the atmosphere inside the Ramada was quite the opposite. As I entered the lobby, a friendly face behind the desk welcomed me, and my journey continued past a beautiful balloon arch crafted by the talented Balloon Babes. After a quick stop at the coat check, I found myself immersed in the heart of the action.
Although the event officially kicked off at 6 pm, by 7 pm, the place was already buzzing with excitement.
The event that I’m talking about is the 18th Annual Seaway International Wine Festival which has made a triumphant return after a three-year hiatus (thanks to the notorious Mr. Covid). Everyone seemed so happy that the new owners, Veronica and Shawn Gupta have decided to revive the event. The St. Lawrence and Simon Fraser halls were both opened up and filled with guests all glammed up, wine or another beverage of their choice in hand, mingling, eating the wonderful finger foods from around the world that were prepared by Ramada’s very own Chef Joginder Khalsar and his team and listening or dancing to music by the band Ambush in the Simon Fraser Ballroom and Coco Thompson and her band Shaharah in the St. Lawrence.
This fantastic event, originally initiated by former Ramada owners Scott and Jennifer Lecky, (pictured left in the header photo with present owners Veronica and Shaun Gupta) was a breath of fresh air for Cornwall. I vividly recall attending one of the first events, where local actress Joa Gamelin dazzled us dressed as an ice sculpture, and I played the role of assistant to Nikki Fontaine, cutting fruit for her Chocolate Fountain. While that night may feel like a distant memory, it’s fascinating to see many of those familiar faces still making appearances this year as well as many more new ones in attendance as well.
Beyond the glitz and glamour, the Seaway International Wine Festival remains a fundraiser. This year, funds were raised for the Centre York Centre, a Supervised Parenting Time Centre offering families a safe haven for visits and exchanges without exposing children to conflicts. For more information on the Centre, visit www.centreyorkcentre.ca or call (613) 933-1253.
And guess what? The Ramada is fully back in the game, open for bookings for weddings and other celebrations. In fact, my hubby DJ Shellshock and I are gearing up to return this summer to play at a few weddings that we already have booked here. For hall booking details, contact Cathy at 613-933-8000 x 7663, email her at [email protected], or visit their website at www.cornwallramada.com
If you missed the 18th Annual Seaway International Wine Festival this year make sure you secure tickets for the 19th Annual event in 2025. It’s an experience not to be missed especially if you enjoy dressing up and stepping out (even if it is cold outside) for an extremely good cause.
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