More than 20,000 festival-goers helped Beau’s Brewery set a new record for fundraising at the 9th annual Beau’s Oktoberfest: $100,205. Held in the village of Vankleek Hill in Eastern Ontario, the festival also set a record for attendance over the two days it was held (Sept. 22-23). In addition to celebrating Bavarian culture, craft beer and community, Beau’s Oktoberfest is the annual signature fundraising event for local craft brewery Beau’s.
The funds raised – which greatly exceeded the annual target of $75,000 – will benefit numerous community-building projects and charities. The top-up puts the 9-year total of dollars raised by Beau’s Oktoberfest to $616,889. “This is amazing!” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “This Oktoberfest was definitely warmer than we’re used to, and the spirit of generosity was just as strong as the sunshine. I love seeing Vankleek Hill come to life with such a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere every year we do this.”
The United Way Charity Bike Ride took place again this year, raising more than $35,000 for an initiative called “All That Kids Can Be.” The Hawkesbury and District General Hospital Foundation will receive $10,000 from Beau’s Oktoberfest, and The Vankleek Hill Agriculture Society also will receive a donation of $10,000 from festival funds raised. Other groups who will benefit include Hidden Harvest Ottawa, Ottawa Riverkeeper, For Pivot’s Sake, 100% Actifs, and The Grant Howes Memorial Scholarship Fund, as well as numerous local service clubs and community groups who got involved and lent helping hands to the event.
The festival once again hosted an onsite Homebrewers Competition run by Ottawa’s “Members of Barleyment” club. The judges evaluated an impressive 477 samples this year, and selected a Flanders-style red ale named Finistere as the Best of Show winner, brewed by Frank Schneidawind. As the winner, Schneidawind will be invited to Beau’s next summer to brew a batch of beer with the Beau’s brew team for Oktoberfest.
The mainstage entertainment featured headlining acts Stars on Friday and Rheostatics on Saturday, as well as Canadian independent artists John K. Samson and Winter Wheat, TUNS, The Planet Smashers, Julie and The Wrong Guys, I.D.A.L.G., and Partner, and daytime entertainment from Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek. The festival served up 17 Beau’s beers on tap, alongside seasonally inspired culinary creations from 29 local restaurants.
Beau’s Oktoberfest will return for a special 10th anniversary edition Sept. 21-22, 2018.
Beau’s Oktoberfest 2017 - By the Numbers
· Funds raised: $100,205
· 2017 attendance: 20,515
· Litres of beer and cider served: 31,570
· People who rode our bus shuttles or camped overnight: 6,549
· Portions of food prepared: 46,400
· Litres of local spring water served: 3,780
· Beers entered in Homebrew Competition: 477
· Number of festival volunteers: 785 (plus 130 Beau’s staff)
· Total artists/performers: 162
· Keg-toss event participants: 169
· Pieces of dishes & cutlery washed to reduce waste: 38,000
· Sunday “Beer Brunches” served: 277
· Total RVs and tents in camping area: 524
· Ferris Wheel rides: 1,017