Souper bowl painting on hold

Popular fall fundraiser shifts into spring for 2017

This year’s Souper Bowls of Hope fundraiser normally held in the fall will likely move to April

Residents fired up to paint a bowl at the ceramics shop can hold off a little while.

Fired Up! Paint Your Own Ceramics, owned by Oak Bay Rotarian Janna Gisler, usually has bowls at the ready this month to create for the Souper Bowls for Hope fundraiser. While they’ll still offer the program, a shift in the cause means waiting until spring. The bowls are expected to stay at $6 and be available early in the new year.

The 19th Souper Bowls for Hope that usually runs in November is expected to take place in April, said the chair of the 2016 campaign.

“We’re giving the event a little bit of a facelift,” said Michele Davis.

While the timing is expected to change, the theme remains.

“We get bowls from the Vancouver Island Potter’s Guild and Fired Up! Ceramics Studio,” Davis said. “It’s a great event, we draw 400-plus attendees every year. There have been some years where it’s over 500.”

Set for a weekday lunch hour, event goers get a bowl of soup prepared by one of three celebrity chefs.

“It’s a basic, wholesome comfort meal of soup, bread and dessert and tea and coffee,” she said. “After you have a lovely lunch you get to choose a bowl and take it home. That part of the event will remain exactly the same.”

So too will entertainment, auction items and a raffle.

The branding may change, as the organization considers a return to its roots in downtown Victoria.

“A lot of the kids we’re are supporting are in the downtown area,” Davis said. “It’s the centre of where everything comes from and the kids, instead of hanging out on the street, they’ll hang out at the Alliance Club downtown.”

Helen Hughes, who served 18 years as a Victoria city councillor, started the Souper Bowls for Hope for the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society in support of its programs.

YES programs now include a detox centre, emergency youth shelter, family counselling programs and the Alliance Club, an evening drop-in centre for those aged 13 to 19 that provides a safe, healthy alternative for youth instead of hanging out in the downtown core.

It also provides a connection point for street-entrenched youth who may wish to explore a more positive lifestyle with things such as showers, interview clothing and computer access.

“We have outreach workers that work with them to aid in life skills, get them back into school,” Davis said. It also boasts the largest preventive program, family counselling.

While Fired Up! will hold off a while on the bowls, they still have the Fired Up for Kindness Bells for $6 being placed around the city for people to enjoy, take home or gift to someone.

The April event will be the 19th Souper Bowls for Hope.

Visit souperbowls.com for updates. Visit vyes.ca to learn more about the Youth Empowerment Program.