ROAR’s last Picnic en Blanc affair in 2019 in Nanaimo. This year’s event will be held at the German Hall on Saturday, July 16. (submitted photo)

ROAR’s last Picnic en Blanc affair in 2019 in Nanaimo. This year’s event will be held at the German Hall on Saturday, July 16. (submitted photo)

LGBTQ organization to bring back Picnic en Blanc fundraiser in Nanaimo

ROAR’s outdoor event will be held at the German Hall on July 16

Reaching Out Assisting Refugees is excited to to be able to put on a Picnic en Blanc next weekend.

The picnic will be held outdoors, with indoor alcohol sales and washroom access, at the German Hall at 71 Caledonia Ave. on Saturday, July 16, at 5 p.m. in ‘rain or shine’ weather.

ROAR, a volunteer organization based in Nanaimo dedicated to sponsoring LGBTQ refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries, will provide “a fun opportunity to get outside and meet new people,” said volunteer board member and treasurer Horst Backé.

“It’s a little bit different. People can dress as formally or as informally as they’d like,” he said, and added that guests could wear anything from a pair of white painter’s overalls all the way to a wedding dress or tuxedo.

The first Picnic en Blanc was held in 2019, and because of its roaring success, was decidely carried over as an annual celebration – with a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic due to safety restrictions on gatherings. In previous years, Backé said the event has brought together as many as approximately 140 guests, and he’s hoping to break, or at least meet, the same attendance record.

Guests are asked to dress all in white, since white “contains all the colours of the rainbow,” and are invited to bring and decorate their own tables and chairs for a chance at the ‘best-trimmed table’ prize. Alternatively, guests can sit at one of the provided banquet tables.

The fundraiser’s $50 ticket price includes a boxed meal with a vegetarian option – wine and bottled water will be available at the cash bar.

Further information on ROAR and its initiatives, as well as ticket information for Picnic en Blanc, can be found at www.roarrefugees.com.

READ MORE: Nanaimo group aims to bring LGBTQ refugee to city


mandy.moraes@nanaimobulletin.com

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