Vancouver Island Symphony special events manager Kate Hynes deals Play On! Nanaimo cards. The deck of cards feature original local art and will be sold for $20 at 52 Shades of Fun fundraiser at the Coast Bastion Hotel on Monday.

Fundraiser deals unique hand

Limited Edition playing cards will be for sale at event benefiting the Vancouver Island Symphony.

There will be plenty of action next week when a one-day fundraiser unveils a 52-of-a-kind Harbour City themed deck of cards.

On Monday (Sept. 22) the Vancouver Island Symphony will be hosting 52 Shades of Fun Launch Party and Casino Night at the Coast Bastion Hotel, where it will be selling a limited number of Nanaimo-themed playing cards, which have been named Play On! Nanaimo.

Each individual card contains original local artwork that showcases various sights around Nanaimo.

Vancouver Island Symphony special events manager Kate Hynes said the playing cards do a fantastic job of representing the Harbour City.

“This deck promotes Nanaimo and all of our beautiful sites and scenes,” Hynes said. “It’s a memento that people can take away with them.”

There will only be 2,500 decks available for purchase at a cost of $20.

“Every piece is like a miniature piece of art,” Hynes said about the cards. “So they make a great souvenir.”

The playing cards also include some modern technology.

“There is a QR code on the back and people can just scan it and find the [Nanaimo Bar] Trail,” Hynes said.

The 54 different pieces of artwork that can been seen on the cards, which include two jokers, was created by a variety of Vancouver Island-based artists including Carey Anderson, Dirk Heydemann, Gerda Hofman, Teresa Knight, Grant Leier, Helene McIntosh, Marilyn Peeters, and Cecile Van Woensel.

Not to be confused with 50 Shades of Grey,  52 Shades of Fun is also an art show for all of the artwork seen on the cards.

“In addition to the original artworks for sale we are going to have limited-edition prints available and those are all being printed locally,” Hynes said.

The idea to create the cards began a year ago after the Vancouver Island Symphony wanted to do something that would benefit the entire community.

“We love where we live and we were looking for a new fundraiser,” Hynes said. “This seemed like the ideal thing because we are reaching out beyond music into the community.”

She said there has been plenty of excitement around the Nanaimo-themed cards.

“We’ve showed them to a couple of people … and people get so excited because they are seeing places that they recognize.”

52 Shades of Fun takes place in the ballroom at the Coast Bastion Hotel on Monday. The free fundraiser event for the Vancouver Island Symphony begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m.

For more information, please visit

arts@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod


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