Gala aims to improve safety

Organizers of a fundraising gala in Nanaimo hope to raise as much awareness as money

Get dressed up and go home safe.

That’s the message behind a fundraising gala that hopes to raise as much awareness as it does money.

Candace Curr and Jackie Haug are organizing the Little Black Dress Gala to shed light on drug-facilitated sexual assault and violence against women.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault refers to drink spiking, where powerful drugs like rohypnol are added to a person’s drink without their knowledge. The drug mimics the effects of alcohol, causing confusion and memory loss, allowing predators to easily take advantage.

One of Curr and Haug’s friends was the victim of drink spiking, which led to the fundraiser.

The Little Black Dress Gala, set for Nov. 25, which is also the International Day to End Violence Against Women, features tapas and desserts; musical entertainment; silent auction; guest speakers; information and educational displays; plus a live auction of fancy and formal dresses from stores in Nanaimo.

Proceeds from the event, held at Gallery 223 on Commercial Street beginning at 7 p.m., will support Haven Society, which operates the safe house for women as well as counselling programs for families.

Tickets $25. For more information, please e-mail