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Giving back with grapes

Swirl and Twirl returns for an eighth season of philanthropic fun

Swirl and Twirl committee members Denis Schryburt and Tim Mowrey. Credit: Bradley Turcotte

After aging in the cellar for the last year, the socially conscious event Swirl and Twirl is back for an evening of pouring pinot and arousing assets to benefit queer Ottawa-area charities.

Many consider Swirl and Twirl the social event of the season: for the price of a ticket, Ottawans can sample wine from local vino vendors while giving to a worthy cause.
 
This year’s beneficiaries include Capital Pride, Pink Triangle Services and the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights, better known as the Human Rights Monument.
 
Since the first event nearly a decade ago, the night has evolved to encompass much more than wine. Denis Schryburt, chair of sponsorships and communications for Swirl and Twirl, says this year is shaping up to be the most full-bodied yet, with the addition of a live DJ, high-end caterers, beer options, a silent auction and service from Lookout drag kings.
 
“Swirl and Twirl brings the community together,” Schyburt says. “It brings people together and gets them to learn about great organizations.”
Swirl and Twirl has raised close to $30,000 for gay and lesbian not-for-profits in the past and hopes to add a large amount to that total with this year’s event.
 
“Everyone has been super grateful to receive the funds and continue whatever programming they’ve got in store,” Tim Mowrey, Swirl and Twirl’s co-chair, says. “It adds to their ability to continue to do their outreach and continue to do their ongoing work.”
 
Mowrey encourages all community members to make their way to Jean Pigott Place on May 31, pop their corks and give back.
 
“It’s a great opportunity to come and sample some great wines and beers from local breweries, have some great food, enjoy some music, see old friends and meet some new ones. The icing on the cake is in doing so they get to contribute back to charities that do work for our community.”
 
Advance discounted tickets are available at Stroked Ego, Venus Envy, After Stonewall and The Lookout.
 
Swirl & Twirl 2012
Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank and Todric’s Fine Dining and Catering
Thurs, May 31, 7–9pm
110 Laurier Ave
Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall

Follow Xtra reporter Bradley Turcotte on Twitter @XO_reporter.