The Killarney Turtle Mountain Arts Council has revived their Chili Challenge Fundraiser that was postponed earlier this spring.   But, not to let COVID get the upper hand, the Arts Council has decided to go virtual with their fundraiser.

Arts Administrator, Jane Ireland, says the online Chili Challenge and silent auction is already underway and can be accessed through their website:

Ireland adds there is quite a variety of items showcased at their silent auction, including a set of porcelain dolls.  She says this is a great way to start Christmas shopping with beautiful gift buying.

Chili challenge bowls can be bid on or purchased for $50 each.

COVID-19 has impacted the operations of the Heritage Home for the Arts in Killarney as they were forced to close their doors and put all programming on pause for the first 5 of months of the pandemic, which has affected their bottom line and operating budget.

Ireland says they received an operating grant from the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountian, which has been important in covering operating costs during the pandemic and the arts council recovery process.  Still, she says fundraisers continue help to meet their financial needs to continue programming for the arts community.

“The operating grant only covers a portion of what it costs to operate,” explains Ireland.  “So, these kinds of fundraising events are what really keeps us going and it also allows us to keep all of our exhibitions free because we do not want people to have to pay; we want everybody to be able to come in and continue to see the arts.”

“So, that’s why we don’t charge, and why we try to do the fundraiser instead to keep us operating.”

The KTMAC offers programs for the visual arts throughout the year and are working at getting that programming back after being closed due to COVID-19.

Ireland says the musical performing arts is the other focus they are wanting to expand on now in the fall season, but also in the new year.

“One of the big things we do, aside from our exhibitions, is the Performing Arts Series, which is musicals, theatre and comedy performances for the communities around us,” she says. “So, that’s the one that we’d like to step up our audiences a bit more once things calm down a bit and we get to a new normal.”

The Performing Arts series begins with a concert by Red Moon Road scheduled for November 14th at the Shamrock Centre in Killarney. The Saturday concerts will take place at 3:00pm and 7:00pm to allow more attendees while observing with social distancing protocol.

Chili bowl cozies also available through the KTMAC Chili Challenge fundraiser