Our Fundraisers


Since 1928, the Junior League of Edmonton has had a tradition of bettering their community. This commitment could not be complete without financial support through various fundraising activities. We invite the community and our membership to support the mission of the Junior League of Edmonton.

The Junior League of Edmonton has adopted Imagine Canada’s Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code as its policy. That means that we commit to fundraising practices that respect donors’ rights to truthful information and to privacy. We also commit to manage responsibly the funds that donors entrust to us and to report our financial affairs accurately and completely.

Current Fundraisers

-Homes for the Holidays (2006 - Present)

H4TH Logo

Each holiday season, Interior Designers and Decorators, Retailers and local Florists join together to elaborately decorate private homes in some of Edmonton’s most beautiful neighbourhoods for the holiday season. The decorated homes are opened to the public with a purchase of a ticket, giving tour participants a dose of some glamorous holiday inspiration, and the opportunity to bring ideas to life in their own homes.  Over 2500 people participate in this great fundraising event each year making it one of the most successful fundraising events for the Junior League of Edmonton! All funds raised go toward the many programs and services supported by the Junior League of Edmonton.

For more information and/or to purchase tickets please visit: www.homesfortheholidays.com.

-Indulgence: A Canadian Epic of Food and Wine (2001 - Present)

Indulgence

One of Edmonton’s premier food & drink events, Indulgence brings together the best of our local food and agriculture community, with restaurants and VQA wineries, microbreweries & distillers.

At Indulgence, each restaurant is paired with a local farmer or rancher, and creates a signature dish from a product grown or raised by that food producer. A Canadian wine, local craft beer or distiller then pairs their selections to complement the dish. As our guest, you get to taste and sip your way around the room, indulging in the creations and pairings.

Indulgence is a volunteer-driven, charitable event in support of the Junior League of Edmonton, and the students of the NAIT Culinary Arts program. When you buy tickets for Indulgence or participate in the event’s silent auction, you help us support these two remarkable organizations.

For more information and/or to purchase tickets visit indulgenceedmonton.ca

-Blackjack Ball (2016 - Present)

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Get ready to dress to impress at the Junior League of Edmonton’s  Blackjack Ball. The event location is transformed into a James Bond-inspired casino, with plenty of games to try your luck at. When you win big at one of the tables, you’ll be able to cash in your fun money for a chance to win a selection of fabulous prizes sure to appeal to a range of tastes. Don’t worry if your blackjack skills are rusty, either, as we’ll have “cheat cards” and knowledgeable staff on hand to help you out. When you’re not playing the casino tables, there will be plenty of delectable hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to indulge in, as well as live entertainment.

Visit the Blackjack Ball page to learn more!

Past Fundraisers

-French Fling (2002-2003)
The French Fling was held May 22, 2003, at the Chateau Louis Hotel & Conference Centre. Some 150 guests joined together to sample over 100 wines from nine regions of France.

The silent auction for the event was a unique collection of decanters and wine glasses decorated by artists, local celebrities and even some extremely talented League members. John Berry added his flair as host to the excitement of the evening and even donated a brunch for the highest bidder for his decanter set. Another lucky guest received the grand prize of a “start your own cellar” worth over $600.

The event raised approximately $4,000 for the League.

-Australian Wine Fair (2001– 2004)

Taste Australia was held on March 23, 2004, at the Winspear Centre. Presented by the Australian wine industry, the event featured not only hundreds of raved-about wines from Australia but also samplings of the island continent’s best foods, music and people.

The day’s celebrations included a panel-led industry training component in addition to an invitation-only trade tasting, rallying the local food and wine community. The evening’s renowned wine event featured a selection of Aussie-inspired finger foods, stunning “Outback” imagery and a return appearance by Edmonton’s own Louie Williams on the didgeridoo.

The Australian Wine Bureau (AWB) acted as the catalyst to Taste Australia, having recently added a Western office in Vancouver to complement its Toronto operation. AWB Canada is the local office of the Australian Wine Export Council, which promotes the awareness and image of Australian wine in key overseas markets.

-Via Vai Restaurant/Mission Hill Family Estate Winery Fundraising Dinner (2001)

In November 2001, the Junior League of Edmonton participated in a fundraising dinner held at Via Vai Restaurant, owned and operated by one of North America’s top 10 chefs.
This gourmet extravaganza featured a six-course meal; wines from Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in Kelowna, British Columbia; and an auction for a trip for two to the winery. Proceeds from the auction were donated to the League.
-EFFORT Society Gala Benefit Auction and Dinner (2000)

The EFFORT Society was established in Edmonton in 1976 to bring together similar charities to raise money through a single event rather than each charity’s organizing its own event.

The Junior League of Edmonton was a beneficiary of the EFFORT Society Gala Benefit Auction and Dinner held on November 4, 2000, at the Winspear Centre. The event included a live auction, mini-live auction and silent auction. As a beneficiary, the League was responsible for acquiring $10,000 worth of auction items, selling 20 tickets and providing 10 volunteers for the event.

The League met (and surpassed) the requirements in all three areas. From the proceeds raised on November 4, 2000, the EFFORT Society distributed $61,850, on a percentage basis, to the evening’s seven beneficiaries, of which the League’s portion was $6,695.

-Blossoming Readers (1999)

In partnership with Prospects Literacy Association and Hole’s Greenhouses & Gardens Ltd., the 1999 Spring Fundraiser Committee introduced the Blossoming Readers fundraiser. The media launch was a big success with a fabulous luncheon and talk by Lois Hole in one of Hole’s greenhouses. A contest for the most decorative hats, door prizes and a personal tour of the greenhouses by Lois Hole added to the festivities. During the rest of the week, petunias (donated by Hole’s) were sold in bookstores throughout Edmonton.

-Dinner Auction (1988–94)

The Christmas Fair Committee of 1987–88 agreed to produce a dinner auction in February 1988 as a secondary fundraiser. A very successful event held at the Centre Club resulted in the dinner auction’s becoming a major annual fundraiser. In 1989, the dinner auction was held at the Mayfield Inn and included a dance. In 1990, the site was the Fantasyland Hotel with a Mardi Gras. The year 1991 saw another successful evening of dining, dancing and selling at the Convention Inn South. Step into Spring was the theme of the 1992 dinner auction, which was held at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza. The 1993 Getaway to the Southwest and 1994 Great Western Getaway were both profitable social evenings for Leaguers, sustainers and friends.

-Sonoma Valley Wineries Association Tour and Tasting (1987–95)

For nine consecutive years, the League hosted the Sonoma Valley Wineries Association Tour and Tasting. Originally a sustainer fundraiser, the event was handed over to the active membership in 1992.

This popular social event provided League members and their friends and associates an opportunity to enjoy an evening of wine-tasting complemented by an array of finger foods. A silent auction, offering wine and wine-related items for bid, became another successful element of the evening when the venue changed from the original Mayfield Inn to the Hotel Macdonald in 1992.

-Christmas Fair (1979–2003)

Christmas Fair, one of the League’s most successful fundraisers, underwent many name and location changes over the years.

The year 1979 saw the first Book Browse at Elves Memorial Child Development Centre. The event was re-instituted in 1981 as a Book and Craft Fair at Garneau Community Centre. The format proved successful, and the event was held as Pot Pourri at the Terrace Inn in 1982 and as Christmas Fair at Fort Edmonton and MacKay Avenue School in 1983 and 1984, respectively. The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium served as the venue for Christmas Fair from 1985 to 1996, and in 1997, the event was held at the newly opened Winspear Centre. In 1998, Christmas Fair returned to the Jubilee Auditorium.

Christmas Fair developed over the years to become one of Edmonton’s highest-quality craft shows. Additional fundraising endeavours at the event included bake tables, tea rooms and the sale of gingerbread houses donated by local hotels.

-Centennial Calendars (1966–80)

In 1966, as an offshoot of the Klondike City Bustout dance, the Junior League of Edmonton produced a calendar for 1967 with photographs taken by Con Boland. Classic cityscapes and beautiful photos of Edmonton in all her seasons made the calendars a very successful fundraiser again when they were re-instituted from 1972 to 1980.

-Derby Day (1958–64)

The sale of daisies at the Canadian Derby was started as a fundraiser in 1958 and discontinued in 1964. The Junior League of Edmonton realized $550 to $700 annually from the event.

-Art Rental and Sales (1956–63)

The Art Rental and Sales Gallery was established in 1956 with a one-man show by H. G. Glyde. Tours for schoolchildren began in 1960. The gallery was turned over to the Art Gallery Council in 1963.

-Thrift Shop (1952–88)

In 1952, the Junior Hospital League opened its first Thrift Shop. After much searching, a suitable location with manageable rent was found on 96 Street and 102 A Avenue. The League’s annual report for that year mentions the nightmare that preceded opening day. The heaps of clothes to be sized, pressed and marked, the piles of boots, shoes and overshoes which seemed to have lost their mates—how we ever managed to meet the deadline was a miracle. Mayor Hawrelak opened the shop on January 15, 1952, making a very nice speech in spite of dealers rustling through drawers, and old ladies trying on young hats. The shop was crowded due to the 35 degree below temperature.

The Thrift Shop was initially established to provide a steady income for the expansion of League community projects. Members of the Junior Hospital League soon realized that the shop also provided a real service to people of limited income. In 1955, the shop moved to larger premises across from the City Market at 97 Street and 103 Avenue, and its steady clientèle continued to support this very successful fundraiser. Another relocation occurred in 1964 when the shop moved to 96 Street and 103 A Avenue.

Over the years, the members of the Junior Hospital League and Junior League of Edmonton were very innovative in obtaining merchandise. “Bundle Teas” were held to obtain thrift from sustainers and associates. New and used clothing was accepted on a commission basis, and major stores donated unsold merchandise. Toy sales, bag sales and a garage sale kept Thrift Shop and, later, Bargain Tree committees busy. Managing staff, marketing promotions, developing displays, continually marking new merchandise, coordinating League volunteers and looking after a rented shop and associated bills were constant challenges for each committee. Members purchases red smocks, which became a symbol of the League for many years.

After closing the downtown location in 1976, the League revived the thrift business in 1982 with the Bargain Tree at 104 Street and Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona. The competition of many retail and consignment shops, the heavy League commitment of volunteers to manage shifts and the numerous challenges, including an unwanted lodger on the roof, led to a review and discontinuance of the fundraiser in 1988.

-Follies (1951–56)

The era of the Follies was born when members of the Junior Hospital League needed a fundraiser with the potential remuneration to support the Emergency Housekeeping Service. Jerome H. Cargill Productions of New York was retained for $250, and the Follies era was launched in 1951. Talent was unlimited—husbands, football players, fathers, everyone even remotely allied to Leaguers, were caught up in the hustle and bustle.

The real fun began with the arrival of the director, and a talent party was held in the Canadian Legion Hall just three weeks before the production. Rehearsals began immediately, and the cast, often of around 100 members, was prepared for performances that ran three or four nights each at Victoria Composite High School. The first all-League cast produced The Three Bears in 1955 and Little Red Riding Hood in 1956.

Annual reports speak fondly of gathering and making props, including 200 pounds of ice, a bathhouse and palm trees, and having them on stage in the right place at the right time. Costumes proved a big challenge. Trunks arrived from New York, and the rumpus room of one member became a 24-hour workroom as potential “dancing dollies” and “chorus girls” patiently tried on costumes. Tucks were taken in and let out, and the committee generally managed either to fold the costume to fit the body or the body to fit the costume.

Follies were held from 1951 to 1956, each raising $5,000 to $6,000. Mention the word Follies, and almost 50 years later, the eyes of our sustainers still light up.

-Football

The year 1949 saw the return of football to Edmonton. The Junior Hospital League received the concession from the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club for selling advertising space in the programs and programs at the games.

-Celebrity Series

Many fine artists were introduced to Edmontonians through this early fundraiser. From a Canadian violinist to Spanish dancers, a famous tenor to a dramatic soprano, the members of the Junior Hospital League were usually immensely successful in promoting their artists. These events were held in the Empire Theatre, the home of Edmonton entertainment from 1919 to 1942.

The Don Cossack Russian Chorus (the last in this entertainment series) played to a full house under the patronage of Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Bowen and Premier and Mrs. Aberhart. The guest list, published in the Edmonton Journal, includes among others a Mr. Wilbur Bowker and Miss Marjorie Montgomery.

-Dog Shows (1934–40)

Beginning in 1934, the Junior Hospital League held dog shows on the fifth floor of the Hudson’s Bay store on Jasper Avenue. Organizing the shows meant securing outstanding judges and entries and walking, feeding and even showing the dogs if the owners failed to attend.

The night before the first show, who should arrive but the city sanitary inspectors. They said that they were going to close down the show because the venue was located too close to the main dining room. After promising to take the dogs out through the freight elevators (and not parade them through the store), League organizers were allowed to proceed with the show.

For the first time, the League had to take out special insurance coverage in the event of dog bites for members walking Doberman pinschers.

The shows continued until 1940.