Julie Masi has been bringing a touch of Winnipeg culture to Kelowna for the past three years and will do it all again later this month.
“It’s pretty special. There are moments where I think, ‘Oh my gosh how can I make this happen, and how can people still be interested?’ But these Winnipeggers always get together for something they love,” Masi said.
The former member of the Parachute Club and five time JUNO Award winner has evolved the event from nights of live music, to golf tournaments and finally blossomed into the Winnipeg Social it is today.
Socials are deeply embedded in the capital city of Manitoba’s culture. They are celebrations held for engagements, weddings, the addition of a new family member and raising money for a good cause to name a few.
Masi has kept the tradition going to honour her late husband, Agostino Masi who died from prostate cancer. After living in California, the Winnipeg natives migrated to Kelowna when Agostino was first diagnosed with prostate cancer after 32 years of marriage.
“When my late husband was first diagnosed we had just arrived here from California and didn’t know anyone and didn’t know where to go to get help and find the information,” Masi said.
She made a promise to her husband before he died that she would continue his legacy by sharing his story with other men and raise funds for prostate cancer supportive programs here in Kelowna.
To the scent of perogies, Winnipeg Rye Bread and a selection of cold cuts and cheeses, the traditional Winnipeg Social food, washed down with some wine; the musician holds strong on that promise. Through the depths of her own heartbreak the event has become a night of live music, wine, laughter and fun inspired by her hometown.
“Winnipeggers are so giving and caring, as long as I can keep this going I will, it just means a lot that I have the support,” Masi said.
Over the years Masi has raised $30,000 and hopes that by adding more bells and whistles to the evening such as a wine bottle lottery that they will raise more than $5,000 more.
The fourth annual Winnipeg Social will take place Oct. 27 at the Kelowna Curling Club 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com
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