Oscar party to benefit Royal Oak

There will be Oscar winners in Niagara-on-the-Lake Sunday as two Queen Street businesses celebrate the glamorous event to benefit a local school.


The Exchange Brewery and Maison Apothecare are hosting an Oscar Party for Royal Oak, the community school operating in the Market Room of the Court House.

Pippa Barwell, administrator of the school, says the idea came from a conversation with Melissa Rey of Maison Apothecare, who wanted to do something to raise money for school bursaries. Royal Oak is a private, not-for-profit school with annual fees of $8,000, and every effort is being made to make it available to all families in the community, by providing partial or full bursaries.

Maison Apothecare, with its all-natural products, was asked to provide items for Oscar-winning director James Cameron’s pre-Oscar party, says Barwell, with proceeds of that party going to a school in California.

That spawned the idea of an Oscar party in NOTL to support families who can’t afford the tuition of Royal Oak, she said, which now has 15 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3.

The school hopes to expand at least one more grade and double the students for next September, she says, and more bursaries would help make that possible.

“We want the school to be accessible to anyone who wants to attend. We’ve spoken to parents with kids at the other schools (in NOTL), who say they would much rather send their kids to our community school. They’re impressed with what they see, and if we can offer them a bursary we can help them jump on board.”

The new Exchange Brewery is “a beautiful venue, such a great space for a party. It should be a fantastic evening,” said Barwell.

There will an opportunity to guess Oscar winners, with prizes, the beer will be great and there will be swag bags donated by Maison Apothecare and the brewery, along with a silent auction and other draws.

Tickets are $50 and include one beer and the swag bag. Food and drink will be available for sale throughout the evening.

The event is Sunday, Feb. 28, beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Exchange Brewery at 7 Queen St., Maison Apothecare, at 27B Queen St., and Royal Oak Community School.  

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