VEQ Holiday Happy Hour raises money for Christmas hampers

Photo: Rachel Collet

The Morrin Centre’s beautifully decorated College Hall welcomed some 120 people for VEQ’s Holiday Happy Hour.

Long-time members and relative newcomers to the community enjoyed an evening at the Morrin Centre on Wednesday, December 2, at Voice of English-speaking Québec (VEQ)’s annual Holiday Happy Hour, in partnership with the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. Many of them arrived bearing generous donations of non-perishable food for the Community Christmas Hamper Campaign (CCHC).  

As the guests mixed and mingled, they were served a wide array of hot hors d'oeuvres. Other tasty treats – cheeses, fruit, vegetables and desserts – were on offer at a buffet table. All profits from the cash bar went to the CCHC fund. Gifts were raffled off by CBC Radio and several lucky winners walked away with door prizes donated by the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, Livres Trois Canons, Life in Quebec and TheraVie Centre de Santé. 

“We had a great turnout (close to 120) and are very pleased with the event,” said Ellie Fleming, operations manager at the Voice of English-speaking Québec and the coordinator of the event. “VEQ has been hosting a Holiday Happy Hour for many years and it is a wonderful opportunity for members of the English-speaking community, both newcomers and long-time members, to get together and celebrate the holidays.”

But the bigger objective behind the annual Happy Hour still has a way to go.

“As partners of the 20th annual Community Christmas Hamper Campaign, VEQ and the Morrin Centre use this event to fundraise,” said VEQ’s project coordinator Amy Bilodeau, who is also the CCHC volunteer coordinator. “Our objective this evening was to raise money through sales at the bar and the Turkey Tips. Many attendees also brought canned goods since the Morrin Centre is one of our 25 collection sites. Livres Trois Canons, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and our generous new contributor, the Order of St. Lazarus, brought over their canned donations today to help spread the message of giving. By December 4 of last year we had raised $11,170 towards our $25,000 goal. By the same date this year, we have only raised $9,861 towards our $25,000 goal.” These funds are required in order to purchase the fresh food included in each Christmas hamper delivered to a needy family.  

“With my CCHC hat on, I would urge everyone who can to donate either food or money through your [Central Quebec School Board] school, community hubs, at the upcoming International Luncheon fundraiser at Eastern Quebec Learning Centre [on Thursday, December 10] or online at,” said Bilodeau. “We are also in need of volunteer drivers and helpers to deliver hampers to families in need on Saturday morning, December 19!”  

Donations may be mailed to: Community Christmas Hamper Campaign

c/o Jeffery Hale Community Partners

1270, chemin Sainte-Foy, Bureau 2000, Québec (Québec) G1S 2M4