“Long Live The Sweetest Little Thing”

The Owens and Struts Gallery’s Sweetest Little Thing was a sweet Valentine’s treat for Sackville

Sackville’s own Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery’s annual fundraiser titled The Sweetest Little Thing took place on February 14, hosted at the Owens Gallery itself. The fundraiser was a fun and supportive way for Sackville locals to spend their Valentine’s Day. The event was filled with lots of red, pink, and white decor with a Polaroid photo booth set-up, karaoke, snacks, an art auction and more. After speaking with four students who either attended or were involved in running the event, it is clear how much this fundraiser means to the community. 


Student involvement is somewhere the Owens excels. Whether the student was involved in the planning or was an attendee, the event drew you in. Fourth-year honours sociology student, Quinn WayLaing was one of the talented organizers of the event. WayLainghad not been involved with the Owens prior to the event, but when attending the Owens’ annual craft fair over the holidays, “Heart in Pocket,” they were asked by a friend, Simone Schmidt, if co-hosting the Owens Gallery’s annual fundraiser “The Sweetest Little Thing” would be of interest to WayLaing. They jumped on the opportunity, saying how the role that was offered was, “at the actual event, I was a celebrity co-host if you will.” When asked what drew WayLaing to the opportunity, they said, “I am somewhat of a performer of everyday life, I consider myself a ‘wanna-be clown’ […] So it was nice to get the space to just be myself!”  The experience was great for WayLaing as a co-host, and the event that they helped plan with the other co-host, Tori Weldon was incredible. “I felt really good about my experience, it was a really enjoyable time. I feel like I am someone who enjoys performance and enjoys play so this was a great experience for me.”


Several of the other students in attendance offered insight on the experience, representing a diverse mix of individuals with varying interests. Some had visited The Sweetest Little Thing before and others had not. As Kody Hatfield, a first-year drama major, shared, “overall it was a very sweet fundraiser! It was a great place to get together with friends and to spend quality time. It was a heartwarming environment, and the art on display was beautiful. Wonderful experience for a laid back Valentine’s Day!” Hatfield had never been to the Owens fundraiser before, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Second-year Fine Arts student, Zac Bordage, had a similar experience to Hatfield. “It was my first time going despite going to most of their exhibitions. I had such a lovely time and it was very refreshing to be in a community atmosphere like that.” The fundraiser was a warm and welcoming experience for newcomers. 


On the other hand, there were many people in attendance who have been coming to this annual fundraiser for years. First-year screen studies major Emma Neilson being one of them. When asked about the experience and how it has changed over the years, they gave a beautiful response. “It has, but not by much. Some things have changed here and there, and my memories of it have changed as I’ve grown up. The sense of loving friends gathering to celebrate art has never gone away though, and I feel that it grows stronger yet. I’m incredibly glad to see The Sweetest Little Thing prospering post-COVID, and this year felt especially rejuvenated.” She was right, so many events for galleries have not returned after the beginning of the pandemic. However, the Owens and Struts kept bringing back their fundraisers with extra COVID protection, offering masks at the doors. “I was so happy to see new and old friends alike introduced to the Owens and the beauty of the Sweetest Little Thing. It is a unique position to be in, but seeing all the little kids running around the gallery reminded me of being that age and doing the same thing. We are so lucky to have this unifying, welcoming event for the arts community in Sackville. Long live the Sweetest Little Thing!”

The Sweetest Little Thing  is a delightful and heartwarming celebration for locals on Valentine’s Day. Through conversations with attendees and one of the organizers, it became evident how beloved this fundraiser is within the Sackville community. Attendees, both newcomers like Hatfield and Bordage and long-time supporters like Neilson, shared the same sentiments of warmth, community, and appreciation of the displayed and auctioned art. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, The Sweetest Little Thing has continued to thrive, offering a welcoming space for the arts community in Sackville. In the words of Neilson: “Long live The Sweetest Little Thing!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles