Empty Bowls 2023

Tree Potters' Guild 14th Annual Empty Bowls Event

On behalf of the Pine Tree Potters' Guild, I would like to express our gratitude to everyone who participated in our 14th Annual Empty Bowls Event on November 16, 2023, at Newmarket's Old Town Hall.

Empty Bowls events are held by potters in communities throughout North America to raise funds and awareness for local charities that work to relieve hunger and homelessness within their community. The two local charities Pine Tree Potters' Guild Empty Bowls fundraiser supports are Welcoming Arms, Aurora, and Inn From The Cold, Newmarket. For 2023, we are thrilled to report that our event raised $23,200, therefore, Welcoming Arms, Aurora & Inn from the Cold, Newmarket, have each received $11,600! Adding that to our tally, since our first event in 2010, Pine Tree Potters Empty Bowls events have raised over $253,000 for our charities!

To give you an idea of how the main event works, before their meal, patrons choose a bowl from the hundreds on display in our bowls selection area. Pine Tree Potters work all year to create and then donate approximately six hundred bowls, so patrons are captivated by both the volume of selections and the artistry. After selecting a bowl, they proceed to the dining auditorium where local culinary establishments are ready to serve a ladle of their signature gourmet soups and artisan breads, all donated as well. After guests enjoy multiple dishes of these delicious soups, they take their selected handmade bowl home to serve as a gentle reminder that not everyone has a full bowl every day.

This year the following 18 local culinary establishments, from Newmarket and Aurora, donated gourmet soup and bread for all to enjoy, and we are very thankful for their support:

La Bréhandaise Catering
Catharina's Kitchen
Dorio's Kettleby Italian Bakery
Food In Motion Catering
The Hurst Bakery
Hungry Brew Hops
Inn From The Cold
Irv at the George
Joia on Main
Maunder's Marketplace
Piazza Italian Eatery
Rockford's Bar and Grill
Ristorante Orsini
Romy's Restaurant and Lounge
State and Main Kitchen and Bar Aurora
Sweet Dutchess Kitchen and Café
Vintage Spice

In addition to the meal portion of the event on Thursday Nov 16th, we set up a large display table where we offered donated bowls for sale throughout our Pine Tree Potters' Guild sale. This was a tremendous success as many additional members of our community were able to be a part of the fundraiser, often purchasing bowls as gifts for others, knowing all money raised would be going to our two charities; Inn from the Cold, Newmarket and Welcoming Arms, Aurora.

Doug Steele (Executive Council Chair at Welcoming Arms) and Ann Watson (Executive Director at Inn From the Cold) recently shared their thoughts on the impact of our Empty Bowls Fundraiser has within their organizations;

"The impact of your donation goes right to the root of what we do. Putting food on people's tables or providing them with necessary things like toiletries isn't possible without funding from groups like Pine Tree's Empty Bowls. Having grassroots support means community helping community, which is beneficial to the fabric of society."(Doug Steele)

"Empty Bowls donations provide much needed funds which we apply to our food programs. IFTC serves 1,135 meals a week to some of our community's most vulnerable residents. Empty Bowls helps tremendously to offset the steep increase in food prices that we have seen over the past several years. And secondly, Empty Bowls brings together the community to support both Inn From the Cold and Welcoming Arms who are deeply embedded in the community. This event highlights the great things that happen when we come together in support of local not-for-profits, while enjoying a beautiful, elegant event with delicious soups." (Ann Watson)

We extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to Meridian Credit Union for a very generous grant and support in selling tickets ahead of the event. Thank you to the staff at Newmarket's Old Town Hall for their assistance to ensure our event went off without a hitch. Thank you to Joy Gannicott and David Pilkey, the pianists who played beautiful music while patrons enjoyed their soups. Thank you to our Sponsors, Tucker's Pottery Supplies for donating the clay used by our potters for crafting the bowls, to David Schembri Design for his artistry and to Allegra Print Aurora for donating our printed materials. Thank you to our dedicated volunteers who donated their time and skills to ensure the success of our event. Finally, thank you to the community who continue to purchase tickets and bowls, enabling our guild to raise these much-needed funds for Inn from the Cold and Welcoming Arms. We are proud to report that tickets to our Empty Bowls event have sold out every year, for 14 consecutive years! Your unwavering support has been our foundation and our inspiration, enabling us to continue to create this positive impact together!

Mark Your 2024 Calendars: We will be back at Newmarket's Old Town Hall, hosting our 2024 Spring and Fall sales AND our 15th Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser Event. Please stay tuned into Pine Tree Potters' Guild Instagram, Facebook, and Website for information, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Lisa-Marie Oliphant

Chair, Empty Bowls Fundraiser

Pine Tree Potters' Guild

Pictures from Empty Bowls 2023

check ceremony 2023

Previous Empty Bowls Events

see previous empty bowls events

For further information please contact: emptybowls@pinetreepotters.ca