GLobal News: Calgary woman creates fundraiser to encourage people to go alcohol-free for Dry February

By Carolyn Kury de Castillo 

Retrieved from

A Calgary woman is encouraging people to take a break from drinking this month with the help of art and mocktails.

Valerie Chin decided to put her love of art and wellness together when she started Mandalas and Mocktails in December of last year.

The events are a chance for adults to get together, paint and sip on fancy, non-alcoholic drinks.

“Not to preach sobriety, but to show people a fun activity we can do that is non-alcohol forward,” Chin said.

“Over the years I found that drinking – especially heavily – there’s no benefits to it. Our society revolves around alcohol in so many ways. We rely heavily on using alcohol to have fun or to help loosen up so you can network.”

The idea behind Mandalas and Mocktails evolved from Chin’s business MediPaint which involves meditation sessions that incorporates painting and music.

Chin said mocktails are far removed from the early days of Shirley Temples.

She said the non-alcohol events she has hosted at Calgary establishments like Confluence Distilling feature specially crafted non alcoholic cocktails.

“Because mocktails are trending, a lot of distilleries and breweries are creating non alcoholic products.  You are seeing a lot more products on the market compared to before where they were really sugary or just didn’t taste good at at all,” Chin said. “My friends who are not trying to practice sobriety are willing to try these, and they’re actually quite impressed by them. I think it’s more about getting together and sharing an experience versus necessarily having alcohol.”

Initiatives like the Canadian Cancer Society’s ‘Dry February’ or the more widely-known ‘Dry January’ all encourage people to cut back on drinking.

READ MORE: New alcohol consumption guidelines require a phased approach, experts say

Chin is now spearheading the Dry Out For Clarity and Charity fundraiser that runs throughout February.

Her intention is to bring the community together for the 28-day dry challenge by hosting a launch and celebratory event with a portion of each event ticket and proceeds from raffle tickets sold going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the FASD Prevention Conversation Project, its stakeholders, and/or funder

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