Abbondànza promises an evening like no other

Italian food, phenomenal entertainment and original artwork in support of students of the arts.

Student performances highlight the evening. JAIME VEDRES Photography

Bonjourno! Grazie! Vino! Amore! Abbondànza! Brush up on your Italian and get ready for Abbondànza, the Faculty of Fine Arts annual student scholarship fundraiser. Join the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Fine Arts for an evening celebrating abundance, Friday, Jan. 24, starting at 6 p.m. in Anton’s Ballroom at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge.

Abbondànza features jaw-dropping performances, must-have artworks and a mouth-watering four-course Italian meal by Prime Catering, all in support of the arts and student scholarships. Founded in 2002, the Faculty of Fine Arts partnered with Coco Pazzo restaurant owners, Tony Rose and Rocco Suriano, to create a unique fundraising event that showcased art, drama, music and new media students surrounded by an Italian theme and gourmet meal.

The 2020 event marks the 19th year of Abbondànza celebrations. Continuing with the Italian theme, Abbondànza is thrilled to utilize the European-style courtyard of the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge for the opening reception. With a fresh meal by Prime Catering, featuring Tony and Rocco’s “Let’s Pasta”, we’re honoured to connect the new venue with elements from the original Abbondànza fundraiser.

Exceptional art, from student and community artists, is available for auction. JAIME VEDRES Photography

The event kicks off in traditional style with the Abbondànza Chef Trio singing “Abbondànza” from Frank Loesser’s Most Happy Fella featuring vocalists from the Department of Music. Guests will be delighted by the guitar offerings of Department of Music instructor, Iliana Matos Vega, and students from her guitar classes. The U of L Opera Workshop, under the direction of Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, will serenade the audience with a sampling of operatic favourites, including a sneak peek of their Lethbridge Symphony collaborative production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Gondolier’s. Guests will also get a taste of what our dramatic arts students are up to, with theatrical performances acted and directed by current students.

The silent auction at Abbondànza is an opportunity to purchase art for a worthy cause from current students and alumni in a variety of mediums including screen prints, photography, ceramics, bronze sculpture and more. If that weren’t enough, patrons can bid on items donated from local arts organizations and supporters, with unique experiential items such as a Vancouver Arts Weekend (accommodations, dinners, and event tickets to the prestigious Vancouver Arts Club), tickets to local productions, gift certificates for art classes and more.

Abbondànza could not succeed without the generous contributions of our sponsors and donors. Since 2002, Abbondànza has supported a scholarship endowment that has provided more than 115 scholarships to high-achieving senior and graduate level students. Thanks to the community’s continued support, the Faculty of Fine Arts has been able to increase the number of students who can access these awards, including entrance and continuing students.

“Receiving the Abbondànza scholarship continues to make the University of Lethbridge an even more rewarding place to further my education,” shares Michelle Sylvestre, a second-year new media graduate student and 2019 Abbondànza scholarship recipient. “It allows me to focus and further my research and creative practice rather than worry about financial pressures. Receiving this award will allow me to attend conferences in my field as well as financially support my ambitious material explorations. Thanks again to the generous donors who support this and other scholarships. It means a great deal to me to have my achievements recognized and celebrated.”

Tickets for Abbondànza are priced at $150 (advance purchase only) and sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit or call Kelly at 403-329-2227 to find out more and to secure your tickets.