Home THE BUZZ NICHE Steps Out for Handbags for Hope

NICHE Steps Out for Handbags for Hope


There is plenty of genius and generosity in Victoria, the perfect combination to make for some exceptional charity events.

NICHE Editor in Chief Tracey Drake [right] and Creative Director Leia Vik [left] at Handbags for Hope event on February 22 2013
On February 22nd NICHE was so pleased to be invited to participate in one of Victoria’s favourite annual charity events – Handbags for Hope – hosted at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress.  With a limited number of tickets available the event successfully sells out within days, each and every year.

Handbags for Hope donates 100% of proceeds to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Neuroblastoma research, a terminal form of childhood cancer. They are currently funding seed research and innovative new approaches in the treatment of this pediatric cancer.

For those of you who haven’t been into the Willow Stream Spa before, it sprawls elegantly over two levels, divided by a spectacular staircase.  If you have been to the spa before, I doubt that you’ve seen it with treatment rooms overflowing with purses – in every style, colour and shape! It was downright glorious!

On the lower level, ladies could relax from the fabulous shopping chaos above them by enjoying a complimentary mini spa treatment.

The pièce de résistance? A silent auction room filled with the best designer handbags! Honestly, there was nothing silent about this couture room. C’mon – designer handbags and a room filled with women? It was honestly a bit terrifying.  Imagine a room with the most delicious name brand bags up for auction and you can literally bid as high as you want because it’s going to a children’s charity – so really it’s your duty to bid, bid, bid! That is precisely what crowds of women were doing – bidding and hovering to make sure they were not outbid and then bidding again. It was amazing!

NICHE magazine was honoured to donate a box of handbags – including two COACH bags that ended up in the coveted silent auction room.

And we come back around to the genius part of generosity in Victoria – the two hour event raised $11,113.00 for the BC’s Children’s Hospital.

Our takeaway from the night? Chelsea got outbid on a fab Gucci bag at the silent auction, but Tracey took home SEVEN handbags for $45 and Leia is the proud new owner of 5 bags (and spent a whopping $40). Actually, I think we spent more money on martinis in the Bengal Lounge than we did on our arm couture!

Our thanks to organizers – Lisa and Liisa – two of the most amazing women on earth, and also to the wonderful Anita, Spa Director at Willow Stream. The NICHE team cannot wait for next year… maybe it should be Handbags & Heels for Hope? Just saying…

Written by Associate Editor, Chelsea Forman