Silver Gala to benefit Port Angeles Fine Arts Center; reservations due Friday

PORT ANGELES ­– Elegant evening wear is “admired but not required” at the Silver Gala on Wednesday night, said Jake Seniuk, director of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

The gala is both a celebration of this year and the beginning of the fine arts center’s 25th anniversary year, he said, adding that Friday is the deadline to make reservations at the event.

C’est Si Bon

The Silver Gala will take place at C’est Si Bon, the French restaurant on Cedar Park Drive just off U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles. Tickets are $95, and proceeds benefit the center, the free public art museum composed of an indoor gallery surrounded by the Webster’s Woods Art Park at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

The evening at C’est Si Bon will start at 6 p.m. with a social hour and entertainment by Charlie Ferris, who roams through decades of music, from the 1940s forward, depending on his audience.

Ferris’ repertoire includes 200 songs, from Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin to B.B. King and Michael Buble — but he won’t know the mix until he sees who’s listening.

“I read an audience and try my best to interpret what they are going to want . . . I work like a rolling DJ,” Ferris said.

‘My party thing’

“When I get into my party thing, I bring out my ‘Mustang Sallys,’ and my ‘Susie Qs,'” while Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” are also up his sleeve.

Ferris plans on providing background music that’s not “interruptive” — perfect for what Seniuk said is just a relaxed social gathering of art lovers.

Unique destination

Seniuk, in his 22nd year at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, believes the place owes its survival to the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind destination.

“The world is more and more homogenous; for people coming through, it’s the same stuff everywhere.

“People are hungry,” he said, “for something completely different.”

The center receives about 14 percent of its $175,000 annual budget from the city of Port Angeles, plus some $35,000 yearly from its foundation and trust fund, Seniuk said.

That leaves more than $115,000 to raise from grants and donations during the coming year.

The Silver Gala is one of the most important benefits, Seniuk said, adding that it’s also a good time for lovers of the arts to enjoy one another’s company.

“New people come all the time” to join longtime supporters, he said. The Silver Gala “could even be a date for somebody.”

To make reservations, phone organizer Vicki Gronvall at 360-928-0164 or the arts center at 360-457-3532. Of the ticket cost, $60 is tax-deductible.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at [email protected]

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