The annual InterLaw Diversity Forum Winter Carnival is our largest charitable event. The Winter Carnival is a black-tie gala which raises awareness of and funds for one growing charity.
In its ten years the Winter Carnival raised well over £400,000 for the Albert Kennedy Trust to support their vital work with homeless and at-risk LGBT+ youth, which also includes BAME and trans* youth; and for Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, which provides help to some of the most vulnerable in our community.
The Winter Carvival has been fortunate to have as past event hosts:
Sir Ian McKellen, Alan Carr, Sandi Toksvig, Duncan James, Shamim Sarif, and Dustin Lance Black & Tom Daley.
The 10th annual Winter Carnival raised over £15,000 to support the Albert Kennedy Trust (www.akt.org.uk) and their vital work with homeless and at-risk LGBT+ youth, including many BAME and trans* youth. The AKT is celebrating their 30th anniversary, and their services are needed now as much as ever.
All proceeds raised at this year's Winter Carnival will go to the AKT to support their essential work.
This year’s theme was Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), a tribute to the Mexican festival honouring the dead. This not a sad, sombre occasion, but rather a joyous celebration of life, a night where the souls of the departed come to visit and celebrate. Many Mexican families create altars in their homes with ofrendas (‘offerings’) to honour and welcome the dead. Ofrendas include candles, orange marigolds, sugar skulls, playful skeletons, papel picado (paper with fun skeleton depictions), pictures of the deceased, the favourite food and drinks of the dead, incense, crucifixes, and pan de muerto (day of the dead pastry). In keeping with the true spirit of this tradition, guests were invited to bring pictures of loved ones who have passed to be placed on the altar.
We would like to give special thanks to Lourdes Olvera-Marshall of Fried Frank for serving as our cultural advisor and helping to ensure that we were able to accurately and respectfully honour this Mexican tradition.
Thanks as well to those members of our Race & Ethnicity Network who provided suggestions and feedback.
We would like to thank this year’s epic hosting committee:
Skin, Mark Foster, David Furnish, Dan & Kath Gillespie-Sells, Jodie Harsh, Lourdes Olvera-Marshall (cultural advisor), Samantha Renke, Cleo Rocos, Shamim Sarif & Hanan Kattan, Dr Ranj Singh & Daniel Winterfeldt.
And thanks to Christopher Biggins for his impressive auctioneering skills!
A huge thanks to our amazing Winter Carnival sponsors whose generous financial support made the this year's Winter Carnival possible!