$4000 Raised on Inauguration Day


As many of you know, we held a fundraiser at Bandidas on January 20th, Inauguration Day. The fundraiser was sparked by the recent election of Donald Trump, and the clear message that emerged from that devastation: beliefs are insignificant if not paired with tangible, meaningful, and transformative actions. When we woke up on November 9th, we knew that as a society we had work to do.

We started brainstorming how we could use Bandidas as a platform for acting with our community for those who’ll be most affected by the Trump presidency, and also as a space for artistic voices to respond to this historical moment. We decided that on January 20th we’d launch an art show, and donate 100% of our profits to organizations who will face increased difficulty working for social justice in the Trump era.

With many hours of careful planning, the day came together. One of our servers, KC, created and donated the fireweed image, which informed our event messaging throughout the planning process.

Works of art poured in until we found ourselves with 52 pieces from 32 different artists.

Incredible musical acts set the tone for the evening. CBC Searchlight 2016 winner Desirée Dawson lent her gorgeous singing voice and ukulele skills throughout the dinner hours, and softieshan and lil pineappel from Intersessions brought the dance party later on.

Many businesses we work with regularly enthusiastically joined the effort: Hoyne Brewing donated 4 kegs, Salt Spring Coffee brought an extra 20 pounds of coffee, and Earnest Ice Cream sent us two flavours and two spirited scoopers for a couple of hours, donating all of their proceeds with us.

Even businesses we don’t normally work with jumped in: Main Street Brewing sent a keg, Goonhouse pitched in a bunch of enamel pins for donation, and Hardbite Potato Chips kept people in the long line satiated with appetizer-sized bags of chips.

With our community, we were able to raise $3,962 (which we’ll round up to $4000). Throughout the day, we looked to our community to select the organizations that would get funding through the event.

Through a system of voting, the following organizations will receive the funds (proportionate to how many people voted for each one.)

Planned Parenthood  $901
Standing Rock  $615
RAVEN Trust  $472
Sierra Club  $358
NAACP  $296
DREDF  $296
RAINN  $277
QMunity  $272
HRC  $257
Native American Rights Fund  $257

This event felt significant for us beyond being able to stand in solidarity with the US during these troubling times. Fireweed felt like a realization of our original goals in opening this restaurant. Bandidas was literally built by the community. We did all the construction of the original restaurant with the help of friends and family, and our early dishwashers were often our friends who'd come to eat, and see that we needed help and jump up to pitch in. That original investment by the community wasn't meant to serve personal success for us, but rather to build a space that could serve the community. We feel so grateful and honoured to have the privilege to offer this, and hope to run more events like this in the future. We’re extending a wholehearted thanks to our community for being so enthusiastically involved.

Come by the restaurant before February 20th to view the beautiful and diverse collection of Vancouver’s artistic voices.


Bandidas Taqueria