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Bowls With Soul charity event marches on in 2021

Bowls with Soul is going virtual this year in order to continue during COVID-19. | Habitat for the Arts photo

Tyler Wright | Special to the Fitzhugh

In what would have been its tenth year in 2020, local charity event Bowls with Soul has found a way to still bring the magic (and soup) to Jasper residents during this era of social distancing.

Marianne Garrah and Dave Baker, directors of Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts, spoke on how this year’s Bowls with Soul is pushing forward despite the obstacles laid out by COVID-19.

“We’re still here,” said Garrah.

Started in 2010 as a fundraiser for the Habitat for the Arts, Bowls with Soul has become a Jasper staple, an anticipated social event of the fall/winter season.

Each year, one-of-a-kind handmade ceramic bowls by Julie McMath, a trained ceramist and the brainchild behind Bowls with Soul, are purchased by event attendees.

Local chefs and restaurants submit unique and mouth-watering soups to be sampled. Attendees cast anonymous votes on their favorite entry and the lucky chef is awarded a trophy and bragging rights for the year until the following Bowls with Soul event.

In a Facebook post on Jan. 22, Habitat announced how Bowls with Soul is still going to thrive in the era of COVID-19 after three months of being in limbo.

An online shop is available for the bowls, beautifully photographed and ready for sale. At $20 a piece, each bowl comes with its own soup recipe supplied by Jasper residents and a few recipe additions from famous foodies like Anthony Bourdain and Julia Child.

Contactless delivery or pick up arranged by Habitat will see this year’s Bowls with Soul become another success.

In addition to buying a one-of-a-kind bowl with a provided recipe card, Nutters is offering 10-per-cent off ingredients for locals who bring in their soup recipes from Bowls. There are also two random bowls that will each contain a surprise $25 Nutters gift card for the lucky recipients of said bowl.

“Community support has grown exponentially over the years,” said Baker. “People lined up out the door and more bowls are being made every year to keep up with demand.”

Both Garrah and Baker are optimistic that moving online will keep the event going strong this year and draw a great reception from attendees until it is safe to gather once again in person and “break bread,” or in this case enjoy some lovely soups.

As stated on their social media page, “Bowls with Soul, 2021 style, stay home… stay safe… make soup!”

For those who may not be confident in their soup making skills, or those want to learn some new tricks, be sure to watch the Habitat page for an online soup-making lesson with local chef Jason Munn of Syrahs of Jasper.

If you are looking to purchase a bowl, visit their website at or check them out on Facebook at Jasper Community Habitat for The Arts for more info about the fundraiser.

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