Raceway pairs film with fundraiser for artist

One week prior to the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby, Grand River Raceway will host the Cana­dian premiere of The First Saturday In May.

The award-winning new documentary follows six horses and their con­nections (including Bar-baro) on the road to the 2006 Kentucky Derby. The full-length film will be presented on April 26 in the Captain’s Quarters dining room at the raceway. Admission is free, but the Elora track is accepting $5 donations at the door to benefit popular equine artist Robert Howson.

That talented Guelph paint­er was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. His friends in the local arts community have planned an ambitious itinerary of fundraising efforts. Their goal is to raise $25,000 for How­son, to provide some financial stability for the next year, while he undergoes ex-tensive treatment and surgery.

Grand River Raceway commissioned Howson in 2005 to create a life-size drawing of the first Battle of Waterloo race to be staged at Grand River Raceway. Howson spent many hours working on the piece at the racetrack during live racing, forging friendships with sev­eral fans and horsepeople in at­ten­dance. The finished product, A Banner Day, took Howson more than 500 hours to com­plete and is on permanent display at the raceway. 

The Canadian premiere of The First Saturday In May will be shown at Grand River Raceway from  7 to 9pm.

Seats are limited and reservations are required by calling 519-846-5455 extension 288, or emailing bookings@grand­riverraceway.com.