Local businessman Carlos Soares is the man behind the vision for Barley & Smoke. In 2000, while his wife Tammy is pregnant with their first child, he receives the devastating news that he has stage 3 cancer. With his loving father by his side at the cancer clinic, he is overwhelmed with emotion - he has pelvic carcinoma and the tumour is the size of a football. He is too young to go - he has a new son on the way and can't leave his young wife to raise a child on her own. Determined to overcome this setback with every fibre of his being, he undergoes life-saving surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy. With his mind and spirit focused on recovery, Carlos becomes cancer free. His journey motivates him to help others battling cancer, especially children.
Photo of a pre-operative scan of a patient with a large pelvic tumor similar in size and complexity to the one Carlos had while diagnosed with stage 3 pelvic carcinoma.
“Helping kids battle cancer is very close to my heart,” says Carlos Soares, founder and president of Divine Flooring and Keg sponsor for Barley & Smoke. “I suffered from advanced cancer as a young adult and know first-hand the struggle and the challenges. I was able to overcome it and I don’t want any child to have to go through what I endured.”
Fueled by a passion to help children and their families experiencing cancer, Carlos along with his brother and business partner Dave Soares, jump at the opportunity to support local pediatric cancer charity initiatives. Every year for over 11 years, they participated in the local charity event, Revving up for Kids with Cancer by Look and Stepper Homes. This four day motorcycle adventure had them riding from Alberta to British Columbia raising funds and awareness for children with cancer while supporting their siblings and families. The duo successfully raised over $84,000 in funds with their efforts.
Carlos Soares and brother Dave Soares join fellow motor cyclists in one of the annual Look and Stepper Revving for Kids annual fundraiser in support of a pediatric cancer charity group.
While this was a noble undertaking, Carlos still wanted to do more. In the early months of planning for 2019, Carlos pitched the idea to the social committee of Divine Flooring that he wanted to create a signature event with the lofty goal of raising $125,000 annually to support local pediatric cancer charities. The team responded with the concept for a combined industry event inspired by the ideal summer backyard barbecue party. Local restaurants and craft breweries immediately jumped to the challenge and signed up with their intent to participate in this unique bbq and craft brewery pairing challenge and Divine leveraged their connections with builders, trades, interior designers and support from the finance and insurance industries to fund the inaugural Barley & Smoke event. In the first year, the event came close to reaching its lofty goal with over $119,000 raised with 100 per cent of proceeds going to Kids Cancer Care.
Guests enjoy table side service of the craft beer and bbq food pairings in the VIP Lounge at the inaugural Barley & Smoke event in 2019.
Since 2019, the Barley & Smoke event has taken place at Enmax Park in Calgary rain or shine. With each passing year, more local craft breweries, restaurants, sponsors and builders sign on to participate in this incredible and unique event to raise funds while having fun for a good cause. In 2022, the event exceeded fund raising expectations, generating a whopping $139,710 in net proceeds to the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. This is in addition to the $60,000 value of five additional mini buildings added to the growing Western Village located at Camp Kindle along with a $35,000 Dream Kids Lottery Playhouse built by Calbridge Homes that was auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Kids Cancer Care annual Dad and Daughter Gala.
Carlos Soares lounging poolside with the Calbridge Homes staff in the Dream Lottery Playhouse - this unique child's themed play structure estimated at $35,000 in value was later auctioned off to the highest bidder at the annual Kids Cancer Care Dad & Daughter Gala.
Funds raised by Barley & Smoke help Kids Cancer Care to fight childhood cancer on five fronts; with laughter at camp, the best care at the hospital, year-round family programs, innovative science in the lab and by making brighter futures possible with post-secondary education scholarships. Detailed, audited financial information regarding the can be obtained from the foundation's website.
Carlos offers a comforting hug to cancer survivor and 2022 Kids Cancer Care spokeskid Amanda after her speech to the audience at the 2022 Barley & Smoke event. Her speech relayed to the participants how the fort builds and the funds raised at the event positively impact children with cancer and their families.
For more information about the Barley & Smoke event visit barleysmoke.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Barley and Smoke, one of the most fun Calgary food events of the year, is back for summer of 2023. Drawing together Calgary’s top chefs and brew masters, this is also the Grillin’ for a Cure fundraiser, raising money for Kids Cancer Care.