Paul Ashe, founding chief executive of Spey, is pleased to invite you to The Spirit of Conservation, a distinguished cocktail reception in support of the critically endangered Scottish freshwater mussel. The event will be hosted by Her Excellency Vlora Çitaku, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo, at the small batch, women-owned distillery and craft cocktail bar: Republic Restoratives.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
6:30pm – Ambassadors’ Reception
7:00pm – Main Event
Republic Restoratives Distillery
1369 New York Ave. Northeast
Washington, DC 20002
Join us as we launch an expedition to study the remote area of northwestern Scotland called Cape Wrath, thought to be one of the last remaining strongholds of a critically endangered species of freshwater mussel. In partnership with The American-Scottish Foundation, this one-night event benefits upcoming conservation work, field studies, and reintroduction programs that will help keep this species from extinction.
Choose your experience and purchase your tickets today!
- Ambassadors’ Reception: Before the main event, join select members of the diplomatic community for an intimate reception in the upper barrel aging room of the distillery. Enjoy a guided tasting of a rare single malt while mingling with fellow conservation enthusiasts and policy makers.
- Main Event: Follow the sound of bagpipes to Republic Restoratives for a conservation kickoff event. Nibble on tasty bites and sip a selection of craft cocktails among the distillery’s aging barrels and intricate stills, before champion fiddler Seán Heely premieres an original anthem inspired by Spey. A silent auction of rare whiskies is sure to delight, as are a few surprises unveiled throughout the evening.
A bit more about the reception, attire, and artists
Guests will be greeted with Republic Restoratives’ signature cocktails, crafted from their Civic Vodka, Borough Bourbon, and Rodham Rye spirits. Wine, beer, and Champagne will also be available to whet your palate for savory passed canapés. Attire for the evening is cocktail or elegant business. Given this is an event with a particularly Scottish theme, don’t be surprised if you see a few kilts in the crowd! And of course, there will be plenty of Spey pearls dripping from the most stylish of guests.
Multi-Genre violinist and fiddler Seán Heely is rapidly emerging as one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. A U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion (2016), invited contestant in the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (2017), and award-winning composer, Seán has a degree in classical violin from the University of South Carolina and is also recognized in Bluegrass and Gypsy swing traditions. He will be a 2019 Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore Music Center and performs with the groups Skylark and Glencoe Lads, and is a frequent performer for the British Embassy’s Scottish Affairs Office and the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington. He is composing an original tune inspired by Spey to debut at the event.
Tracy Jenkins is a Highland and Border piper based in the DC area. He has played since age 13, studying under Pipe Major Matthew Kuldell and Finn Moore. Tracy plays with the Washington Scottish Pipe Band and at area sessions, and has recently recorded with Mark Walbridge and Seán Heely. He will be regaling guests throughout the evening with traditional Scottish melodies.
Why is this evening important?
The freshwater pearl mussel is perilously threatened throughout its range and is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as critically endangered in Europe, having declined by 95 percent. Scotland boasts some of the largest remaining populations, but even there, the population has halved within the last decade and is now extinct in 73 Scottish rivers. Integral for water purity and river health, this imperiled species demands our attention.
Consider sponsoring the event
Show your corporate or personal support for the environment by sponsoring The Spirit of Conservation event. Your tax-deductible contribution enables leading ecologists to complete critical conservation work in rivers across Scotland – safeguarding an imperiled species for generations to come. Explore the perks and benefits of a sponsorship today!