SOURCE: The Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress

June 19, 2012 15:40 ET

The Bengal Lounge at The Fairmont Empress to Build School in Africa

Guests Become Philanthropists at This Vancouver Island Hotel's Bengal Affair Events

VICTORIA, BC--(Marketwire - Jun 19, 2012) - The Bengal Lounge at The Fairmont Empress is no stranger to setting the stage for unprecedented events. Originally opened as the Coronet Lounge in 1954 with the city's first cocktail license, the lounge is once again marking a monumental occasion. This time, guests of The Bengal Lounge in Victoria have helped raise $10,000 to build a school in Africa, giving children access to education and a brighter future.

Started as a way to attract business on Thursday evenings, the lounge instituted The Bengal Affair, which combines the sophisticated sounds of local DJs and sensual lighting to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere that electrifies the colonial room. Held every third Thursday of each month, guests dress to impress on the deserving red carpet while images are captured paparazzi-style, creating a "see-and-be-seen" mantra, turning The Bengal Affair into one of the most sought after events in the city.

Boasting one of the most vibrant lounge scenes around, the team at this Vancouver Island hotel saw an opportunity to expand their philanthropic efforts. Thus in lieu of cover charge, guests were asked to make a donation to Free The Children, which through its Adopt a Village program has built more than 650 schools and school rooms around the world and has reached more than one million youth through its innovative educational programming in North America and the United Kingdom. And after just five Bengal Affairs, enough funds were raised to build a school in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya.

"The Fairmont Empress is known for its support to charity and this is no different," says the Vancouver Island hotel's General Manager, Martin Leclerc. "To now have our philanthropic efforts spread across the globe to support children is heart-warming. We extend our deepest thanks to the guests of The Bengal Affair and look forward to more charitable endeavours."

Development Manager for Free The Children in Western Canada, Sarah Rushton, adds, "We believe in making change sustainable so that children can realize their rights, have access to an education and live to their full potential. We are so grateful for The Bengal Affair's support for Adopt a Village and thrilled by the impact this donation will have on the children in Kenya."

For more information on The Bengal Affair at The Bengal Lounge in Victoria, visit View Bengal Affair video.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which will arrive in destinations as diverse as Jaipur, Kyiv and Manila in 2012, is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residences. For more information or reservations, please call 800 441 1414 or visit

Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in our innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, we are a charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. Our domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the UK and around the world. Our international projects have brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to one million people around the world. For more information, visit: