Carhartts and Caviar returned last night to uproarious support at the Great Plains College. 

The annual fundraiser, presented by S3 Group, returned for its eleventh installment, marking over a decade of community support for scholarships and the welding program at the college. 

Helping to ensure everything ran smoothly was Bryce Martin, the donor services coordinator for Great plains college. Martin could be seen running around, putting out the occasional metaphorical fire in between, enjoying the night himself when he had a moment. 

Bryce Martin in a blue/grey shirt, before a neutral background. He is wearing glasses and has short hair, and pale yet healthy skin.Bryce Martin, donor services coordinator for great Plains College. 

"I think it was a great evening," said Martin. "I always gauge the success of the evening and how much fun the crowd is having by the noise in the gym, and it was loud in the gym tonight. I think the crowd, and myself, had a great time, as they always do with Carhartts."

The night began as people arrived, having bought out the 300 available seats weeks ago. Carhartts and Caviar is never a meek affair, always drawing in the biggest crowd it can muster, and this year was no different. 

The assorted crowd members at Carhartts and Caviar, 2023Assorted crowd members at Carhartts and Caviar, 2023.

Notably, this year included folks from all walks of life. Some of the more notable attendees were local and provincial government members. Swift Current Mayor Al Bridal spoke at the beginning of the evening, followed by the MLA for Swift Current, Everett Hindley's address.

Everett Hindley (left) and Brad Mahon, President and CEO of Great Plains College (right).Everett Hindley (left) and Brad Mahon, President and CEO of Great Plains College (right).

Before the auction began, attendees were able to mix and mingle, enjoying both company and the open bar. 

After people had a chance to examine the 13 items in the night's live auction, they sat at their tables and got ready to begin their bids. 

Brett Jensen was the head auctioneer for the night, dressing in the same Carhartts as the students participating. 

Brett Jensen, head auctioneer for Carhartts and Caviar 2023Brett Jenses, showing the crowd how it's done.

The auction proceeds until part way through, where a break is granted to offer both the guests a break to refill on drinks and to let Jensen and his team recharge before continuing. When they come back, 'Junkyard Wars' sees the students take to the stage.

Starting off the competition for the team that constructed the 'VW Fire Pit', a fire pit that resembles an old Volkswagen Van, was Osten Poh. 

Osten Poh, 2023Osten Poh, aspires to become an underwater welder someday, possibly along Canada's west coast.

"It's phenomenal," Poh praised. "You know, we got a smaller town where people know each other, but  it's nice to see that students, as well as the public, come in to show their support."

Poh did an admirable job firing the crowd up and getting them to pitch their cash at the one-of-a-kind yard piece. 

But the surprise star of the night has to be Aubri Rouse. This student managed to generate not only bids but a lot of laughter as he bantered with Jensen and the crowd he was goading into spending money. 

Aubri Rouse, with a firm gaze at Carhartts and Caviar 2023Aubri Rouse previously worked in the oil patch industry for close to 20 years before following his dreams at Great Plains College.

Rouse was pitching the extremely unique 'Can Crusher 3000'. 

"It's mechanical, it's got moving parts, so it's fun to watch, and it's got a bit of a gag to it, too," described Rouse. "And it was within the parameters of the contest. It's a half sewing machine, half rototiller, and the rest is just for fun."

For Jared McKenzie, the instructor of the welding program at Great Plains College, all his students had done a great job on this year's featured metal art. 

"The students work as a team," said McKenzie. "That's always the highlight of the event because they get to go up and sell it, but everything this year is 100 per cent fabricated by all the students."

There was also a silent auction and a raffle that saw people entering tickets for a chance to win some dozens of prizes. 

Emily Stade, who managed to win three of the raffle prizes.Emily Stade, who managed to win three of the raffle prizes.

By the end of Junkyard Wars, the regular live auction was able to resume. Jensen's booming voice resumed rattling off the count, taking offers from the crowd.

Once the last item, a custom bedroom set, had been sent to the highest bidder, the night came to a close. 

As always, folks who attended began slowly making their way out. During the evening, smiles and laughter may have been the most common thing traded at the show. From fantastic artwork to excellent performances on the main stage by both Jensen and the students, it was another smashing success for Great Plains College.