Dinner in the dark: Winnipeggers to dine blindfolded

Hundreds of people will dine in the dark in Winnipeg on Thursday to support programs for people living with visual impairments.

Event to raise money for Canadian National Institute for the Blind

The dinner will pose some challenges as guests eat blindfolded. (CNIB)

When dinner guests at a fundraiser for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind spill a drink or grab the wrong utensil, Tracy Garbutt will be there to help.

Guests will fill the RBC Convention Centre on Thursday for the fifth annual Dine in the Dark fundraiser, where they will eat blindfolded.

Garbutt, a legally blind Winnipegger and marathon runner, will be helping out on the sidelines, coaching people on how to eat in dimly-lit conditions. He knows there is bound to be some challenges.

Tracy Garbutt, left, runs with his friend and guide, Mike Malyk. (CBC)

"You reach out you try to grab a fork, but you grab your neighbour's fork," he said.

"It's people really getting that sense of what it's like for an evening, for a short period of time, to be living with vision loss."

Garbutt has been legally blind since he was just 12. He says while he learned to cope over the years, he anticipates there could be seniors at the nighttime event that are just starting to lose their sight and may be struggling.

"For them, it's such a shocker because they've seen their whole life," he said. "For me, it was different because I gradually went through it."

The event will raise money to support programs that help people living with visual impairment.

Tickets to the dinner are $100 and available by calling 204-789-0947 or 204-774-5421.