When Charlie Bierk and Martha Ramsay got married in August 2017, it just made sense to them to have the wedding at Martha’s family farm in Young’s Point, the same place where her parents were married over 30 years before. Over seventy friends and family members camped out in the field for the weekend, with 100 more guests joining in for the ceremony, outdoor BBQ and late-night dancing.

“It was untraditional and unfussy and perfectly us,” says Charlie. “The whole weekend was magical. We felt so grounded in love from so many corners…to have our families and friends together, enjoying each other, celebrating us, we’ve never felt so grateful for our community.”

Charlie and Martha added another personal touch to their nuptials; instead of gifts, they asked their guests to make a donation to the Bierk Art Fund, created in memory of Charlie’s mom, Liz, who passed away from melanoma in 2007. Liz was incredibly invested in fostering creativity in her community. During her life, she served on the board of the Peterborough Singers and 4th Line Theatre, was a member of Peterborough’s Downtown Business Improvement Area and co-founded Artsweek. Established by Liz’s friends and family, the Bierk Art Fund supports innovative arts and culture projects in the City of Peterborough and surrounding area.

“What better way to celebrate the joining of two artists and to honour my parents, than to contribute to their legacy and our community through the fund?” asks Charlie. The newlyweds were shocked when they discovered how many guests had donated to the fund. “The generosity of our friends and family was so moving! It really felt like a meaningful way to symbolize the coming together of two families that care a lot about the arts and Peterborough.”