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Record-breaking fundraiser for Vernon Art Gallery

Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts event raised more than $76,000 this year
The Vernon Public Art Gallery’s signature fundraising event raised just over $76,000 July 19, 2023. (VPAG photo)

The Vernon Public Art Gallery’s signature fundraiser of the year was a record-breaking success.

The gallery’s 37th annual fundraiser, Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts, was held last week and raised just over $76,000.

The event saw an overwhelming response from the community, with attendees and participants coming together to support the gallery.

The event’s highlight was the outpouring of artwork donated by more than 90 artists, along with 50 businesses contributing items and experience packages. With 142 packages and original artworks available for bidding, this year’s event marked a record-breaking number of donations, highlighting the community’s passion for the arts.

The top sellers of the night, recognized for their exceptional contributions to the gallery’s art auction, were: Shawn Serfas who secured the highest bid with his painting, fetching an impressive $4,100; close behind, Heidi Thompson’s masterpiece reached an admirable $3,800; following closely were Gabrielle Strong, Michelle Loughery, Rick Bond, and Kara Barkved, whose paintings each garnered $2,100, contributing significantly to the overall success of the event.

The live auction proved to be a heartwarming spectacle as Don Raffan led the proceedings with his son Brody Raffan and son in law Danny Stein providing invaluable assistance, making it a memorable experience for everyone involved.

“The VPAG extends its utmost gratitude to the volunteers who made this event a success, with a special call out to Gerry Humphrey, who tirelessly works year after year over the three days surrounding the event. Additionally, the event would not be possible without the continued support from the sponsors: Bannister Honda, Clark Robinson, Nor-Val Rentals, Beach Radio, and Wayside Co.,” said Dauna Kennedy, executive director of the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

“This is truly a community event and could not happen without the support of our artists, volunteers, donors/bidders and sponsors,” said Dauna Kennedy, executive director of the Vernon Public Art Gallery. “Thank you all for ensuring all demographics in our community have access to visual literacy through your support of the Vernon Public Art Gallery.”

The evening’s ambiance was further elevated by the delectable hors d’oeuvres provided by partners Gumtree Catering, Uprooted Kitchen and Catering, and Olive Us. People enjoyed drinks by Arrowleaf Cellar, Okanagan Springs Brewery, Starbucks, Coca Cola and FreshCo.

The atmosphere at the event was enhanced by the musical talents of local musician Seamus Powell.

The gallery expressed appreciation to everyone who attended the fundraiser.

“Your unwavering support, whether through bidding or merely being present, is what propels the gallery forward, enabling it to continue its mission of promoting and celebrating the arts in our community,” said Kennedy.

READ MORE: Art up for auction in Midsummer’s soirée for Vernon gallery

READ MORE: Vernon gallery previews Midsummer’s auction art tonight

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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