Vernon Public Art Gallery board of directors president Andrew Powell (from left) joins emcees Brian Martin and Camillia Courts for the 2020 virtual edition of the annual Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts event. The 34th annual fundraiser collected $19,000 for the gallery. (Pete Solymosi photo)

Support shown from home at Vernon’s virtual Midsummer’s Eve

Unprecendented event raised more than $19,000 for art gallery

Despite going virtual due to COVID-19, a major annual fundraiser drew up exceptional support.

The Vernon Public Art Gallery’s unprecedented 34th annual Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts online art auction raised $19,500 July 15.

Both the silent and live auction event saw registered participants bidding on donated work by renowned Okanagan and B.C. artists.

“It was a great opportunity to hold a safe, socially-distanced gathering and see all the support for the art gallery,” VPAG executive director Dauna Kennedy said. “Both groups and individuals registered for the live event and we received a lot of positive comments. Considering we were all new to hosting this type of event, we are proud we managed to do something new and exciting.”

Ticket holders had the opportunity to bid on nine out of 44 paintings at the live auction, which was broadcast live via online channels on July 15. Among the nine live auction items, Rick Bond’s painting, Paris Nights, ended up receiving the highest winning bid of $1,200, while Gabrielle Strong’s Emerald Coast III sold for well over its fair market value of $750 in the silent auction.

“There were people who were willing to pay above and beyond, and those extra dollars go such a long way,” said Kennedy, adding those who bid over fair market value receive a charitable tax receipt for the difference.

But the funds raised are far from what the event normally draws. Last year’s Midsummer’s Eve raised $58,000.

READ MORE: Vernon art gallery fundraiser draws sold-out crowd

Operated in the same vein as a mini telethon, Beach Radio morning show host Brian Martin and his partner, Camillia Courts, kept the action flowing, along with Kennedy. Besides the auction, live music was performed by band Virgil Caine. Bidders also had the opportunity to enjoy a catered at-home picnic supplied by Gumtree and Uprooted Catering.

Behind the scenes, VPAG board member Shell Duggan and long-time supporter Sarah Kennedy took the lead in helping to organize this new take on Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts. Dauna says it wouldn’t have been possible without the technical support provided by the gallery’s summer students as well as Sproing Creative and photographer Peter Solymosi. Participants were also able to interact by posting comments to the organizers and with one another.

“It was fun seeing the people committed to get last their last bids in. It was also great to see some new names among those who were bidding,” said Kennedy.

With the 2020 Midsummer’s Eve now wrapped up, the VPAG continues with its programming and exhibitions as it looks into the future of what can be done under the circumstances around COVID-19. The gallery is also actively involved in planning and development for the new Cultural Centre.

“It’s really important for us to keep on track and move forward as we look to build this new facility. We look forward to working with all partners in making the Cultural Centre a home to support the economy, the community, and the arts for years to come,” Kennedy said.

Visit https://www.vernonpublicartgallery.com/ for more information.

READ MORE: Kelowna artist’s pandemic reflection on display at Vernon gallery


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Arts and cultureArts and EntertainmentCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spall golfers sizzle

Countback needed to determine low gross winner in first flight

Coldstream provincial park trail gets assessment

Vernon Search and Rescue, BC Parks, assess trail on Kal Lake Provincial Park’s east side

Vernon Vipers add experience to roster

Western League veteran joins Snakes, who also sign player out of prep hockey

Therapeutic art for sale at Vernon show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Most Read