Robbie Kjarsgaard and John Fraser hold up a bicycle sculpture made by Howard Brown at Gallery Vertigo’s  Almost Famous auction Saturday. The sculpture graced the front room of Gallery Vertigo (upstairs in the Winnipeg Union Bank building) for many years.

Robbie Kjarsgaard and John Fraser hold up a bicycle sculpture made by Howard Brown at Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous auction Saturday. The sculpture graced the front room of Gallery Vertigo (upstairs in the Winnipeg Union Bank building) for many years.

Artists donate to save Vertigo

Almost Famous auction raises $3,000 to help Vernon’s artist-run gallery.

Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo is standing a little taller since hosting its annual fundraising event, Almost Famous, Saturday.

The gallery, run by the North Okanagan Artists Alternative, raised $3,000 from the event.

Local artists donated their painted, drawn and sculpted replicas of famed art pieces as well as other artworks to be auctioned off in both a live and silent auction.

The money comes at a crucial time for the artist-run gallery, with the tripled rent increase  in the Winnipeg Union Bank Building, where Vertigo has been housed the past 13 years.

The gallery has been seeking other options, including a move to a more affordable space.

“I am still not sure if this is enough to pull us through the rent increases and a move before we get assessed for our operating grant next year, but it is definitely hopeful,” said Vertigo’s executive director Trista Bassett.

Held  in the conference room at Century 21, Almost Famous saw  long-time Gallery Vertigo supporters and members attend the event.

“Everyone seemed to really enjoy the mix of live music, live auction and silent auction,” said Bassett. “Our auctioneers were Robbie Kjarsgaard and John Fraser, who were thoroughly entertaining as a tag-team duo.”

Approximately 28 pieces of art were submitted to the live auction by local artists, while more than 75 silent auction donations included arts, crafts and gift certificates from The Scarlet Studio and Artisan Market, Paradigm Yoga Studio, Bounce Hire and Paul Moore Studios.


“I would love to personally thank Steel Wound, my bandmates, all of the volunteers, artists, attendees and business donors who made this possible,” said Bassett.

“It was a really successful night and I am hoping it will be enough to keep Gallery Vertigo alive.”



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