Red shoes, check. Red lipstick, check. Red wine, check.
It’s time to paint the town red for the second annual Italian-style dinner and live art auction in support of the Caetani Cultural Centre.
Taking place Thursday, Aug. 23, A Splash of Red is a night of great food, fine wine, music, and first class art held in the intimate settings of the Caetani Centre gardens, once tended lovingly by Italian aristocrat Leone Caetani and his artistically inclined daughter Sveva.
The event proved to be such a popular venture in its inaugural year, organizers have decided to make it an annual event.
“We started it last year to benefit the Caetani house and Sveva’s vision, and we raised $12,000,” said Judy Rose, one of the event’s founders and organizers.
With the money raised this year, the Caetani Cultural Society, which runs the house, hopes to go ahead with its open house project.
“We are raising money to open the ground floor of the house up to the community,” said the centre’s executive director Judy Katalinic. “We hope to open the house for salon performances, showcases and other events, but we need to upgrade our occupancy rating to allow us to open the house to the public and for people to live there.”
The centre also hopes to expand its programming, specifically its artist-in-residency, so that any artist who comes to visit the house will be able to work with the community, added Katalinic.
“We don’t want to charge Vernon taxpayers to do this. We want to be able to pay any money back. This is also about honouring Sveva. She gave the house as a gift to the community.”
A Splash of Red organizers are doing their part by transforming the north lawn of the Caetani property into an al fresco Italian café, where a three-course meal will be served under the stars.
To start the night, everyone will be served prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) in a painted glass, with appies, and everyone will be able peruse the art on easels before it goes to auction. An accordion player will also perform, said Rose.
At 7 p.m., everyone will sit down for dinner for the Italian meal, catered by Basket Case, with salad, a main, dessert, wine and grappa by Okanagan Spirits.
“It will be a mass frenzy of eating,” said Rose, who will entertain during dinner, singing some Italian love songs with local soprano Melina Moore.
“(The dinner) will be served family style with long tables of 18 people each. Everyone sits together, and we make the artists sit with the people so they can intermingle.”
Twenty-five works of art, including paintings and sculpture, have been donated to the auction, which will be presided over by auctioneer Victor Noakes, of Antique Imports.
“We have an incredible list of artists who have all been so generous with their donations,” said Angelika Jaeger, who has been collecting the art for the auction.
Some of the artists include Heidi Thompson, Julie Oakes, Doug Alcock, Gail Short, Shawn Serfas, Leanne Cadden, Michelle Loughery, James Postill, Sandra DeVries, Colleen Couves, Destanne Norris, Deborah Wilson, and others, as well as some artists new to the event such as Lorraine Burns and Martha Moore, said Jaeger.
Artists Trish Martian, Kevin Spetifore and Gerry Greengrove have also contributed work to the draw prizes that will also include gift certificates, baskets, jewelry and more. The evening will also feature a tribute to recently deceased artist Joan Heriot, who was a good friend of Sveva’s and also lived in the Caetani house at one time.
“We will have a display of photos in a slide show in her memory,” said Rose.
Only 100 tickets are available for the event, and so far more than 40 per cent have been sold, added Jaeger.
Tickets cost $100 each, and are available at the Bean Scene Coffee House. As per last year, the dress code will be black and white with a splash of red.
For a complete list of artists, event information, and more visit http://2012asplashofred.wix.com/event