Vernon Caetani Centre Splash of Red organizing committee members Susan Brandoli (from left), committee chair Karen Winsor-Geatros, Shaughnessy Barker, Alex Lockwood, board president Sherry Price, AJ Jaeger, Kristin Froneman and Kathy Parton are taking the popular fundraising event online due to COVID-19. (Photo submitted)

Vernon Caetani Centre Splash of Red organizing committee members Susan Brandoli (from left), committee chair Karen Winsor-Geatros, Shaughnessy Barker, Alex Lockwood, board president Sherry Price, AJ Jaeger, Kristin Froneman and Kathy Parton are taking the popular fundraising event online due to COVID-19. (Photo submitted)

Vernon fundraiser making a splash online

Caetani Centre’s Splash of Red going virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19

A popular Vernon charity fundraising auction is moving fully online for 2020 due to COVID-19.

The Caetani Centre’s Splash of Red normally features a full four-course Italian dinner under the stars complete with wine pairings, live entertainment and an auction of fine artwork by local artists. This format is impossible to replicate online.

“We decided to simplify the online event as much as possible,” said Caetani Centre executive director Susan Brandoli. “We were astounded at the enthusiastic and generous levels of support we still received from local businesses and sponsors, and are especially grateful for donations received by local artists who still wanted to support our organization, some even donating more than one work, even though we were not able to host the live event.

“It is a humbling experience, and the Caetani Society is so thankful for their continued support during these trying times, when so many are struggling.”

In anticipation of the online auction, the society has launched a brand new satellite website – – to host the auction event and to feature the 35 unique art pieces up for auction.

Although the live event will not take place, all works can be viewed online on the new website, and also on the centre’s social media sites, and there will still be a live pre-viewing and exhibition of the artwork donated to Splash of Red, which started Tuesday, July 28, and runs until Aug. 13.

The preview exhibition will take place in the Caetani Studio Gallery, located onsite at the Caetani Centre, 3401 Pleasant Valley Road, Vernon, during regular office hours and by appointment with social distancing in effect. Call the Caetani Centre office to book a time, or register online for a live viewing at

All interested bidders must register online to bid on the artwork as well.

“There is no fee to register, so we hope that the online version will reach a wider audience this year,” said Brandoli.

A BUY NOW option is available for a limited time only until Aug. 7.

“This feature allows people to skip the auction and drama of wondering if they will be the successful bidder,” said Brandoli. “They have the option to just pay the fair market value (the price an artist would normally sell their work for) and then they are automatically the owner of their favourite work.”

Regular online bidding opens Friday, July 31, 10 a.m., and continues to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13.

READ MORE: Caetani spirit is alive at A Splash of Red

“People will still be able to register to bid online for the remaining artworks from July 31 up to the night of August 13, until the auction closes at 8 p.m.,” said Brandoli. “However, if the BUY NOW button is still showing, the bidders have an opportunity to step in and purchase the artwork outright, to scoop it away from the other bidders.”

All funds from the Splash of Red will directly support the operations of the Caetani Centre and the development of this important heritage site.

The COVID-19 virus has taken a toll on many cultural organizations both locally and worldwide. The Caetani Centre is no exception, and has been hit particularly hard.

As an organization that relies primarily on live events and public programs for its livelihood, it has seen its normal revenue stream virtually disappear.

“The COVID-19 situation has been devastating for our organization,” said Brandoli. “Our staffing and programming has been slashed to a bare minimum, and we are still not fully open to the public.

“We get a significant number of artists and writers who take part in our live/work Residency Program for artists and writers, who come here to stay in Vernon from across Canada, the USA and internationally. With the travel restrictions in place, even between some provinces, we have seen a severe decline in the ability of people to come to the North Okanagan for our programs.”

Public community programs have been suspended for the foreseeable future, and some programming has been moved online, whenever possible.

“The safety of our guests and visitors is paramount,” said Brandoli. “The one event we have proceeded with is the outdoor Summer Music Festival concert series, but it has been severely reduced in scope to adhere to the mandated provincial and federal health guidelines for social distancing, using masks, and limiting access and numbers. We have set up sanitization stations, etc., for the live events that are able to continue.”

Despite its current challenges, the Caetani Centre Society is confident that it will weather these challenges. The society boasts a strong core group of supporters, members, donors, artists and volunteers who are determined to realize the vision and potential of this unique heritage site – one with a mysterious, disturbing, and yet inspiring, story of overcoming adversity.

“Our benefactor, Sveva Caetani, would fully understand and sympathize with our predicament,” said Brandoli. “She lived and dreamed in isolation for over 25 years, held a prisoner in her own home by her own mother and circumstances.

“She emerged from the other side of her forced isolation to become a well-respected teacher, artist and mentor in our community, and created an incredible body of art works that continue to inspire local artists and writers today on a national and international scale. Her legacy and unique story is definitely one of the local histories that needs to be celebrated and remembered.”

The public is reminded when visiting to please wear a mask and remember that social distancing measures are in effect. Sanitization stations are available onsite.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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

Just Posted

Vernon's spring leaf pickup program is underway. (File photo)
Vernon rakes up residents’ bagged leaves

Pickup this week, must be in clear plastic bags

Public input on the City of Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, 2021. (City of Enderby photo)
Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget open for public input

The proposed spending plan includes a 2.2 per cent tax increase; public input open until Monday

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
Coldstream students’ COVID advice praised by Interior Health

Grade 2 and 3 classes from Coldstream Elementary took over the Morning Star’s Letters page April 9

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

Thw male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Mervin Mascarenhas giving one of his pens to Honorary JP-MP. Premier David Burt of Bermuda. (Image: Mervin Mascarenhas)
Kelowna man who made $90K ‘Space Pen’ recognized by dignitaries, sheikhs

Mervin Mascarenhas is the first Canadian to grace the cover of Millennium Millionaire Magazine

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks to return to play Sunday versus Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Most Read