An artist displays his work at the Midsummer’s Eve Auction while Brian Martin and Camillia Courts emcee the event, which raised $19,000 for the Vernon Public Art 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

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

(RCMP)
RCMP searching for missing Kelowna man

Nathan David Copp was last seen this morning, Oct. 28

(Kerkhoff Construction)
Large Glenmore rental development given greenlight by Kelowna council

The development will contain 238 rental apartment units across four five-storey buildings

Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
UPDATE: Natural gas leak on KLO Road

KLO Road is down to one lane alternating traffic while emergency crews are on scene

Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party MLA-elect for Kelowna-Lake Country. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Liberal Party needs youth, urban presence: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect Norm Letnick

The Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect also said he will not vie for party leadership

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

In May 2019, Brennan Joel Metlewsky and Jordan Robert Kupser were charged with attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an incident that took place in Vernon in 2017. (Facebook photo)
Attempted murder charges dropped for pair accused in Vernon stabbing

Brennan Metlewsky and Jordan Kupser will appear in Supreme Court to set a new trial date

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Christie Mountain wildfire along Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward - The Canadian Press file)
North Okanagan firefighters thanked for help in Christie Mountain wildfire

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen send thank-you note to Vernon firefighters

In past years, Summerland has launched the festive season with the annual Summerland Festival of Lights. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has been cancelled. (Summerland Review file photo)
Festival of Lights cancelled in Summerland

Annual November event normally launches start of festive season

Lily Rose, a six-year-old Labradoodle from Vernon, has been selected from more than 60,000 entries to star in Bosley’s 2021 fundraising calendar. (Contributed)
Highly photogenic Vernon Labradoodle to grace Canada-wide calendar

Six-year-old Lily Rose was chosen from more than 60,000 entries for the Bosley’s 2021 fundraising calendar

The front door was smashed at Simply Delicious aroud 4 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, but nothing was stolen. (Cameron Grant photo)
North Okanagan business owners hit second time in three months

Simply Delicious broken into, but nothing was stolen

Most Read