Doing good works with great artworks

Doing good works with great artworks

Artists on the Sunshine Coast have stepped up once again to collaborate with the Sechelt Hospital Foundation on one of its major fundraising efforts, Art of Healing.

“We put out the call [last winter] to several artists,” foundation executive director Jane Macdonald told Coast Reporter. “And in no time, we had 36 confirmed that they’d like to participate this year.”

Foundation board member Ruth Rodgers noted that Coast artists are routinely asked for donations of their artwork to help raise funds for worthy causes. “For us, they responded immediately,” Rogers added in an interview. “And we had people who we hadn’t yet asked calling and saying, ‘Hey, I’d like to contribute as well.’ To me, that says everything – that we did it right the first time [in 2018] and they’re keen to contribute again.”

The names of many of the artists taking part might be familiar: Marleen Vermeulen, Motoko, John Down, Christy Sverre, Gigi Hoeller, Kasia Krolikowska, Gordon Halloran, and a few dozen more of equal stature. Each artist was asked to create or donate a work that they felt had a theme of healing.

Smaller works by any of these creators could set you back several hundred dollars, at least. But the 36 people who snap up a $500 Art Collector Ticket, available on Sept. 1, are guaranteed to own one of these 36 pieces.

Sept. 1 is also the date when the artworks – paintings, mixed-media, and a sublime 18-by-24-in. photograph by Mark Benson – will be on display online, along with brief statements by the artists. The works will be hung for closer examination and appreciation starting Friday, Oct. 22 at the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden pavilion for this year’s Art Crawl.

A novelty of the Art of Healing is that while holders of $500 tickets might know which of the 36 works they would like to take home, they won’t know which will still be there when it’s their turn to choose.

On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 23, a virtual draw will be hosted by master of ceremonies Ed Hill. The holder of the Art Collector Ticket that is picked first gets to make their pick from the entire collection of 36 pieces. Whoever’s ticket is drawn second will have 35 works to choose from, and so on.

The Art of Healing campaign is not just for those who can lay out $500. Up to 31,000 raffle tickets will also be available, in $20, $40, or $60 packages, in a separate draw for three holiday travel prizes, two of them to fun B.C. locations. The grand prize is a trip for two to Venice, Italy, plus $5,000 travel allowance. Raffle winners will also be drawn on Oct. 23.

Among the many good causes for Coast artists to get behind, the Sechelt Hospital Foundation (SHF) is one of the best, as it’s a crucial component of our health-care infrastructure. Tax dollars can’t pay for everything in our health system, and that’s where charitable organizations like SHF come in.

The funds that SHF raises from the community – more than $17 million since 1995 – help source new medical equipment, like protective gear for medical staff. Those funds pay for diagnostic scanning and imaging technology, for the renovation or construction of facilities, the treatment of mental health and substance-use, and health education.

“All the proceeds from [Art of Healing] will go to what we call the area of greatest need here at the hospital,” said Macdonald. “And that’s what we at the foundation review on a monthly basis.”

Both raffle and collector tickets will be available for purchase at