Dozens of people are the proud new owners of unique works of art, and six arts organizations are the better for it, thanks to another successful charity paddle art auction by Algonquin Outfitters.
This was AO’s third auction, and new this year was the inclusion of seven canoes by local artist Gerry Lantaigne. He had been commissioned by Huntsville Festival of the Arts to create the canoes in the style of the Group of Seven artists.
In the auction’s inaugural year in 2017, 182 paddles were auctioned for more than $33,000. In 2019, 213 paddles raised more than $20,000, and with just 83 paddles this year, a lesser number due to the pandemic, more than $25,000 was raised.
“With COVID, I wasn’t expecting many paddles at all. Especially because in August we had none but within a month we had 76 paddles come in. It was so great to see both locals and artists join us last minute. We even asked some people to do more than one and they were happy to. We also had some first-time entries and they did so well,” said Randy Mitson, AO’s marketing manager. He noted that the average price per paddle went up significantly this year. More than half the paddles received bids of between $300-700.
The paddles were displayed at Partners Hall in the Algonquin Theatre for two weeks prior to the auction closing, including an open house on Saturday, September 25 which drew 100 people over the course of the day.
There were almost 2,000 bids in total, with Don Mackenzie’s carved “Goldfinch” paddle receiving the highest bid at $925. Janine Marson’s “Victory Garden”, a depiction of her own garden that featured bees, butterflies, flowers, fruits and vegetables, received the second-highest bid at $850. Erin’s Ingram’s “Canadian Lynx Eye” was third at $750. The top three artists will receive gift cards to Algonquin Outfitters as a prize.
The art has officially been taken down from Partners Hall and winners are able to pick them up this week or they will be shipped out soon. One is even going to England!
“The one paddle that really stood out to me was ‘Barred Owl’ by Alyssa Johnstone,” said Mitson. “She is only 16 years old and extremely talented. Her paddle blew me away. She has entered before and only keeps getting better and better. People thought the paddle was actually wrapped with birch bark because it was so detailed. It’s always great to see young artists participating.”
All of the funds raised will support local art organizations and projects in the communities Algonquin Outfitters serves, including: Algonquin Art Centre, the Canadian Canoe Museum, Huntsville Art Society, Huntsville Festival of the Arts, the Tom Thomson Gallery, and the Town of Huntsville’s reserve fund for future public art acquisition.
If you missed it, you can see all of the paddles here.
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