Algonquin Outfitters presents just over $4,000 to Town for public art acquisition

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(From left) Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison, Algonquin Outfitters Marketing Director Randy Mitson and Huntsville Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage Teri Souter hold up a plaque and cheque from AO’s paddle art auction.

What started out as a conversation between Huntsville Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Teri Souter, and Algonquin Outfitters’ Marketing Director, Randy Mitson, about how to celebrate Tom Thomson’s life has resulted in a resounding success.

The pair came up with a paddle art contest in 2016, which concluded this fall.

“Our goal was to engage with up to 100 artists, produce 100 creative paddles to raise money for art in the community,” Mitson told Huntsville councillors at their November 24 meeting.

The recipients of the funds raised are the Town of Huntsville and the Oxtongue Lake for Arts and Culture, which will use the funds for the acquisition and promotion of public art.

The idea was so well received that a total of 206 artistic paddles were entered in the contest, which raised just over $20,000 when the paddles were auctioned off online. Mitson said people purchased blank paddles and submitted their works from as far as California, and the furthest purchaser of a paddle in the auction was from London, England – making it a truly global initiative, said Mitson who thanked all those involved.

Mayor Scott Aitchison thanked Mitson for the initiative, which he said would not have been possible without him.

If you missed the auction or didn’t get a chance to either paint or purchase a paddle, Mitson let the cat out of the bag and said “we are going to be doing this again. We’re going to announce the details of it in the spring.”

You can see some of the paddles and find out more about the initiative here.

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