Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
July 18, 2024
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An Enchanted Evening

A celebration of the Hospital Foundation's intense fundraising for the new build
<p>Packed Bid for the Build Fundraiser at the Crystal Palace June 3. (Photo: Logan Somers)</p>
Packed Bid for the Build Fundraiser at the Crystal Palace June 3. (Photo: Logan Somers)

Even before the Bid for the Build art auction at Picton’s Crystal Palace last Saturday, the audience would discover, the Hospital Foundation had already secured most of the $3 million required to purchase and install its own CT Scanner.

In an announcement at the end of the art auction, PECMHF’s Executive Director, Shannon Coull, announced a Women’s Auxiliary commitment of $1 million, a surprise which elicited cheers and applause.

Taking into account other, sizable donations, including $500,000 from Picton’s Norm Ritchie and Monique Postlewaite, the Hospital Foundation had raised $2.6 million. 

The proceeds from the elegant evening of art, an astonishing $375,000, come very close to bridging the gap. About 300 elegantly attired art connoisseurs at the sold-out event sipped wine amidst a beautifully refurbished, light-filled Crystal Palace. Dozens of volunteers kept track of the artworks and registered the bidding paddles.

At the center of the action were 85 works of art, each donated by a generous artist for the cause. In turn, the County’s finest competed — whether for the art, or not to be outbid, is an open question.

Auctioneer Julie Riches brought cool expertise, calling the live bids at the art auction, and then, afterwards, eliciting an astonishing generosity at yet another surprise, a matching-bid cash auction announced as the evening’s finale.


Auctioneer Julie Riches raises the hammer. (Photo: Logan Somers)

To accompany its $1 million commitment, the Women’s Auxilliary offered up to $100,000 to match bids at a cash auction.

Over the next ten minutes, 38 separate donors donated a combined $142,000 — exceeding the matching target of 100,000 — to raise an additional $242,000 for the CT scanner. One bid alone was for $50,000. A long series of smaller bids made up the outsize total.

“We are blown away by this community’s generosity,” said the Hospital Foundation’s Briar Boyce. “What a night.”

By the Numbers

The silent auctions raised $35,000, and the live auction, $75,550, for a total of $110,525 over the course of the evening. Further proceeds came after the auction — a few works that failed to sell in a minute or two at auction found buyers afterwards. One of these was Charles Pachter’s Painted Flag. Appraised at about $35,000, and offered at a starting bid of $10,000, the piece was finally carried off for $5000. 

In general, it was works of art by locals that were favoured in the live bidding, which clearly came from the heart. Among the evening’s standouts was Gilles Miramontes’s Picton Fair: Crystal Palace Panorama. Appraised at $3000-$5000, it sold at the high end, for $4800, after several bidders upped the hammer price. Another notable work, Chris Plewes’s Holstein, a vivid painting of a black and white steer on antique tin, estimated at $1600-$2500, went over after another bidding war erupted. The final price was $2600. Landscapes by notable Canadian artists Robert Glenn and Tom Roberts also sold quickly and at value.

Bidding Bargains

Stars of the evening were Graham Gillmore’s Make Me Pure (but not yet). Appraised at $22,000-$32,000, it sold for $12,000. Graham Metson’s Personage, a large, gorgeous abstract sold on its first bid, $5000, although it was appraised at as much as $18,000. Likewise, Sandra Meigs’ Room for Mystics, valued at $25,000, fetched $7600. The artist’s works are held at the National Gallery in Ottawa. Margaret Atwood’s limited edition, illustrated print, “Crow Funeral,” fetched $1600. Charles Pachter’s canvas print, Surge, estimated at $4000-$8000, fetched $2600.

At the silent auction, local artist John Lennard’s offer of a personal portrait-sitting attracted many hopeful bidders, and finally went for $800.

The fun and festive evening featured a generous spread of canapes from Kaleidoscope Catering and sparkling wine poured by Sherry Karlo of Karlo Estates.  

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 24 edition of The Picton Gazette
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