How to celebrate summer? Raise a toast and support Canada’s art galleries

Contemporary Calgary LOOK2022

It was a triumphant return to the gala throw, as the city’s public contemporary art gallery hosted LOOK2022. The event ran with, and I mean ran with, a Studio 54 theme. There was a life-size plastic horse worthy of a Bianca Jagger entry, champagne serving mannequins in angel wings, tinfoil-covered walls at Andy Warhol’s famous factory and, for one night only, an impressive display of the pop artist’s greatest hits. . Studio 54 as a party theme has been done endlessly and rarely, I must admit, is done successfully. At that last moment though, the freedom of expression and unapologetic brand of exuberance of the iconic club really kicked in.

Cocktails for major donors were followed by a seated dinner and a dazzling auction with a dazzling array of substantial works on the auction block. The crowd was a spectacular mix of people who came together to raise just under $1 million to support the gallery’s programs and exhibitions. The attire ensemble mingled with bankers, art designers and merchants galore and even the mayor of Calgary Jyoti Gondek was there, sitting across from yours truly at dinner next to the CEO of Contemporary Calgary David Leinster. To my right was the infallible passion Kelly Street, model agent extraordinaire and Contemporary Calgary board member who returned as co-chair of the event. Nearby was the artist Douglas Couplandwho was honorary president of the event alongside the philanthropist M Anne McCaigauthor Kelly Oxford and artist Adrian A. Stimson. To my left was a legendary artist and educator John Willwho played in Chris Cran-directed a short film that premiered over dinner, centering on Will’s encounter with Warhol. Also nearby was Brett SherlockChristie’s International Consultant, who masterfully raised over $400,000 at the live auction (Heather Bala Edwards and kd langwho made an appearance to encourage bidding, were his sponsors).

Bruce Bailey’s Canadian Garden Party

A week earlier, art collector Bruce Bailey held its second rally in support of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). He welcomed 600 guests on the grounds of his estate outside of Toronto and raised a remarkable $1 million for museum programs and exhibits. Donations were also made to the Canadian Opera Company and the Inuit Art Foundation and in honor of the case, the artist Pierre Doig donated his painting Study for Iron Hill (1991) at the Quebec institution (first work by Doig to enter the MMFA collection). The event paid homage to the 1863 Paris Salon des Refusés (“exhibition of scraps”), a bold display of protest and contemporary art for its time. Sitting for lunch in the quaint Bailey’s Hayloft, honored guests included Suzanne Rogersnfl star Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and director of the MMFA Stephane Aquin. Others included: Mary Dailey Desmaraisdirector of the conservation division at the MMFA, music director of the COC Johannes Debus, East Room Founder and Party Sponsor Dereck Martinopera star Ambur Braidpainters Margaux Williamson and Matt Beasantand numerous philanthropic supporters, including Belinda Stronach, Carol and david call and Jennifer Iveyall of whom sat on the committee.

Mildred D. Field