The Walrus Foundation Gala Auction
True story by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 23 January 2011
My attendance on the fundraising circuit resumed in the first month of 2011 at The Walrus Foundation Gala hosted at the Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Distillery District. The Walrus Magazine, which features a collective Canadian voice of writers and artists, is worthy of our attention and — truly worth saving. To know why, care to watch this video: WeNeedTheWalrus.
The programming for the evening included cocktails and a sit-down dinner followed by live entertainment, speeches and silent bids — all promptly on cue. Volunteering as a silent auction supervisor, responsibilities from my side of the auction table included informing guests of the special items to be sold. These included Edward Burtynsky’s ship lamps from his ship-breaking shoot in Bangladesh; Joanne Tod’s original double-panel paintings titled Divided Touch, for which an image of the artwork had graced the magazine’s cover in November 2010; a weekend theatre/hotel package at the upcoming Stratford Shakespeare Festival; and a writing jacket owned by Mordecai Richler that was size 46 with shortened sleeves, plus a 12-year bottle of Macallan.
From my point-of-view, all the photo opportunities could have been taken from here because, without fail, as curious patrons approached my table, their sense of discovery quickly brought on wide smiles and occasional smirks. The great stories were all here. It was an enchanting night out!
Other notable moments included one-to-one chats: with Sonja Smits, I remarked on her beautiful aubergine dress and the rarity of wearing a colour other than black in evening attire; with Noah Richler, we talked about his father and our mutual financier friend in Montreal; with Piers Handling, the conversation circled around TIFF and my past publicity mandate for Unifrance. Also spotted were Bruce Kuwabara, Jian Gomeshi, Valerie Pringle, Barry Avrich, Pamela Wallin, Roz Ivey, and Ed Burtynsky. I had intuited this would be a stellar event, not only as it allowed me close contact with unique treasured items but also much lauded Canadian talent!
The 2011 edition of The Walrus Foundation Gala netted 30 per cent higher earnings from the previous year. Corporate-sponsored tables were 100 per cent sold as with the auctioned items. Dazzling news for The Walrus!