September 7, 2018

Shooting for the moon

If time was bottled and sold, I'd be buying a case of 24 hours right here and now. 

There's that much more work required before launching the silent online auction portion of the Look, Listen and Laugh (Because Dementia Sucks) fundraiser to increase respite care service hours available through the North Bay Alzheimer Society.

The plan was to launch Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. (right here in this small digital corner of the universe) to begin a two-week effort to sell a wide variety of artistic expression, lessons and services before bidding closes Sept. 21. (It's now live, check HERE)

It's part and parcel to the live music, art and stand-up comedy event at The Grande Event Centre in downtown North Bay Sept. 14.

But I haven't been able to process all the donations and descriptions, there's been such a heart-warming response that it's challenging my production capacity. A couple unexpected side-jobs in the last two days didn't help matters, although there's a couple bills coming due I wouldn't mind keeping off my credit line.

So here we are. Please be patient.

If you're looking to blame anyone, point one finger at photographer Denis Lalonde. Out of the blue, after seeing coverage of the event in the North Bay Nugget Extra, Lalonde decided to donate two of his pieces and dropped them off yesterday at the at the corner of Gertrude Street and Lakeshore Drive. Each photograph, shot on medium format slide film and printed using top-end techniques, is framed at museum-quality, including the glass. Take the art out and it's still worth $500. It blew my mind.

The photos are part of his Auto Galaxies collection shot at a graveyard in southern Ontario for classic cars from the 1940s. The cropped portion of one of his works above (excuse my poor reproduction shooting through glass with worn out digital equipment) is actually a hood ornament of a vehicular corpse. He said the sap and pollen from the trees over decades transformed the paint into a galactic buffet of colour.

Of course, I just had to see his other work at

Go ahead, try not spending hours there flipping through his creations. I dare ya.

Here's his bio from the website: 

Denis was born in June 1946, in a small rural community east of Ottawa. He bought his first camera at age 23, a Polaroid. Its purpose was mainly to record birthdays, parties and holidays. Denis still possesses many of these pictures; they are his treasures and a reminder of life then. In the 1970s, Denis moved to North Bay. Nature seemed so vast and so different. This new discovery increased his desire to take better photographs. This eventually led to courses in photography and darkroom technique. His studies further fueled  his desire to improve his imagery.Work brought Denis to the Toronto region in the late 1990s. He began to explore the region, more specifically the Niagara Escarpment, with its many waterfalls. This brought a new reality - beauty; we are surrounded by it. Beauty has always been a fascination and photography has provided Denis with ways to capture it. It is an exhilarating journey; at times it brings emotions and photography the means with which to express them. Nature's beauty and artistry has captured his spirit.Denis feels fortunate to be on this path . Photography is where life is most enjoyable. His soul has found its home.

Of course, I'm just using him as a creative excuse, partly because his photograph looks like a rocket ship and fits with the whole "auction launch" metaphor. But if you read my blog posted very early this morning, you'll see that I'm easily distracted by cool stories and my failure to meet my 7 p.m. deadline was all on me. I'm so into the moment meeting all these creative minds lately. I have story ideas piled like cord wood. And that doesn't combine well with an innate procrastination flaw when it comes to technical computer work and details.

That said, please come back tomorrow. You will be impressed with the quality and breadth of submissions.

Below is the latest description of how the auction will play out, followed by a list of contributors so far. Your feedback is welcome. Email: [email protected]

Silent Online Auction Sept. 8 to Sept. 21

To make a bid, email event organizer and website owner [email protected] directly. Include your name and telephone contact information so the offers can be verified and for follow up when sales are final. (I won't be using the contact information to spread municipal election campaign material). A text message to my cell phone 705-498-2050 with identifying information will also be accepted. Highest bids will be updated on the website at least twice daily at noon and 7 p.m. (except for Monday, Sept. 10 and the evening of Sept. 14).

A selection of the items featured in the online auction will be on display at the sold-out live music, art and stand-up comedy event at the Grande Event Centre Sept. 14. Bidding there will be done by traditional paper records as well as emails with a verbal update on featured items at the intermission. A slide-show of all the items will be projected in the banquet hall with laptops also available for viewing.

All proceeds of the show, auction sales and direct donations will go toward increasing the hours of respite care service available through the North Bay Alzheimer Society. Artists can reclaim their donations if they go unsold. This isn't a garage sale, folks. Reserved bids are set at about half of a reasonable valuation and it's not right to give art away for nickels on the dollar.

NOTE: Artists and contributors donating to the auction will receive a receipt for charitable taxation purposes of 100% of the sale price. Purchasers, because they are receiving a product or service, will not receive a receipt for charitable taxation purposes. Some artists, meanwhile, may have additional pieces included in this online gallery that are being sold on a commission basis. The North Bay Alzheimer Society will receive a commission donation of 50% for those sales, unless another commission level is specified. Artists/contributors are eligible for a receipt at the level of the commission donation for charitable taxation purposes.

In no particular order, the below list includes the artists, service providers and businesses contributing to the auction so far (items will be added until noon Sept. 13). If you've pledged or provided something and your name isn't mentioned in this list, please contact me. It's likely an oversight on my part.

Donna Cushing

Keith Campbell

David Carlin

Jurgen Mohr

Jeff Marceau 

Brent Trach

Edna Scott

Midge Ravensdale

Michael de Moree 

Pat Madill Stamp

Karen McCluskey

Gerry Voyer

Peter Hammel 

Nick Laporte 

Christine Fortin 

Jack Lockhart

Bea Lockhart 

Marco Souza

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic

Jack Jones

Miranda Prior

Knack Digital

Accurate Business Solutions

Pauline Sutherland

Suzanne Carr

K-Bros Framing

Denis Lalonde

Bil Carr

Lucy St John


Chris Mayne 

Dave Dale

Below are a few of the pieces without names and info as a tease. Some people may recognize the artists by their style ...


Twitter Facebook Google LinkedIn