There is an exciting and charitable event running right now at Vancouver’s Lattimer Gallery. Over the past six holiday seasons, this Vancouver-based Northwest Coast First Nations gallery has hosted an exciting event called the Charity Bentwood Box Silent Auction. What begins as a blank cedar bentwood box is transformed into a beautiful work of art, all in the name of charity. The small, red and yellow cedar boxes are all kerfed, steamed, finished, and donated by Metis/Cree artist, James Michels. Then, all of the boxes are distributed to a variety of Northwest Coast First Nations artists across the province. James Michels donates these exquisite boxes, the artists donate their astounding creativity, and Lattimer Gallery donates the venue, the marketing costs, and the event gala.
Two years ago, Lattimer Gallery announced a three-year partnership with the Urban Native Youth Association, a Vancouver organization that has been providing 21 prevention-focused programs and services to Native Youth since 1988, to help meet their immediate and longer-term needs. 100% of all bids from this silent auction are donated to UNYA. Last year was by far the gallery’s most successful year to date, with $32,520 being raised for UNYA. To date, Lattimer Gallery has raised a total of $67,920 for Aboriginal organizations through this one event.
Between November 25th and December 7th, everyone has chance to bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces via phone, email, or in person. The boxes can be viewed on the gallery website with their current accompanying bids. Participating artists include Marie Oldfield (Haida/Tsimshian), Phil Gray (Tsimshian/Cree), Bradley Hunt (Heiltsuk), Shawn Hunt (Heiltsuk), James Michels (Métis/Cree), Steve Smith (Kwakwaka’wakw), Nathan Wilson (Haisla), and Clint Work (Kwakwaka’wakw), among others.