West Coast Artists for Alzheimer’s runs until June 11 at the West Vancouver Museum, 680 17th St., West Vancouver. Visit westvancouvermuseum.ca for more info.
When the inaugural World Alzheimer’s Ball takes place in London this September, artwork by some of the biggest names in the B.C. art scene will be on display to help support the cause.
The fundraising gala coincides with World Alzheimer’s Day and seven pieces by West Coast artists will be auctioned off to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia U.K. They were selected by West Vancouver resident Rosalind Adnani, the only Canadian on the organizing committee for the event. When she initially joined the planning team last year, she asked herself what she could do to contribute.
“I’m passionate about art, and specifically B.C. art, so I thought, why not do a show in London of the work?” Adnani says.
She pitched her idea to some of her favourite local artists: Dana Claxton, Douglas Coupland, Graham Gillmore, Angela Grossmann, Attila Richard Lukacs, Gordon Smith and Tyler Toews.
“They were all thrilled to be a part of it, which is awesome,” she says. “I really personally love all these artists’ work, so when they agreed to do it, it was just a really great thing.”
Adnani collaborated with each artist to choose which of their pieces would be donated to the auction. Before the seven paintings and multi-media works get shipped to London, North Shore art lovers will have a chance to view them at the West Vancouver Museum for a brief three days until June 11. The West Coast Artists for Alzheimer’s exhibit also features additional pieces by each artist selected from the museum and private collections.
“We just thought it was a great opportunity for the local community to see what is going to London,” Adnani says.
The seven artists who have donated auction items may be well-known names in Canada, but will they impress art collectors in Europe? Adnani says yes.
“All of them have an international following,” she explains, adding that a number of B.C. residents are expected to attend the World Alzheimer’s Ball on Sept. 21.
At £500 per person, tickets to the ball don’t come cheap, but it promises to be a glamorous affair. Guests will first attend a reception and formal dinner at a private ambassador's residence or embassy (the High Commission of Canada is among the 17 hosts). Following dinner, all attendees will be transported to a ball at Lancaster House, a neo-classical mansion in London’s West End, for an evening of champagne, dessert, dancing and a silent auction.
Adnani was encouraged to help out with the gala by her personal friend, Lady Barbara Judge, who is chair of the special events support committee for the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia U.K.
“She was telling me about her mom and her experience with Alzheimer’s and why she decided to be involved,” Adnani recalls.
That conversation made Adnani consider how the neurodegenerative disease has affected her life. Her grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s two years ago, and her good friend’s mother recently died from the disease at a young age. Right away, she knew she wanted to be part of the solution.
“It just seems that everyone I speak with has a personal connection to Alzheimer’s.”