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$20 000 Raised for Sketch
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Event Review – Art From the Unexpected

Last night at the Steam Whistle Brewing, Ad Lounge hosted Art From the Unexpected – a charity event to benefit SKETCH, who provides underprivileged youth aged 15-29 the opportunity to get involved in the arts.

The event brought together over 300 people – a mix of professionals from the creative and marketing communications industries, as well as those who simply wanted to support a great cause, and see what some of Canada’s brightest marketing minds could produce when it came to visual art.

The premise of the event was all about raising money for SKETCH through a silent auction by giving the leaders of Canada’s most creative and innovative businesses, the opportunity to be creative on a more personal level. The twenty participants were each to create a visual art piece around the theme of “Eureka!” moments, but with few parameters other than that.

The list of participants ranged from industry professionals like Tony Chapman of Capital C and Frank Palmer of DDB, to those not quite as involved in the creative industry like Kevin McLaughlin, President of AutoShare - though no less eager to show their creative flair. Even President and Co-Founder of Steam Whistle Brewing, Cam Heaps contributed a piece for the cause.

As people filtered into the main room of the brewery to begin the evening, the focus quickly shifted to the twenty pieces of art displayed on either side of the room. Varying greatly in size and shape, the pieces included everything from acrylic paintings to photography to mixed media. One creation even featured 40 fully operational (and set) rat traps!

The accompanying description and inspiration for each piece demonstrated how seriously the participants took this challenge – no one wanted to be outdone by their peers, but you could tell many took this as a personal challenge as well. These sentiments were echoed in speaking with the participants as almost all of them mentioned that it was fun to get the opportunity to be creative outside of a business setting, yet incredibly challenging. Jacquelyn Corbett Cyr, CEO of Espresso reinforced the importance of creativity: “it’s important for everyone to continue to challenge themselves and be creative in their own way, no matter what department or industry they work in.”

The participants were also unanimously in praise of Ad Lounge for putting the event on and bringing so many people together to benefit a good cause. Geoffrey Roche, Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Lowe Roche stated “Ad Lounge did such an amazing job of bringing all of these people together. I’m a huge believer in using personal time to help those less fortunate, and an organization like SKETCH really helps to give people the sense that they’re accomplishing something.”

During the silent auction portion of the evening, each of the twenty participants was given one minute to come up to the podium and talk about the piece they created. While creativity is the forte of many of the participants, brevity was not as more than a couple were given the “Oscar-music” cut-off during their presentations. In a little showing of gamesmanship before the final stretch of bidding, Mr. Chapman offered up their next hire if any recruiter in the room could come up with a bid of $5000 for his piece.

Throughout the evening, guests mingled and enjoyed a great selection of hors d’ouvres and drinks in the elegantly decorated main room of the brewery. There was also a large projection screen setup featuring a live Twitter-feed capturing online discussion about the event. A few in attendance even used it as an opportunity to announce to the whole room how good the cupcakes were!

Once bidding closed, there were a suspenseful few minutes before announcing the winning bids and the final amount raised for the evening. To kick things off, it was announced that outside of Mr. Chapman’s offer, Dawna Henderson’s photograph “Maasai Sweet Smile” received the highest bid of the evening at $1800. Closely following her were Jack Bensimon’s fine art print “Walking and Talking” and Frank Palmer’s painting “Bloodsport” – each raising $1600. Goodwin Gibson, President of MacLaren MRM showed not only his creative side, but also his sense of generosity in buying the pieces of three of his peers.

In a final showing of bringing people together, a collaborative bid on a final piece of art allowed Ad Lounge to reach its goal of raising $20,000 for SKETCH on the evening. In the end, a great night was had by all in attendance with the real winner being SKETCH and the many youth with whom it helps generate that creative spark.

Article written by Greg Masiewich, Marketing Manager, IQ PARTNERS

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This month Ad Lounge (courtesy of Boost Agents) is featuring Joe Dee, VP, Product and Technology Strategy at Cossette on Inside the Industry.

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